Environment in Classroom Forum Focus

Article excerpt

Snakes in English class? Trees in art? Frogs in math? It can happen.

Environmental education is finding its way into the classroom, but it's finding new avenues to get there.

The first step is the Conference on Environmental Education, scheduled for Oct. 4-6 at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Mo.

Everyone is invited to attend, including teachers, naturalists, and youth group leaders.

Make information available to teachers to integrate into the curriculum, said Deirdre Hirner, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM), one of the conference sponsors.

Teachers can then weave an environmental message into their classes.

"We have two basic goals for the conference," said Ginny Wallace, Environmental Education Officer in the Missouri Department of Conservation. "To provide an opportunity for educators across the state to network with each other and to showcase resources available. In other words, to connect people with other people and resources. We plan to make this an annual event."

The conference grew out of a recommendation by the Governor's Task Force on Environmental Education. The Task Force on Environmental Education was created in 1993 to develop a plan for educating Missourians about the environment.

It began when the CFM Education Committee went to the Governor's office to discuss environmental education, and was co-chaired by the Conservation Department and the Department of Natural Resources.

The conference will begin Oct. 4, a Friday evening, with a reception in the exhibit hall. The opening session on Oct. 5, Saturday morning, will address the importance of environmental education to the future economic health of the state and the nation. …