The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Sequential Grades Two through Seven Environmental Education Enrichment Summer School Program in the Wausau School District
Birkholz, Linda S.
Piotraschke, Jodie L.
Woller, Debra A.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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In the Wausau School District (WSD ), teachers were provided with an environmental education (EE) curriculum guide, multiple EE resources, and inservicing at some grade levels. With the knowledge that all teachers were not utilizing these resources, this research project was designed to go beyond the regular classroom environment with the intent to reach WSD students entering grades two through seven and positively influence their environmental awareness, knowledge, and behavior through participation in a summer camp setting. Research suggested that camp settings and direct experiences with nature contributes to the development of students' environmental awareness, knowledge, and behavior. This research was used to justify the implementation and funding . of a sequential environmental education enrichment summer school program as a benefit to the Wausau community. The Director of Elementary Curriculum authorized funding through the summer school budget. Three sequential one-week camps were developed, one each for grades two and three, four and five, and six and seven. The middle school camp utilized Horace Mann Middle School's multimedia technology, the Wausau School Forest, the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Environmental Science Laboratory, and Blue Gill Bay Park. The intermediate camp was held at the Wausau School Forest and included field trips to Industrial Recyclers and County Market Foods. The primary camp was conducted at the Wausau School Forest. All students completed pre and post-evaluations to provide data used to determine if the camps positively influenced their environmental awareness, knowledge, and behavior. Middle school and intermediate evaluation results indicated a significant increase in student performance which was directly related to instruction received in the camps. Scores on the primary students' pre-evaluations were high, therefore there was not room for significant increases to occur on the post-evaluations. Results were used to develop recommendations to be implemented in future camp programming.