GRANT FOR EDUCATION
Students and teachers from all five public schools in Potter County will be involved in an environmental education project tied in with the upsurge in natural gas drilling. A $120,000 federal grant for the project was approved last week.
The program was put together by school administrators from Austin, Northern Potter, Galeton, Oswayo Valley and Coudersport.
Federal funds will be used to buy water quality monitoring equipment and train teachers and students how to use it; to prepare teachers to integrate the nationally recognized “Project Wet” environmental education program into the classroom; and to set up and implement the water quality assessment and reporting processes.
Goals of the program are to: • improve students’ awareness of threats to the environment and natural habitats;
• enhance students’ knowledge and application of math, science and technology content as it relates to environmental concerns;
• prepare students to become environmental stewards as they monitor the water quality of rivers (Allegheny, Genesee and Susquehanna), streams, creeks and local aquifers to determine environmental impacts of natural gas extraction and other activities.
These components will be integrated into standards-based math, science and technology instruction to establish a formal environmental education curriculum, using nearby water bodies as “living learning laboratories.” Teachers will participate in 80 hours of training to enhance their environmental education skills.