Going Coastal

Teachers Mary Dancer, Rita Williams, Scott Jacobs and Janet Popyk of the Dr. Gerald H. Woehr Elementary School in New Egypt, Ocean County, were awarded a $5,500 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

During the summer, project members document plants, and evidence of animal activity in an outdoor classroom area. An advisory group meets to set up the calendar for the year and meets twice a month as part of a “professional learning community.”

A “Fall Student Summit” is held along with students of a local marine science magnet school who conduct a series of activities and labs in an outdoor classroom. A teacher accompanies groups during field trips to photograph and document coastal nesting bird observations.

Project activities are shared with staff through in-service time and also through the Academy, which is a series of after-school classes for staff. During staff meetings, the project coordinator provides resource kits and share how teachers can use kits in their classrooms. Plans to continue the project include making kits available to the second, third, and fifth grades. These kits benefit students in their science units.

The grand opening of the Tracks and Traces Museum is held as a family night at the end of the project. Students display field journals, artwork, poetry, and demonstrate activities and techniques they learned in the outdoor lab.

For further information, contact :

Mary Dancer
School - (609) 758-6800