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LIFE - Learning in Florida's Environment  

August 12, 2005

Water lettuce quadrat

Counting flowers & clones

Recording locations with GPS

Teachers Design Environmental Investigations at Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Six teachers from Fort White Middle School field-tested 12 environmental investigations at Ichetucknee Springs State Park in preparation for the coming school year. Approximately 200 seventh-grade students will participate in the LIFE ? Ichetucknee Springs State Park Parknership Program. Led by veteran Park Biologist, Sam Cole, the program includes three new field investigations unique to the Ichetucknee LIFE site:

  1. Comparing reproductive strategies (cloning vs. flowering) in the invasive Water Lettuce.
  2. Describing and mapping Karst features in terrestrial and riparian locations.
  3. Comparing periphyton diversity at different spring vents.

Each LIFE Program site conducts a four-day workshop that allows teachers to design and integrate environmental science field investigations into their curriculum. The workshops also provide an opportunity for teachers to learn new technology and practice field investigation methods and protocols.

Harry Potter and the Marauder?s Map: Science, Fiction, and Real-LIFE Global Positioning Technology

Helen Cortopassi (Apalachicola High School), VieVie Baird (Department of Education), and Greg Ira (Office of Environmental Education) submitted a presentation proposal to lead a half-day workshop at the 2005 Florida Association of Science Teachers (FAST) Conference. The theme for this year?s conference combines science fiction with technology. The presentation proposal focuses on the LIFE Program?s use of Global Position System technology and makes connections between this technology and the Marauder?s Map used by Harry Potter, the wizard and central character in the fiction series. If accepted, the half-day workshop will have teachers using GPS and conducting a modified version of the Ecosystem Ingredients lab outside of the conference center. The new Environmental Education Specialist at DOE, VieVie Baird, will join the presentation and discuss the role of field-based investigations and labs in providing rigor and real-world relevance to environmental science education. The FAST Conference will run from November 3-5, 2005 in Orlando.

For more information on the LIFE Program, please go to http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/default.htm.

Protecting Florida's Water


LIFE Issues

Last updated: August 27, 2007

  Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Environmental Education, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 30   Tallahassee, Florida 32399  
850-245-2100 (phone) / 850-245-2159 (fax)

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