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Environmental Science [clear filter]
Friday, March 1


Go Play Outside...but Why? Nature Disconnect and our Kids
As screen time has increased, free play in nature has decreased. Come learn what the data says about how this phenomena is affecting our children, and how we, as educators, can help reconnect our kids to nature.


Becky Durling

Young Fives Teacher, Discovery Elementary, Williamston Community Schools
I currently teach Young Fives at Discovery Elementary in Williamston, MI, with over 15 years of experience in a variety of early childhood settings. I recently completed the requirements for my Environmental Education Certification through the Michigan Alliance for Environmental... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 8:00am - 8:45am
Emerald B


Requirements for becoming a certified environmental educator
Educators can earn credentials that let administrators and potential employers know they exhibit a certain level of knowledge and special skillset directly related to environmental education. Discover the requirements for earning an environmental educator certification (EEC) through the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). The EEC closely follows state standards and national guidelines (www.maeoe.com).


Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck

Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)

Friday March 1, 2019 11:00am - 11:45am
Emerald B


Science in Nature Activities for Early Learners: lessons you can use tomorrow!
Do you need a lesson for your elementary class to use tomorrow? Are you searching for a way to get your students outside exploring nature! Then have we got ideas to share with you!


Becky Durling

Young Fives Teacher, Discovery Elementary, Williamston Community Schools
I currently teach Young Fives at Discovery Elementary in Williamston, MI, with over 15 years of experience in a variety of early childhood settings. I recently completed the requirements for my Environmental Education Certification through the Michigan Alliance for Environmental... Read More →
avatar for Natalie Elkins

Natalie Elkins

Education Specialist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
I am a Certified Environmental Educator that provides professional development opportunities to formal and non-formal educators. My goal is to share hands-on, STEM, inquiry-based and field investigation ideas that are tied to Michigan Science Standards.

Friday March 1, 2019 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Emerald A
Saturday, March 2


Hands-on and creative teacher-developed invasive species lessons to achieve Michigan science standards
Hands-on and creative lessons about invasive species are used both to engage student learning and to protect the environment. More than 15 teachers submitted lesson plans for online posting. We will demonstrate activities from several lessons, including students creating video public service announcements, producing informative Power Points, and engineering electric barriers to aquatic invaders. Lesson plans are posted on the web and linked to standards for science, social studies, and English language arts.


Maria Siciliano

Roberto Clemente Learning Academy, Detroit Public Schools Community District

Sara Forbing

4th grade teacher, Caro Community Schools
avatar for Jeffrey Ram

Jeffrey Ram

Professor/PI on education grants, Wayne State Univ/Belle Isle Aquarium
Education at informal education institutions (public aquariums, zoos, nature centers).Invasive speciesStudents making videos as a pedagogical method

Jessica Wagenmaker

Holton Public Schools

Saturday March 2, 2019 9:00am - 9:45am
Emerald B


Students Leading Change to Protect Our Waterways
Place-based education (PBE) involves moving beyond classroom walls and teaching students through their own communities. Through PBE, students engage in real-world problem solving by identifying a need in their community and developing a solution to help address that need. This presentation will share how K-12 students can serve as leaders in the community to protect local waterways from pollution.


Joanna Allerhand

Grand Valley State University
avatar for Jessica Vander Ark

Jessica Vander Ark

Grand Valley State University
avatar for Amanda Syers

Amanda Syers

Program specialist, GVSU Center for Educational Partnerships

Saturday March 2, 2019 11:00am - 11:45am
Vandenberg B


Get Out!: Taking Student Learning Outdoors
Getting your students outside of the classroom walls invites their curiosity, engages and deepens their understanding of science concepts, and connects their learning to the real world. Learn ways to get out of the classroom while integrating low-cost/high-impact experiences into your current curricula. We’ll discuss how teaching in the outdoors can benefit both student learning and teacher innovation, the opportunities and challenges of taking students outside, and provide resources for teachers ready to get out.

avatar for Erin Parker

Erin Parker

Great Lakes Nature Center Manager, Detroit Zoological Society

Saturday March 2, 2019 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Nelson Room


Sustainable Schools: How to Become a Michigan Green School
Learn about the Michigan Green Schools program and leave with ideas on how to help your school earn recognition as a Michigan Green School. See the path Cedar Springs High School has taken to complete green activities, and hear from Kent County’s Green School coordinator about ways to earn recognition for schools focused on sustainability. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, start to plan their own Green Schools application, and walk away with resources and freebies.

avatar for Edward Johns

Edward Johns

Teacher, Cedar Springs High School
This is my tenth year teaching at the high school level. For the past six years I have taught Biology and Chemistry at Cedar Springs High School. Before working at Cedar Springs I was an Academic Interventionist and teacher at Houghton Lake High School for four years.
avatar for Lauren Westerman

Lauren Westerman

Resource Recovery Specialist, Kent County Green Schools Coordinator, Kent County Dept of Public Works
I lead education programs at the Recycling & Education Center and South Kent Landfill. I also coordinate the MI Green Schools program for Kent County.

Saturday March 2, 2019 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Kendall Room


STEAM Challenges: Creating cross-curricular events to engage all learners
This presentation is a how-to guide on the process of designing and running rigorous STEAM-based events to teach students across disciplines. While the examples will focus primarily on engaging at-risk high school students, the fundamental techniques and principles can be applied to reach learners of all grades and backgrounds! The session will include a variety of tools including: 1) Ready-to-use lessons tied to relevant standards, 2) Templates for creating your own STEAM Challenges, 3) Links and resources to aid in the process of making your classroom more STEAM-based, and 4) Interactive experiences putting you in the learner's seat. Come with questions, resources, ideas, and an open mind!

avatar for Robert Barrett

Robert Barrett

HS Life Science Teacher, STEAM Program Coordinator, West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science
I'm a researcher-turned-teacher with interests in STEAM education, authentic science inquiry, coaching others in conflict management techniques, and serving high-needs populations

Saturday March 2, 2019 12:00pm - 1:45pm
Grandview A


Cool demonstrations for young science students without breaking the bank.
Cool Demonstrations for young science classes. Several demos that are sure to inspire and engage young minds. No need to buy expensive equipment. These phenomena are tried and true, easy to do and won't cost much. Looking for phenomena but don't want to where to start? I'll bring easy to do, easy to extract meaningful demos for you to use.

avatar for Mark Sheler

Mark Sheler

Sandusky Jr Sr High School
High School Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Chemistry and Earth Science, Baker College of Education

Saturday March 2, 2019 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Pearl Room


Stop Creating Lesson Plans: Start Creating Learning Experiences
Engage your students to think and act like scientists. Be the teacher that transforms everyday lesson plans into authentic, memorable learning experiences with inquiry-focused instruction. Come with a willingness to inspire learning; leave with strategies and tools to make it happen.

avatar for Dawn McCotter

Dawn McCotter

Teacher Programs Manager, Van Andel Education Institute
Dawn devoted over 12 years to teaching science at Grand Haven High School with multiple classes including Earth Science, Physics, Astronomy, and Project Science. During her tenure, Dawn had the opportunity to work with diverse learners, from various academic and personal backgrounds... Read More →

Saturday March 2, 2019 1:00pm - 2:45pm
Emerald B