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Beyond the Classroom

Exploring Environmental Issues

  • When: November 1-3, 2023
  • Who: 4th-12th Grade Teachers and informal educators
  • Keystone Science School
  • Rate: $150 (Plus Processing Fee)
  • Free Lodging included
  • Continuing Education Units available
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Beyond the Classroom is a 3-day professional development workshop for 4th-12th grade teachers and informal educators. Teachers will receive curriculum and training to explore local and regional issues using KSS’s non-biased framework, along with a complete set of lesson plans to facilitate an issues-based curriculum in their classroom.

Teachers will learn how to identify stakeholders, conduct a field-based research project and gain background information to support policy recommendations within a chosen environmental issue. The closing activity will be a “Town Hall Meeting” where teachers learn to guide students to collaborate across differing opinions as they develop policy recommendations based on a local issue. We'll be using the regional issue of water management in a demonstration of our issues-based curriculum.

New this year! Teachers will participate alongside our H2O Outdoors program for high school students, allowing teachers to observe the student experience to learn how an activity may be facilitated.

CEUs will be available to all teachers through the Colorado School of Mines.

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Teachers who bring classes to our Outdoor Education program can recieve Beyond the Classroom training for free!

Program Schedule

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Day 1: Wednesday

7:30am - Check-in

8am - Welcome

9am - Course Overview

11am - Field Time

12:30pm - Field Time Continued

3pm - Expert Panel

4pm-5:30pm - Expert Panel Debrief

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Day 2: Thursday

7:30am - Breakfast

8am - Introduce & Define Local Issue, Open Discussion

8:30am - Talking to local partners in your area

1pm - Water Quality Testing as Research & Beetles example

3pm-5pm - Observe research & data presentations from H20 participants, Observe plumbing the Colorado activity

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Day 3: Friday

8am - Collaboration vs. Competition Activities

9:15am - Town Hall Observation

12pm - Town Hall Debrief, planning your town hall

1pm - Program debrief & school store

We will be utilizing Keystone Science School's 10 step framework for exploring environmental issues (PDF).

Program Goals

  • Brainstorm and plan ways to facilitate an environmental issue-based curriculum based on a local issue for their own students.
  • Analyze and interpret the perspectives of real-life stakeholders in Colorado water management through the lens of sustainability.
  • Practice ‘solutions-oriented’ collaborative approaches to managing regional issues.
  • Explain the concept of a watershed & identify major watersheds in the US, Colorado, and Summit County.
  • Understand water supply and demand issues in Colorado and the Colorado River Watershed.
  • Collect field data relevant to water quantity & quality.
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Continuing Education Units

Teachers can receive 1.0 CEUs for participation in this training through the Colorado School of Mines. There is an additional cost of $55 for the CEUs and teachers must pay by check on the last day of the training.

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Teachers will be provided all meals throughout the training which starts with breakfast on the first day and ends with lunch on the final day. We have a full-service kitchen capable of meeting any dietary restrictions of participating teachers.

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Lodging Is Included!

Teachers are welcome to arrive on Tuesday and stay through Friday night, departing Saturday morning. All teachers get a bunk within our spacious dorms and will be assigned to a room. Please note that you will have a roommate of your same gender. You're welcome to make roommate requests during registration if traveling with a co-teacher. Take a virtual tour of the dorms.

Special Thanks to Our Program Sponsors

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Interested in an outdoor education field trips? Get in touch today!

We’re always happy to help plan your next outdoor education experience to ensure that your students have the best overnight field trip of their lives! Should you have questions about any step of the process, or associated paperwork, please contact us.

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