Workshop on Wisconsin's Environmental Issues

March 5, 2003

PLATTEVILLE - The UW-Platteville College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and the College of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE) have recently received an Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) grant for $67,757. The grant monies will be used to host the second annual environmental awareness workshop for area teachers and student teachers to be held June 17-20 and June 23-26.

The University of Wisconsin System ESEA Title II Higher Education Proposal Committee is responsible for awarding the grant. Composed of six EMS and LAE professors and staff along with one area middle school teacher, the committee includes David Braun y Harycki, UWP assistant professor school of education; William McBeth, UWP assistant professor school of education; Lisa A. Riedle, UWP EMS assistant dean and professor civil and environmental engineering; Tammy J. Salmon-Stephens, UWP director of women in engineering and engineering advising; Mark Sethne, UWP associate lecturer in geography; Karen S. Thomas, UWP associate professor of mathematics and Tim Donovan, Iowa-Grant Middle School teacher.

Sponsored by UW-Platteville, participating school districts and ESEA Professional Development Program, this year's workshop will once again focus on an integrative approach to learning and teaching about Wisconsin's environmental issues. Titled, "An Integrated Approach to Learning and Teaching About Wisconsin's Environmental Issues," the workshop is designed to meet the ongoing professional development needs for teachers in the core academic areas in school districts in the Cooperative Education Schools Association (CESA) 3 area, the proposal is in the second year of a two-year project with funding from the Eisenhower Professional Development Program.

The project will provide pre- and in-service teachers with the opportunities to gain experience, confidence and support in implementing hands-on integrated and standards-based instruction within the context of environmental education.

Due to the grant, the workshop will be free of charge for approximately 45 elementary, middle and high school teachers from southwestern Wisconsin along with 10 students looking to student teach in fall 2003 or spring 2004.

Those students participating in the workshop will receive either 6-8 graduate credits or 6 undergraduate credits. Current teachers may be able to use the hours toward satisfying licensing requirements. The workshop will also provide materials and supplies for teachers to take back and use in classroom activities. Current teachers will be able to better identify resources they are already able to use such as school forests and parks, while student teachers will be given the opportunity to work in a professional environment, network and get to know cooperating teachers to secure job placement.

The grant is designed to improve the teaching and principal quality at the K-12 level in Wisconsin's public and private schools.

"This workshop was beneficial in that I learned many new techniques/teaching strategies to use in my classroom. It also opened my eyes to many environmental issues that I hadn't thought too much about previously," a participant from last year's session said.

The team responsible for organizing the workshop includes the seven proposal committee members along with Gayle Gronski and Mary Sutter, both 4th grade teachers from Pecatonica. Donovan, Gronski and Sutter each offer valuable information and insight into the classroom that has been crucial in planning a well-rounded workshop.

The strategic plan for the team is to help schools and teachers during the summer by providing faculty support and development while also encouraging students at an early age to be aware of environmental issues.

Anyone interested in signing up for the workshop or looking for more information may contact McBeth at, Braun y Harycki at or Thomas at


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