MARYVIlLLE, TN -- Oxygen and Pyrite stood together, giggling like fourth graders, as Water danced between them, singing a water song and tugging on Iron’s sleeve. “Come away with me,” she sang.
Dancing out the chemistry of acid mine runoff, building models of how runoff works, and tie-dying kerchiefs with rusty water -- these were just a few of the things teachers learned about making environmental issues come alive for elementary age children.
And although there were no children in the room, the laughter from the 40-something teachers showed that everyone can enjoy learning new ideas for environmental education. “It’s even more effective if you can get the kids outside,” said Sangeeta Gulati.
The instruction took place at the Appalachian Studies Association conference in Maryville, Tenn. in March. Members say environmental education is an increasing part of ASA’s mission. -- BK