Four Corners School offers workshops

Four Corners School of Outdoor Education is launching new programs from its Canyon Country Discovery Center (CCDC) campus, which will enable educators to continue their professional development through campus-based and outreach programs.
All CCDC programs and activities are STEM-based and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and local Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
All CCDC programming is focused on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This focus is designed to help develop the future workforce of the Colorado Plateau.
The CCDC is committed to programming in STEM related subjects, not only because skill and knowledge in each of these disciplines is essential for academic success, but also because these fields have real world applications in local economies and industries.
The CCDC will provide a unique environment to advance teacher and student education. Using an applied education approach and problem-based learning, the hands-on design of CCDC activities and its teacher development programs will further develop educator skills in implementing STEM initiatives in their classroom.
The Bioregional Outdoor Education Project (BOEP), Four Corners School’s first STEM professional development program for teachers, has been in operation since 1999 and has improved teachers skills and student learning in over 121 K-8th grade schools in the Four Corners states, for 1,452 teachers and 36,000 students.
Their Discovery Center’s new STEM programs build on that success. Once open, the CCDC will also offer after-school programs and tutoring to supplement local schools and assist in student and community educational needs.
After school clubs with indoor and outdoor activities and a “Get Your Badge” program for Girl and Boy Scouts will also available.
Janet Ross, Executive Director and founder of Four Corners School of Outdoor Education, said, “A STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues.”
A STEM-literate high school graduate is more likely to enroll in college-level courses in science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM skills are also increasingly necessary to engage in our growing knowledge-based economy.
Forbes indicates that the fastest-growing and highest-wage jobs in the coming years will be in STEM related fields, and that all employees will need to utilize STEM skills for problem solving in a wide range of industries.
Nationally trends show there are more job openings in STEM-related fields than qualified STEM-literate job seekers. In light of this disproportion Pamela Moen, Discovery Center Director, believes that, “this gap must be closed if our nation is to retain its position as a world leader in STEM innovation.”
Estimates project the number of STEM jobs to grow by 19 percent over the next decade (nearly twice the rate of non-STEM jobs). The CCDC programs address these issues and provide educators with valuable resources to promote STEM learning in the classroom.
Four Corners School has designed its curriculum to be hands-on, experiential learning, in order to further develop educator resources and to assist teachers as they implement STEM initiatives in their classrooms.
“For decades, innovators and entrepreneurs across the Colorado Plateau have fueled dynamic growth and have infused the Plateau with significant discoveries,” says Ross.
“We believe that our new outreach programs at the Canyon Country Discovery Center can provide educators with the skills and experiences to prepare them to teach youth to become leaders of society. Our new outreach programs will help drive and provide a valued asset driving education to benefit the economy through innovation.”
Diane Mittler, Principal of Mosaic Academy in Aztec, NM, has seen the impact creative instructional programs can provide educators. “Over the past two years, several staff members have participated in the project to build a repertoire of hands-on learning activities grounded in the Colorado Plateau.
“(This) participation has been a wonderful opportunity for our staff members. It has positively impacted the students, staff, and the learning community as a whole at the Mosaic Academy. We appreciate having the opportunity to further our own self education. Most importantly, the ideas and resources gathered through participation in the programs have resulted in higher engaged students that will make a difference.”
In addition to the new Outreach programming available for teachers and students in March, the CCDC will begin to provide campus programs and activities for teachers, students, and general visitors to investigate physical, earth, and life science topics in November. They will serve as models for developing learners’ knowledge of scientific ideas.
A limited number of summer programs will be offered in 2015 on the new campus that is currently under construction. Four Corners School of Outdoor Education hopes these programs will further interested parties to explore the world around them through hands-on inquiry based learning.
For more information, visit www.fourcornersschool.org or call Pamela Moen, at 1-800-525-4456.

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