Friday, April 22, 2011

Professional Development: Project WILD

The goal of Project WILD is to help teachers and youth leaders prepare students to develop problem-solving skills in exploring responsible human actions toward wildlife and the environment.

Project WILD operates in a manner similar to Project WET.  Teachers and other youth leaders (scouts, 4-H, etc.) can attend a 3 hour workshop, usually for low or no cost.  (New York offers the programs for free).  If you have enough people at your school interested, you can likely get someone to come there and present the program to you.   

As part of the program, you'll receive a copy of the Project WILD curriculum guide, which includes many ready-to-use activities to help your students learn about human-wildlife-environment interactions. The curriculum guide is only available to program participants, which, in my book, is reason enough to sign up - it's that fantastic! 

During your workshop, you'll get to try several of the activities found in the curriculum guide.  The activities focus on wildlife habitats, interdependence, biodiversity, cultural and geographical perspectives, human impact and wildlife management. 

To find workshops near you, you'll need to find Sponsoring Agency/Organization for your state (it's often something like the Department of Natural Resources or Department of Environmental Conservation).  When you get to the correct state department, you'll be looking for something along the lines of "education" or "training".  In my experience, it's not too hard to find the information.  If nothing else, you can always do a Google search for "(name of state) Project WILD".

Project WILD has several additional versions of the program available: Flying WILD, Aquatic WILD and Growing up WILD (early childhood).  There's certainly a lot of opportunities to explore and take advantage of.  

It's a fun day, and you'll come away with some great resources.  And if you need professional development credits, it's hard to come up with an easier or more enjoyable way to earn them!  I highly recommend you look into it, if you haven't already!

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