From improved motor coordination to increased resilience, spending time in nature has numerous benefits for young people.

Across the nation, schools are embracing STEAM —the integration of two or more of the subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math— to solve real-world problems.

Research has shown that hands-on experiences can improve students’ understanding of a concept. However, we are also living in a time when youths can recognize more brand logos than tree species; the few remaining wild places are at risk of exploitation; and children are growing increasingly disconnected from the natural world – all while the severity of natural events – from storms and floods to droughts and wildfires is increasing.

Umpqua Watersheds has been awarded a grant from the Clif Bar Family Foundation to lead a virtual professional development opportunity for Douglas County educators on Wednesday, March 24.

In this event, teachers will learn how to incorporate nature-rich lessons, hands-on and STEAM projects, creative problem solving, and citizen science into their teaching practice. We will be providing a number of free materials to participants, including Next Generation Science Standards-aligned activities and curriculum resource books.

Attendees will learn how and why to teach about climate change, become more familiar with local environmental challenges and how to tie them into their lessons, hear from a number of local organizations about what they have to offer teachers and their classes, and have an opportunity to plan how to implement possible activities.

We know how precious teachers’ time is, and how often it is undervalued. Therefore, each participant who attends the training, tries out the methods shared during the workshops, and completes our follow-up survey will receive $100.

If you are interested in learning more and/or registering for this event, please email the AmeriCorps member serving as our Environmental Education & Outreach Leader at

Ryan Kincaid is the AmeriCorps member serving Umpqua Watersheds as the Environmental Education & Outreach Leader. She can be reached at

React to this story:


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.