Endangered Species: Saving the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and Piping Plover
As a part of NCCAT’s Teaching Students of the 21st Century STEM Initiative, this seminar was funded in part by a generous grant from GlaxoSmithKline Community Partnerships. Teachers learned about how plant and animal species are important indicators of the health of our ecosystems. When a species becomes endangered, it is a signal that other aspects of our environment are also being threatened. Currently there are many species identified as rare or threatened and soon they could be designated as endangered.
During this professional development seminar, North Carolina educators explored salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal beaches, while they identified threatened species and discussed the human impact on these fragile ecosystems. They evaluated the Endangered Species Act, passed by Congress in 1973, and debated how its impact is affecting human activities.
Personnel from the National Park Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission discussed actions being taken to manage fragile bird habitats to protect the piping plover, a protected species since 1986, as well as how to monitor dozens of turtle nesting sites on the seashore.
Our state’s teachers learned strategies to help students gain an increased respect for the complex global issues surrounding the environment and human interaction.
Hurricanes: In the Eye of the Storm
As a part of NCCAT’s Teaching Students of the 21st Century STEM Initiative, this seminar was funded in part by a generous grant from GlaxoSmithKline Community Partnerships. Teachers learned about weather conditions that create and drive hurricanes, and the specific science principles that explained this meteorological phenomenon.
Guided by hurricane experts, North Carolina educators discovered how the Outer Banks has been affected by benchmark hurricanes (such as Isabel in 2003) and their potential to bring disaster to our state. Participants heard firsthand accounts from Outer Banks residents who have personally experienced hurricanes and witnessed evidence of the power of wind and waves. Teachers discussed the myriad of ways that North Carolina’s coastal communities try to protect their people and resources when hurricanes come trekking up the coast.
Teachers returned to their classrooms with lessons to be learned from Hurricane Katrina and the multiple responses to such disasters from local, state, and federal governments. Because the physical, environmental, and economic impacts of hurricane activity are not limited to just coastal areas, all North Carolinians should be aware of the need for proper planning and responses to storms and other disasters.
Lesson plans associated with the seminars are available below:
Click here for collaborative unit
Click here for environmental debate topics handout
Click here for environmental debate chart handout
Click here for environmental debate video
Click here for teacher feedback page