Educators Go “WILD” at McGuire Nuclear Station

20140429_173507McGuire Nuclear Station recently hosted 21 local educators for Project WILD Aquatic, an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program led by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissions (NCWRC), which emphasizes awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources.

In addition to classroom training and activities, educators toured the nature trail at McGuire and spent time at the site’s ecology pond searching for insects and other aquatic wildlife by using butterfly nets and sifting trays.

Participants spent nearly eight hours between classroom and outdoor training earning continuing education credits through the NCWRC. The program is a great way for educators to gain the experience and confidence needed to work with students and integrate Project WILD into their teaching. “Learning about wildlife outside of the classroom is a great benefit for educators like me. Incorporating outdoor sessions like Project WILD into my lessons allows student experiences to be the source of the teaching,” said Gail Chapp, a teacher at a local high school.

“Kid-tested, teacher approved” is a simple way to summarize the Project WILD program. Since its launch 31 years ago, more than 1.3 million educators have been trained nationally through the Project WILD curriculum. Through a longstanding partnership with the NCWRC, countless numbers of educators have benefited from the free teacher workshops at McGuire. CC King, an instructor with the NCWRC for nearly five years, has experienced the value of the program firsthand. “We appreciate Duke Energy for realizing the importance of reaching out to educators in the community. One of the many goals of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission is to teach all North Carolinians about wildlife management and wildlife populations and we’re doing just that by our continued partnership with Duke Energy’s McGuire Nuclear Station.”

Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world.

In addition to hosting free, teacher workshops like Project WILD, local educators are encouraged to attend other events held throughout the year. The site’s energy education center, the EnergyExplorium, is a great resource for educators, offering hands-on exhibits on nuclear power, electricity and energy efficiency. Printed material is also available providing useful information like lesson plans and experiments for the classroom. For more information about the resources available for teachers, please visit www.duke-energy.com/energyexplorium.com.

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