Maine Forum on Outdoor Learning
MAINE OUTDOOR LEARNING FORUM DRAWS 220 ATTENDEES FROM SCHOOLS ACROSS STATE REFLECTING MOMENTUM IN OUTDOOR LEARNING TREND AND MAINE’S NATIONAL ROLE AS A LEADER
The 75-minute forum covered an inspiring range of informational resources and stories highlighting how schools have met the challenge to teach outside during the Covid-19 pandemic. Outdoor learning has been shown to not only lower transmission of the virus, but also to benefit student learning experiences, and their mental health as well.
Educators are sharing how they have seen a transformational impact in their schools and are excited about building and expanding upon it. The widespread growing interest in outdoor learning demonstrates the likelihood that this will be a widespread educational practice even after the crisis has subsided.
Principal Johanna Prince and Prek/K teacher Selina Warren presented the outdoor learning strategies they have put into action at Kingfield Elementary, and St. George Superintendent Mike Felton, Belfast Principal Glen Widmer, and 4-H educator Jessica Decke described how their schools have partnered with the 4-H Camp & Learning Centers at Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove to support outdoor learning this year.
Page Nichols of the Maine DOE briefly reviewed the new $17.1 million federal “RREV” grant, a portion of which will support schools piloting innovations in outdoor learning, while other co-host organizations and networks shared resources and information.
Attendees from across Maine included teachers and administrators, staff of educational and environmental organizations, as well as higher education and funders. Additional attendees from beyond the state reflect the degree to which Maine is seen as a national leader in innovation around outdoor education.
Organized by the Nature Based Education Consortium, and co-hosted by a diverse range of educational and environmental organizations, as well as the Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine-Farmington, this was the second outdoor learning forum this year.
View the Slideshow
Co-hosted by Maine Science Teachers Association, Maine Environmental Education Association, University of Maine at Farmington, Maine Department of Education, Inside/Outside Network - Antioch University, Cathance River Education Alliance, Center for an Ecology Based Economy, Chewonki, Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, Juniper Hill School, Kennebunkport Climate Initiative, Maine Audubon, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, Maine Outdoor Coalition, Maine Outdoor School, Rippleffect, Schoodic Institute, Teens to Trails, The Ecology School, The Nature Conservancy, University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Camp and Learning Centers, White Pine Programs, WinterKids