David Lockett, a 4th grade science teacher from Tennessee, was recently sponsored by Georgia-Pacific to attend the Key Issues Institute at the Keystone Science School. Georgia-Pacific has sponsored more than 150 educators from our facility communities across the country, giving them the chance to participate in this program so they can take those learnings back to their students and peers. Below, Lockett shares his experience learning how to engage students on environmental issues through fun, hands-on activities:
For several days in July amidst the Colorado mountains, The Key Issues Institute at the Keystone Science School was my camp and nature was my classroom.
Growing up, some of my fondest memories as a child are from summer camps that I was fortunate enough to attend. There is something magical that occurs when you are able to separate yourself from the everyday hustle and bustle of life that’s inundated with digital media and technology. (And as a STEM educator, I can appreciate the latest advances in technology and applying that knowledge to all aspects of life!)
But my time at Keystone allowed me to get back to my roots, so to speak, and reminded me that students today need opportunities to get outdoors and explore what this world has to offer. Through the hands on experiences I learned, such as testing a river’s health by exploring its living organisms, or designing a city’s sustainable tram system, my students will be able to truly investigate and examine all aspects of science while learning about the environment.
An exploration of nature through Key Issues Institute experience allows imagination to flow freely, which then translates into great success within the classroom. I learned that by breaking down the barrier between subjects and getting students and teachers outdoors and involved in real-world issues, we can learn vital fundamentals while also gaining an appreciation for the complexity of nature and our impact on the environment.
This experience reinforced my own belief that the most effective and greatest teachers are those who serve as facilitators of learning. It was an eye opening experience to participate in a week of training at Keystone, and I eagerly look forward to imparting this newly gained knowledge with my students and fellow teachers.
Click here to see more of David’s week-long experience through Instagram photos and video using the hashtag: #keystoneunlocked.