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CU's Outdoor Classroom Institute helps teachers make the science connection

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By The Staff

Linda Waggener

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University's seventh annual Science Connection Institute in Forest Ecology was hosted this summer at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest and Joan White Howell Environmental Education Center.

The annual outdoor classroom event is designed to provide environmental inquiry and exploration for teachers. This year teachers attended from schools in Taylor, Marion, Nelson and Mercer counties. E.ON US sponsored the program this year.

The "Getting to Know Clay Hill Memorial Forest" forest walk began the program of study led by Dr. Gordon Weddle, professor of biology and director of CHMF; Dr. Glenn McQuaide, associate professor of biology; and E. Kay Sutton, assistant professor of chemistry.

Featured speakers were Dr. Jean Oostens, adjunct professor; and Belinda Smith from the Division of Forestry.

Workshop topics included: biodiversity with Weddle; "Aphrodite to Zeus: The Botanical Buzz" with Brenda Tungate, assistant professor of biology; "Tiptoe Through the Toxins" with Sutton; and "Project Learning Tree" by Jennifer Turner.

"Some Pitfalls of Entomology" was presented by McQuaide; and "The Bird Lab" was conducted by Dr. Richard Kessler, program coordinator and associate professor of biology/environmental studies.

CHMF is a 158-acre educational and research woodland located eight miles from campus, being developed by the CU College of Arts and Sciences as a regional center for environmental education and research.

Dr. Teresa Spurling, CU assistant professor of education and director of SCI, said, "Teachers tell us that the training helps them greatly in their quest to be more effective science educators."

Weddle said, "Clay Hill Memorial Forest is committed to environmental education at all levels. The relationships forged during summer workshops will pay educational dividends by enhancing environmental education across Kentucky."

For more information, visit www.clayhillforest.org or call 465-9570.

- Linda Waggener is marketing and media relations coordinator at Campbellsville University.