Science In The Schoolyard


Engaging Students in Science Process through Scientific Inquiry and Schoolyard Investigations

Teachers within the NYS Southern Tier Network who have an interest in including schoolyard nature-based activities in their teaching are invited to develop and implement an outdoor science project this spring with training from Cornell K-12 Education Programs. Participants will learn how to implement authentic science practice into the school day while engaging school-age learners at all levels of ability, including struggling and at-risk students, advanced learners, and students with developmental and learning challenges.


Workshop Day 1: Friday, March 4, 2016 from 8:30-4:00pm

Workshop Day 2: Friday, May 13, 2016 from 8:30-4:00pm

  • Choose your own project

  • Attend two full day training sessions at Cornell University in Ithaca.

  • Complete required participation hours and tasks

  • Receive 10 hours of professional development credits and one Cornell CEU (Continuing Education Credit) from Cornell University

Funding provided by the Southern Tier Teacher Center Network’s NYSUT NEA Great Public Schools Grant

Choose one training program from the three listed below. The grant proposal suggests building upon previous programming. Participants are asked to consider their school's available resources such as overgrown vegetable and butterfly gardens, stored supplies of binoculars or bird feeders and abandoned or underdeveloped walking paths and nature trails when choosing a project.


Investigating Evidence is in line with both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. It includes a full-color Teacher’s Guide with six engaging lessons, accompanying resource and journal pages, and a full-color Science Process Poster. You’ll lead your students in making observations, crafting and testing hypotheses, collecting and graphing data, drawing meaningful conclusions, and sharing their work. Also included in OPTION ONE:
Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life 15 innovative lessons that present specific ways to build data collection and analysis into your science teaching. From observing the life cycle of monarch butterflies and following their migratory journeys … to tracking climate change by recording the dates of first leaf, flower, and fruit of local plants... to discovering which bird species migrate and where and when they go ... to exploring life cycles and population dynamics of amphibians in nearby ponds, the featured projects gather data through public collaboration in scientific research. Your students will not only learn science, but they will also be scientists! The lessons bring biological and environmental science to life: they are hands-on, flexible, and follow the 5E Instructional Model to deeply engage students and provide you with ways to evaluate understanding. Connected to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)


New York Agriculture in the Classroom Food, Land & People (FLP) is a curriculum resource committed to helping students and communities better understand the interrelationships among agriculture, the environment, and people of the world. Food, Land & People is: science and social studies-based lessons for Pre-K to 12th grade students. 60 hands-on lessons developed and tested by more than a thousand educators aligned to NYS and Common Core Learning Standards. A range of subject areas from environmental science and stewardship to human populations and land use issues.


Gardening with Habitat Connections
Ideal for 3rd-8th grade classroom teachers, this fun, hands-on training will help you build your skills both in and out of the classroom. Learn about citizen science, outdoor teaching, bird migration and reproduction, and gardening for birds. You’ll also develop the ideas, skills, and confidence to use citizen science as teaching tools in your own school garden! Habitat Connections directly connects young people with their local habitats in order to build their scientific and environmental literacy. This exciting kit addresses key science standards through school-based and outdoor experiences focused on birds and their habitat needs. Some bird species travel between countries and continents during their spectacular yearly migrations connecting us to other places, people, cultures, and environmental issues.

Sponsored by:

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