Elementary curriculum programs designed for 2nd and 5th grade were developed under the guidelines of Collier County's Teacher Specialist program. CCPS District Science Coordinators, teachers and conservation organizations across the county collaborated to develop grade specific field programs for 2nd-6th grade to make environmental education more meaningful for area elementary and middle school students.
Initiated in 2001, the Teacher Specialist Program was designed to enlist teachers to implement classroom lessons, help lead their students through field activities at participating sites, complete post visit lessons and evaluate student success. Each year 1500 students and approximately 75 teachers participate in 2nd and 5th grade programs at Corkscrew.
The Sanctuary is also host to 1500 FGCU University Colloquium students annually. The interdisciplinary course required for all undergraduate students is taught by representatives from various colleges and adjunct Professors from the community with Corkscrew serving as a key field study site for the program.
To accommodate increased demand in all program areas and to ensure quality experiences for students, elementary curriculum programs designed for 2nd and 5th grade were developed under the guidelines of Collier County’s Teacher Specialist program. CCPS District Science Coordinators, teachers and conservation organizations across the county collaborated to develop grade specific field programs for 2nd-6th grade to make environmental education more meaningful for area students.
Corkscrew’s Education Department initiated a Partner Educator Program in 2008 to expand upon existing programs. The initiative provided the opportunity to engage elementary educators, university faculty and university student naturalists to serve as outdoor educators during class field trips to assist Audubon Naturalists with program delivery.
Corkscrew Staff works in direct partnership with participating Partner Educators to prepare them to serve as field educators at Corkscrew. This not only ensured that existing programs would be sustained and that new audiences could be accommodated, but also created a strong Audubon presence and relation with visiting educators while positively influencing their relationships with students.
Partner Educators receive training materials and attend workshops to enhance teaching methods. Under the guidance of Corkscrew staff and volunteers, teachers have garnered self-confidence in presenting lessons in our outdoor classroom. These enriched teaching methods have resulted in increased benefits to students. Mutually, Corkscrew naturalists are able to observe and learn from formal classroom educators to broaden knowledge of teaching techniques and effective content delivery.
Program success is evident in the enthusiasm of our students, positive feedback from teachers and administrators, and the continuing dedication of our Corkscrew volunteer guides and sponsors.