Developing a Place Based Curriculum for Outdoor Education Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards

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Brush, Alex; McFarland, Michelle
Curriculum and Instruction; Educational Methods; Outdoor Education
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With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, many schools are moving toward new ways of teaching in order to address this shift. As these schools change, there is a need for environmental education programs to change as well. The purpose of our study was to work with the SEA Discovery Center in Poulsbo, WA to develop an NGSS aligned curriculum centered around Olympia Oyster restoration that utilized the program’s resources and addressed relevant outdoor education programming goals. During the summer of 2017 we met with the director of the SEA Discovery Center, Discover Center employees and volunteers, experts in the field of oyster restoration and a curriculum advisor. As a planning team we developed a curriculum that we would test in a one week pilot as a summer camp in July of 2017. Upon completion of the pilot program we submitted a final recommended curriculum to the SEA Discovery Center for their implementation during the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. Through this process we learned that curriculum development is a complicated and fluid progression requiring constant feedback and revision to include all parties involved.