The 2015 Oxford Institute for Environmental Education (OIEE) recently concluded at Oxhouse Science Center, science field station of Oxford College. Teachers from across Georgia wrapped up an intensive week of professional development. Founded in 1992, OIEE provides an opportunity for teachers in grades K-12 to collaborate with college biology faculty, gaining new science teaching methods and investigative techniques.
Two of those selected for this year’s institute were Deborah Edwards, a science teacher at Indian Creek Middle School, and Kelly Guglietta, a special education science laborary teacher at Fairview Elementary School. Seventeen teachers from across Georgia participated. Teachers learn the basic principles of ecology in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, methods for applying this knowledge to lesson plans and ways to develop their own schoolyards for environmental education. At a follow-up meeting in the fall, teachers will share their experiences in implementing what they learned this summer and discuss their continuing projects.
OIEE is led by Steve Baker, professor of biology and Eloise Carter, professor of biology. Master teacher for the institute is Sherry Abts, an award-winning science specialist now retired from Gwinnett County (Georgia) Public Schools.
Sponsors and grantors for OIEE include the Chevron Foundation, Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, Georgia Power Foundation, Georgia Wildlife Federation, and Wal-Mart. The institute has been awarded the Certificate of Environmental Achievement Award from the National Awards Council for Environmental Sustainability and named Conservation Educator of the Year Award by the Georgia Wildlife Federation. More information can be found on the website, www.oxford.emory.edu/oiee.