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CK students learn about environment through LIFE program

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 By EILEEN BOWERS

Energy Advisory Panel

The Cedar Key School participated in the LIFE program (Learning in Florida's Environment) for the first time on Oct. 26.  This program, which is run by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), teaches students environmental science in various outdoor settings.

The Energy Advisory Panel became aware of this educational program and asked Principal Sue Ice if she wanted to get the LIFE program at the school. She was agreeable and Dennis Voyles agreed to head up this program. While this was going on, state funding ran out so the Energy Advisory Panel (EAP) then started the process of getting a grant. This effort was successful and the SRWMD awarded a $5,000 grant to the school.

The EAP thought it was important to have the school participate in the LIFE program as it has been shown that kids that participate in this program have a much better awareness of their environment and a better understanding of the interrelationship of all living things and the environments that they depend on. 

The way the program works is, folks from DEP came to Cedar Key to develop lesson plans and teach the science teachers how to better teach environmental science in an outdoor classroom. Altogether there will be four different topics taught throughout the school year. The first program was on Atsiena Otie. Others will be held at the Cedar Key Scrub and the Lower Suwannee Refuge.

Partners in the program include DEP and Fish and Wildlife people, local, state and federal rangers, middle and high school science teachers Mr. Powers and Mr Voyles, myself representing the EAP and most importantly,  40 beautiful and intelligent middle school students. The student all participated in three different scientific labs. One lab studied water quality, doing observation and taking readings of various water quality tests. Another group used sein nets to gather fish which were then identified and discussed with regards to body type, coloration etc. The third lab measured and discussed the slope of the beach and its effect on wave dynamics. 

This outdoor teaching experience, doing scientific measurements and observation, captivated the kids. They were totally interested. The weather was great and everyone had a good experience. We thank Ms. Ice and Mr. Voyles for supporting this program in our school and thereby making it all possible.

?By Eileen Bowers

Energy Advisory Panel

The Cedar Key School participated in the LIFE program (Learning in Florida’s Environment) for the first time on Oct. 26.  This program, which is run by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), teaches students environmental science in various outdoor settings.

The Energy Advisory Panel became aware of this educational program and asked Principal Sue Ice if she wanted to get the LIFE program at the school. She was agreeable and Dennis Voyles agreed to head up this program. While this was going on, state funding ran out so the Energy Advisory Panel (EAP) then started the process of getting a grant. This effort was successful and the SRWMD awarded a $5,000 grant to the school.

The EAP thought it was important to have the school participate in the LIFE program as it has been shown that kids that participate in this program have a much better awareness of their environment and a better understanding of the interrelationship of all living things and the environments that they depend on. 

The way the program works is, folks from DEP came to Cedar Key to develop lesson plans and teach the science teachers how to better teach environmental science in an outdoor classroom. Altogether there will be four different topics taught throughout the school year. The first program was on Atsiena Otie. Others will be held at the Cedar Key Scrub and the Lower Suwannee Refuge.

Partners in the program include DEP and Fish and Wildlife people, local, state and federal rangers, middle and high school science teachers Mr. Powers and Mr Voyles, myself representing the EAP and most importantly,  40 beautiful and intelligent middle school students. The student all participated in three different scientific labs. One lab studied water quality, doing observation and taking readings of various water quality tests. Another group used sein nets to gather fish which were then identified and discussed with regards to body type, coloration etc. The third lab measured and discussed the slope of the beach and its effect on wave dynamics. 

This outdoor teaching experience, doing scientific measurements and observation, captivated the kids. They were totally interested. The weather was great and everyone had a good experience. We thank Ms. Ice and Mr. Voyles for supporting this program in our school and thereby making it all possible.