IFAS News

University of Florida

UF/IFAS hosting free annual PLANT CAMP for science and environmental primary school teachers

Topic(s): Departments, Environment, Florida Friendly, IFAS, Invasive Species, Landscaping, Lawn & Garden

The UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants is looking for 24 science and environmental educators from elementary, middle or high schools interested in attending PLANT CAMP, June 20-24, 2016 at UF.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is hosting its annual, free, week-long PLANT CAMP for science and environmental primary school teachers this summer, with lodging and meal costs covered by the program’s sponsors.

The UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants is looking for 24 science and environmental educators from elementary, middle or high schools interested in attending June 20-24, 2016, at UF. Applications are due February 21st.

“PLANT CAMP offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at invasive plant management through hands-on activities that will keep participants moving from start to finish each day,” said Katie Walters, Education Initiative Coordinator at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. “’Campers participate in lessons and activities led by experts in the field and are given the materials to recreate these learning experiences with their students. Apply for PLANT CAMP if you are interested in getting up close and personal with Florida’s invasive plant problem and the ongoing implementation and research of innovative solutions!”

Campers will hike in the woods, learn about the local flora and fauna, explore ponds and lakes for aquatic plants and critters, and even participate in theatrical skits. They will leave camp with the background knowledge, curriculum, and materials needed to take these lessons into their classrooms and inspire the next generation to be responsible environmental stewards.

In addition, attendees will:

  • Discover native, non-native and invasive plants;
  • Enjoy presentations and activities led by experts from state agencies and private industry;
  • Earn up to 32 Professional Development Points;
  • Receive a lot of free materials and ideas to take back to their classrooms.

Launched 10 years ago, the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative is a collaborative outreach effort by UF/IFAS’ Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Invasive Plant Management Section. Working in partnership with dozens of teachers throughout the state, more than 60 lessons, activities and audio-visual presentations have been produced for upper elementary, middle and high school students. Materials correlate to Florida’s latest education standards.

Educators must apply to attend. Applications are available online and due by February 21st. Apply at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/education/plantcamp

For more information, contact Walters at 352-273-3665 or caip-education@ufl.edu

By Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302, k.moore.wilmoth@ufl.edu

Sources: Katie Walters, 352-273-3665, caip-education@ufl.edu

PHOTO CAPTION: The UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants is looking for 24 science and environmental educators from elementary, middle or high schools interested in attending PLANT CAMP, June 20-24, 2016 at UF.

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