Thirteen teachers from public and private schools in central New Jersey came to the Watershed this week for three days of training, including field trips and site assessments, to help them align their curricula with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The middle and high school teachers hailed from Ewing, Hillsborough, Hopewell Valley, Somerset Hills, and West Windsor-Plainsboro school districts, as well as from the independent Hun School of Princeton.
The teachers learned about the impacts of human activities on the water cycle, delving into both problems and solutions. They toured the rain garden, rain water harvesting system and other “green” features of the LEED-Platinum Watershed Center. Later, they hiked to the Stony Brook to take field measurements of macroinvertebrates and water chemistry.
On a local field trip, the teachers visited various sites in Hopewell Borough to assess and calculate stormwater runoff. Later, they returned to the Watershed Center to devise some green infrastructure solutions.
Various discussions throughout the training focused on how to link these concepts to NGSS, an approach to teaching science that focuses on engaging students in studying real-world problems and designing practical solutions.
The Watershed Teacher Academy is a research-based partnership with Princeton and Rider Universities built to provide invaluable experience for educations teaching kindergarten through high school.