Teton Science School – Water Striders Educational Program
The Teton Science Schools (TSS) provides and encourages experiential education in natural science and ecology by students to promote an appreciation for conservation ethics and practices. The Greater Yellowstone region serves as our outdoor classroom and model for year-round programs that offer academic, professional and personal benefits to students of all ages.
The Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partnership Program is providing funding for this program to offer 7th and 8th grade students free, educational, and hands-on opportunities pertaining to fisheries and fish habitats in Jackson Hole. By educating these resource users when they are young they will be more likely to grow up with more of an appreciation and awareness of the area in which they live and the role they play in being stewards of local natural resources. They project hopes that by involving the students in a fun, educational and hands-on service project will give them a sense of accomplishment and will show them that even they can be involved with taking care of the local streams and fish resources.
This was the first year of this program and was a big success. In the two weeks that it ran they involved the students in a hands-on service project and provided them with educational information. The students who participated seemed to enjoy and profit from the combination of these two learning styles and the instructors felt that the major success of this project came from the positive response from the students who acknowledged that the concept of stewardship meant more to them when they worked on a project in their own “back yard.” Also this project also allowed for the school to work with two partners, Bridger-Teton National Forest and Jackson National Fish Hatchery, who were happy to have the TSS’s assistance and offered good information and support sources for the school.