Lee County teachers participate in FGCU’s Wetland Academy

Published: February 3, 2021 4:29 PM EST
Updated: February 3, 2021 5:13 PM EST

Several Lee County teachers are getting a hands-on opportunity to learn about Southwest Florida wetlands.

Nine Lee County teachers are taking part in FGCU’s Wetland Academy, where the teachers get to learn from research scientists. The teachers then get to share the lessons with their classrooms. The program’s ultimate goal is to invite 20 teachers to participate each year.

The teachers set out on canoes to measure the water quality at one of FGCU’s bodies of water.

While it’s a chance to get hands-on experience from experts, it’s also an opportunity to work alongside fellow educators and grow a support system.

“We’ve been working with partner teachers in Lee County schools from elementary to middle and high school to engage them in authentic research on FGCU’s campus with our researchers,” said Dr. Molly Nation, an environmental education assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

For two Lehigh Elementary School educators, it’s a chance to take their teaching to the next level.

“It’s also a great way to learn how to take students outside of the classroom walls and actually get the hands-on experience for the students as well,” said Rob Morrison, a fifth-grade teacher.

The outside classroom has also provided the teachers with a support system to deal with the struggles of pandemic teaching.

“To be able to see that other teachers have the same struggles or that we’re all in this together or that we can all develop something together, in the end, teachers really want to work together,” said Anji McStravic, a science coach at Lehigh Elementary School.