We are delighted to announce that the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale Pilot Educational Program, one of our deliverables in the City of Scottsdale contract, kicked off last week at Scottsdale Community College. “STEM In The Desert,” an innovative and unique program, was a collaboration of DDCS staff, Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Scottsdale Community College.
Education will be the primary mission of the Desert Discovery Center – focusing on the concept that we conserve what we love… love what we understand… and understand what we are taught. This is the exact type of curriculum the Desert Discovery Center will be sharing with its visitors and in its educational outreach programs.
Sixteen elementary school teachers (3rd-5th grade) from three school districts and two charter schools were joined by two McDowell Sonoran Conservancy leaders for three days of instruction by ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.
The schedule included three full days at Scottsdale Community College, including a guided tour at the Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Over the three days, participants were taught three brand new “Ecology Explorer” lesson plans designed for our DDC-inspired program. The teachers will implement the lesson plans during the upcoming school year, along with field trips to the Preserve for their classes.
Feedback was enormously positive. Said one teacher: “Thank you for this wonderful STEM class and enjoyed the layout of the class. Lisa and the rest of the speakers were great and gave a lot of information without being over the top. If you have any future STEM classes please make sure I am on the list.”
The pilot program workshop was underwritten by three sponsors: Bill Peifer (in honor of his mother Eileen H. Peifer), the Arizona Community Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank. ASU generously provided substantive professional program design, instruction and materials through their National Science Foundation funded Ecology Explorers program, which is associated with the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Program.
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