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HF Schoolyard Ecology Teacher Receives Award

Sunday, February 1, 2009
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Schoolyard Award Winners

The New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) presented the NEEA 2008 Formal Educator Award to Katherine Bennett, a teacher at J.R. Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Kate has integrated real world science and out of doors study into her classes by working with researchers at the Harvard Forest on a variety of projects focused on forest environments, the hemlock woolly adelgid, and ant ecology. In one project, Kate involved each of her students in a hands-on ecological field research project called 'Hemlock Trees and the Pesky Pest, the Woolly Adelgid' as part of Harvard Forest's Schoolyard and Ecology Program. Kate's students collected data on the presence of the woolly adelgid on the school's nature trail, and then used a variety of technology tools, including digital cameras, spreadsheets, and the web to draw conclusions and make recommendations about protecting the school's hemlock trees. Through their involvement in Harvard Forest research on this project and subsequent projects, Kate's students will be prepared to mature into scientifically literate and environmentally aware and responsible citizens. 

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