Friday, October 7, 2011

Professional Development: Keystone Center

The Keystone Center is a non-profit organization that works to solve environmental, energy and public health challenges by bringing together leaders and acting as mediators in the discussions. 

In the interest of looking to the future and preparing future leaders, a large component of the work done by the Keystone Center is education.  They are an organization interested in teaching students how to think, not what to think.  They run a number of camps and programs for students and they believe in reaching large numbers of students by educating teachers

I had the opportunity to attend the Balanced Equation workshop, which is a day-long program devoted to learning about water quality.  The early part of the day was spent evaluating our prior knowledge and thoughts regarding water and the environment.  From there ran a variety of simple tests to evaluate water quality and we attempted to build our own water filters using common items.  The afternoon was spent trying out a number of water filtration devices currently used in country's/areas with poor water quality.  There was certainly a lot to be learned over the course of one day. 

Registration for the Balanced Equation workshop basically involved expressing interest and filling out a simple application. 

The Keystone Center's signature professional development opportunity is the week-long Key Issues Institute, which is held in Silverthorne, Colorado.  Like the other workshops provided by the Keystone Center, the Institute is provided to teachers free of charge (if you can get yourself there), but the application process is more competitive and you are by no means guaranteed a spot just because you're interested.  I do hope to have the opportunity to attend at some point in the future! 

Applications for the 2012 Key Issues Institute are available now, so you may want to head over and check things out.  I'm sure dates for the upcoming one-or two-day workshops will be available soon. 

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