PRC West Teacher Workshops

Act 48 accredited EE Workshops for Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) presents workshops on environmental topics to teachers and pre-service teachers. The workshops are either offered as part of required Elementary Science Methods courses or for extra credit on the college level, and for Act 48 credits on the professional level. Pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to take part in the type of professional development activities that are required to maintain their teaching certification.

Every year several thousand elementary education majors graduate from local academic institutions and begin their careers as teachers. These recent graduates will refer back to lesson plans and curricula that they received or developed while they were college and university students. The information that they cover in their classes will largely be the foundation on which they begin building their careers as teachers. Due to time constraints, students tend to receive limited training on teaching environmental topics within the context of traditional teacher preparation programs.

These workshops are designed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the following topics: Watershed Awareness, Air Quality, Litter Prevention & Recycling, and Health and the Environment. The workshops provide teachers and teachers-in-training with lesson plans and activities that can be utilized in the classroom along with the tools and educational resources to effectively address EE Standards while improving their overall environmental literacy. In addition, participants are provided with connections to resources and organizations that exist outside the context of the university and school system that prove invaluable in “real world” teaching situations.

PRC’s Education staff has extensive experience and expertise in facilitating workshops for teachers and is an approved Act 48 Provider. Since 1997 PRC has facilitated numerous teacher workshops.

For more information or to schedule a teacher workshop contact Nancy Martin, 412.488.7490 ext. 247.

Teacher and Pre-Service Teacher Workshops

The Watershed Awareness Workshop addresses the functions of watersheds and wetlands, non-point source pollution, water quality and conservation, human impact on watersheds and how we affect and in turn are affected by the health of our watersheds. The workshop is designed so that, after key components of the subject are introduced, the participants work in small groups to experience a variety of hands-on activities related to watershed issues. Participants will receive a curriculum and a variety of lesson plans and other educational resources for their future use in the classroom.

The Air Quality and YOU Workshop is a collaborative effort on the part of The Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, Inc. PRC, The Group Against Smog and Pollution, The PA Department of Environmental Protection, and Conservation Consultants, Inc. Participating teachers are provided with background information and resources, including an air quality curriculum and activities designed for middle school students. This workshop will focus on the human health and environmental impacts of air pollutants as well as behavioral changes that can minimize emissions and exposure.

The Litter Prevention & Recycling Workshop was developed by PRC to provide teachers and/or pre-service teachers with the resources to teach about litter and waste reduction. It begins with an overview of the history of waste disposal from the prehistoric era through the Middle Ages to the present day. Teachers will learn about the development and design of the modern landfill as well as the pros and cons of this method of waste disposal. The following litter related topics are also covered: defining litter, how litter originates, most frequently littered places, why people litter, litter demographics, negative impacts of litter on the environment, laws relevant to litter & illegal dumping and litter prevention.

The Health and the Environment: The Human Connection Workshop provides background information and teaching methodology for presenting an environment health program in an engaging and effective way, while addressing PA Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology. The workshop will provide lesson plans, hands-on activities, visual aids, and additional resources and educational materials.

This workshop is designed to heighten awareness by familiarizing participants with various toxins, the sources of these toxins in our environment, how environmental toxins affect human-health, the environmental requirements for living a healthy life (i.e. healthy water, soil, air, etc.), and the consequences on human-health if a healthy environment is compromised. It encourages action to reduce our exposure to toxins in our environment and offers practical solutions for safe alternatives and healthy lifestyle choices including conscious consumerism (i.e. label reading and environmental shopping methods). Participants will be able to performing audits to locate toxins in the home, school, and work place and identify a manageable first-step toward reducing exposure to toxins via lifestyle modifications