University of Findlay to Partner With Local Teachers Thanks to Ohio EPA Grant
University of Findlay has been awarded $37,684 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of their Ohio Environmental Educational Fund (OEEF) Grant. The University of Findlay was one of nine finalists, and six recipients of grant funding.
The grant money will be used to host two no-cost workshops for local teachers, helping to inform and educate them about the benefits of agriculture, sustainability, renewable resources, and agricultural business. With workshops scheduled in 2023 and 2024, the University of Findlay looks to bring 8-10 teachers to campus for each of the workshops, and welcomes teachers of environmental and agricultural sciences. The goal is to provide educators with hands-on learning and skill building involving sustainability topics. Those who attend will also receive one education credit (EDCI 546) for “Workshop in Curriculum and Instruction.”
The University of Findlay and professors like Nathan Tice, Ph.D., Chair of UF Physical Sciences, are looking to expand on the program that was created in 2018, through the Columbia Gas Waste to Energy Education grant. Through the initial grant, Tice and others were able to create the “Waste to Energy Teacher Resource” book, providing teachers with 11 chapters of course work and labs involving biofuels, biodiesels, and waste oil titration. While beneficial to teachers and students, the need to expand was still there, “To have a long-term impact outside of campus, we needed more funding, and that’s what the Ohio EPA grant is. It’s going to allow us to have a broader impact that’s long-lasting,” said Tice.
As a result of the recent Ohio EPA OEEF grant, and the foundation created by the 2018 Columbia Gas grant, the University of Findlay is able to offer local teachers classroom methods and lessons that align with state science standards and agricultural strand guidelines. “Teachers are not adding something on, because it’s already things they have to address and incorporate. They can utilize the Waste to Energy Teacher Resource book and these workshops to accomplish those goals,” said Tice.
When applying for the grant, Tice and his colleagues were asked how these workshops would benefit teachers and students beyond the initial classes. The answer was simple, “Get it into the schools,” said Tice. “Get the teachers involved and help them create their own curriculum. From there it can take on a life of its own. Teachers are the best advocates. If they like it and it works for them, they’re going to tell their colleagues, and it’s going to continue to grow.”
Those educators interested in attending, or looking for more information on the workshops, are encouraged to reach out to Nathan Tice, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those teachers looking to coordinate STEM/STEAM learning with the University of Findlay, should contact University of Findlay STEAM Education and Outreach Coordinator, Dana Emmert, Ph.D. at email@example.com.