Master Plan for the Apostle Islands Outdoor Education School
Daulton, Terry L.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The Apostle Islands Outdoor Education School is a field environmental education experience for sixth grade students which takes place in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The ''Island School" is. directed by the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute of Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, and is staffed by Northland College students. The Island School was developed to provide local school children with education about the Apostle Islands and to provide environmental education teaching experience for Northland students. The Island School was field tested in 1986 and 1987. In 1988 The Sigurd Olson Institute initiated a planning effort to evaluate and insure the long term consistency and continuation of the program. A survey was conducted to assess Island School needs. Northland students who taught the program and cooperating public school teachers were the target audience. The survey topics were: programs, facilities, island features, educational support services, and limiting factors. Items were rank ordered or rated on a Likert type scale from one to four. Results were used in assessing long term locations within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, program priorities and educational support services. Survey results showed that hands-on learning, environmental attitudes and values, island ecology, and living history were the most important program topics. Respondents showed a high interest in educational support services, ranking eight educational tools over 2.5 in importance. A teaching unit was prepared to supplement the Island School and a guide for Northland students was developed to increase their teaching effectiveness. Facilities and island features data showed that diversity, and a view of the open lake and other islands, daytime shelter, sleeping in tents, sheltered dock, and trails totaling over five miles were very important. The most important limiting factors for the Island School were cost and lack of equipment. Possible locations for the Island School were assessed and recommendations were made.