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The Friends of Salt Springs Park, Inc. • PO Box 541 • Montrose PA • 18801 • 570.967.7275 • info@friendsofsaltspringspark.org



E3: Earth, Ecology, and the Environment
Spring Session 2012



The Friends provide environmental education to fourth graders in local school systems. The program is called E3, consists of two classroom sessions in the school and an all-day session at Salt Springs, and meets several PA Dept. of Education standards.

The first classroom session this year for Choconut Elementary was held Tuesday, April 3. Kim Fruehan's and Sue Lewis's fourth grade classes learned about Energy Flow and Biodiversity in Ecosystems. Although the lesson title might sound like a college-level biology course, the Friends' instructors are skilled at presenting the concepts in an engaging and memorable way to fourth graders.

The Energy Flow and Biodiversity in Ecosystems lesson meets PA Dept. of Ed. Standard 4.6, Ecosystems and Their Interactions. Additionally, it addresses Standards:

4.3 C. Environmental Health
4.7 C. Threatened, Endangered and
           Extinct Species
4.8 C. Humans and the Environment

Instructor Nancy Wottrich includes group interaction exercises, play acting, and question and answer charts among other hands-on activities. These techniques enable kids to formulate their own answers to such questions as:

Nancy's support team, assisting and observing, was Lillian Theophanis, the Friends' Environmental Education Committee chair; Charlotte Remakus, EE Committee member and E3 instructor; and Concetta Schirra, the Friends' Environmental Education Coordinator.

One of the lively activities demonstrates how all the various forms of life are interconnected. After learning about the roles of producer, consumer, decomposer, predator, and prey in the ecosystem, children simulate a human model of a spider's web to demonstrate the food web. They connect to each other based on their role. The child simulating the lowest member of the food web pretends to die by sitting down. Then the child representing the form that depended for its food on the one that died sits down. One by one each student sits down until the entire food web has collapsed.

In the second classroom session, the students will share the results of their assignments, "Everything in a Pizza Comes from the Sun" and "Backyard Ecosystem." When they come to the park for the all-day outdoor session, lessons will include Watersheds, Stream Study (Macroinvertebrates), Forest Environment, and Soils Study.

To schedule E3 for your students, or to work with Concetta and the EE Committee to design and provide a program based on your other needs, e-mail us today.