Education for a Sustainable Future
- Connecting STEM Teachers to STEM Practitioners Project
- School Programs
- On-Site Youth Programs
Connecting STEM Teachers to STEM Practitioners Project
Bringing Research to the Classroom
It has been a long time desire to fulfill bringing research to the classroom component of our mission. In 2019, The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen had obtained sufficient funds to conduct a pilot workshop for the summer of 2020 that would pair teachers and STEM practitioners in the development of authentic, place-based, hands-on science activities relevant to Nelson County. Although the unexpected COVID-19 virus pandemic had gripped the globe, causing a distant almost isolated lifestyle for everyone, the STEM Practitioners Project (Connecting STEM Teachers to STEM Practitioners) prevailed. The project was to be led by two members of TNFW Science and Education Advisory Committee, Drs. Janet Steven and Linda Fink. In addition, eight Nelson County teachers had committed to the project. While our intended in-person workshop wasn’t feasible and schools had to change teaching practices to virtual learning, the group has redesigned the workshop to be virtual.
Moving forward, Janet and Linda created learning activities that was completed through remote learning without the continual support of internet connectivity. The project focused on investigations that centered around local rainfall, county topography, and the water cycle. These activities addressed Virginia SOLs related to the topics as well as scientific investigation. Instructional videos, lesson plans, and a box of tools were developed and distributed to each student that contains materials for data collection and other investigations. TNFW staff and the teachers created instructional videos on stream water quality monitoring for students to utilize while they collected data on their own. The eight teachers participating in the virtual workshop refined student materials based on the grades they were teaching and provided feedback on the videos and data collection process. While the STEM Practitioners Project is still ongoing in the 2021 cycle of the school year, some grades have completed their projects. Boxing up the Weather project from the Nelson County 2nd and 3rd grade classes is just one example, seen here in this video.
The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen encourages understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Through our youth programs, the organization staff and volunteers inspire the next generation of passionate environmental stewards. Youth group leaders and educators can email to schedule an event.
Each year, we reach over 2300 students across Nelson County and the surrounding counties. We provide site-based learning opportunities at Wintergreen and in-school environmental programs.
These environmental education programs are designed to support the pre K-12 curriculum and appropriate Virginia Standards of Learning as well as to stimulate critical thinking and decision making for students.
From stream surveys to story-times, we are out there working hard to educate your local youth!
On-Site Youth Programs
In addition to our school programs, we provide hands-on educational opportunities for homeschool groups, scouts, YMCA’s and other organizational summer camps on-site. It is our goal to provide the youth an immersive experience, and encourage lifelong environmental stewards.
Wish List Program
Each year, thanks to generous support from the Nelson County Community Fund, the foundation has be able to donate thousands of dollars-worth of science-related classroom supplies to the Nelson County Public Schools.
The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen’s Annual Wish List Program is provided through funding from the Nelson County Community Fund. The program offers FREE supplies for Nelson County School teachers to enrich the learning experiences of their students! Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas in Nelson County public and private schools are eligible to apply. Requested supplies should align with The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen’s mission and support environmental and/or cultural education. We strive to give every applicant the supplies they request!
The deadline to submit your request will be determined at a future date. If you have questions, contact Kathie Driscoll, Education Director:
U.S. Mail: The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen, Attn: Kathie Driscoll, R.R. 1, Box 770, Roseland, VA 22967