Jess Goes Far Beyond the Basics
When recreation management major Jess Burd came to Riverbend from Lock Haven University for a semester-long internship, she didn’t quite know what to expect. She wanted to blend her love of the outdoors with previous academic work in early childhood education. Her idea of an environmental education center was a place where people go to visit nature. What she experienced was total immersion in the field of environmental education.
“Riverbend gave me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and do something I’ve never done before. Thanks to the educator training, I learned about inquiry-based science and also ages and stages (what a child should be learning and at what age). Now I feel I have the proper knowledge and tools to organize my own lessons and present them to children of any age. Working on the preserve, caring for Riverbend’s animals and aquaponics greenhouse, and learning from experienced educators opened my eyes to all Riverbend and environmental education has to offer. There were so many things I never thought about when it came to environmental education. I thought when teaching about mammals you would just teach every child the same way. After having my training and doing research to create lesson plan kits, I learned that there are specific standards set by PA for each age group stating what students should be learning and when. I will always go back to that information and use it as a tool when creating programs or activities.”