One of the proudest achievements of the EHC STEAM Partnership Program is its annual Teacher Immersion Experience. Teachers from partner schools have the opportunity each year to apply to spend some quality instructional development time experiencing STEAM in a real world application. This learning experience is completely funded by the EHC Foundation.
In 2014, participants traveled to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, and took part in intensive, hands-on activities focused on beach ecology, highlighting ecosystems along the Gulf Coast. During their week-long visit, teachers had the opportunity to profile dunes, dig for invertebrates, analyze marine debris, learn about the impact of plastic on the marine environment, collect and process plankton samples, study adaptions and food webs, and collect and examine salt marsh plants.
This experience empowered each teacher with new resources, lessons, and first-hand knowledge to share with their classes, as well as other educators, allowing area students to have a greater understanding of beach ecology, pollution, climate change, plant and animal adaptation, and much more.
The following are lessons developed by teachers as a result of their participating in this experience.
- Jane DuBose – Ecosystem Lesson
- Jeff Holmes – Pollution Lesson
- Angie Curtis Wolf and Chrissy Shelton – Earth Science
- Angie Curtis and Chrissy Shelton – Life Science
- Katie McClure – Building Activity
- Amy Maxwell and Beth Feustal – Consequences of Clear Cutting
- Melisa Jeffers – Plastics: Role in Society and Effects on Ecosystems