GAINESVILLE – Teachers, it’s that time of year again. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will have applications for its popular and free 2018 Plant Camp. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 18.
The UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sponsor the five-day workshop June 11 to 15, 2018. The workshop is designed for teachers—4th through 12th grade—interested in learning more about the 130-plus invasive plant species invading Florida, and the native flora and fauna that make the state unique.
Working with dozens of teachers throughout the state, more than 70 lessons, activities and audio-visual presentations have been produced for upper elementary, middle and high school students. Materials correlate to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core State Standards, and support learning skill-based science in a real-world context.
Plant Camp is the first event of its kind to provide such intensive in-service training for Florida teachers on the subject of aquatic and upland invasive plants. Attendees compete for the limited number of spaces available for this popular professional development opportunity, and are selected by a committee of UF/IFAS CAIP staff, based on evidence of interest and a commitment to sharing what they learn with students and colleagues.
Faculty from UF, state park biologists, administrators from FWC’s Invasive Plant Management Section and plant managers from the private sector contribute as presenters and instructors, providing a rare behind-the-scenes look at natural resource management issues in the state of Florida. The goal is to give teachers the inspiration and confidence to share their new knowledge with students and colleagues upon return to the classroom.