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The Art/Science Environmental Imperative

LCF hosts undergraduate science and art students for a week-long exploration of how science and art intersect. The program is by a scientist and an artist to develop an understanding of how engangement with the arts can improve critical thinking skills and math and science education outcomes.

The first Art/Science Environmental Imperative was fully underwritten by the Mr. and Mrs. Royall Victor, III.

To find out more about this program, what inspired it, future plans and links to some of the students' work from the pilot program, click here.MORE

LCF is a beautiful, peaceful, 100-acre section of pristine old Florida full of “genii loci”, not to mention its charismatic and endangered inhabitants. It is a perfect place to explore the relationship between art and science. LCF has hosted both scientists and artists over the years. Dr. Laurie Santos from Yale University, who was named one of the 10 brightest young scientists by Popular Science, has conducted extensive cognitive research at the reserve with her students. About the Art/Science Environment Imperative, she wrote, “As for your idea for the art and science mission, I think this is a great idea, and something that LCF will be well-positioned to spearhead.” The LCF Art/Science Environmental Imperative could well create the work and insight that can help restore that sense of mystery, wonder and amazement needed to stir hearts and minds a as we search for solutions to environmental and conservation challenges.

The Teachers' Institute for Conservation Ecology

The Teachers Institute is a research-based summer program conducted by the Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF) in Myakka City, Florida. The program provides teachers with the necessary scientific background, inspiration and specialized tools and techniques to generate learning opportunities consistent with the National Science Education Standards and their own state standards.

This working science environment allows teachers to experience the nature of science through inquiry, and to explore stimulating ways to engage with students and other teachers on this exciting topic. The participants work with leading scientists and educators who share their expertise and provide hands-on activities designed to excite and motivate science students! Using LCF's lemur colony and the native habitat as resources, participants will also practice science through a field-training program where they learn proper fieldwork techniques under along side professional conservation biologists.

For more information click here.

Teacher's Institute

The first Sarasota Teachers’ Institute for Conservation Biology workshop took place in June 2007. It received glowing reviews from all the participants - in the words of one middle school science teacher: “'I was blown away by the wealth of information that I really did not have before this class.'”

During the program teachers enjoyed a variety of lectures given by prominent experts, did field research and observed and recorded animal behavior. Using their new skills, they developed new lesson plans to be used in their own classes. This year the Teachers Institute will focus on the AKo Project and activities based on the books 'The Ako Series: Madagascar Lemur Advenutres,' written by Dr. Alson Jolly and published by Lemur Conservation Foundation.


Sarasota County Science and Environmental Council

Book High School students

Booker High School students testing soil

Another education program grew out of LCF's founder, Penelope Bodry-Sanders,’ involvement with the Science and Environment Council of Sarasota County (SEC) where she serves as a board member.

The Council consists of non-profit and governmental institutions dedicated to promoting science and conservation through education. SEC and Sarasota County School District initiated a two-year curriculum-enhancement pilot project in which LCF participated as a host institution. Ninth graders were chosen for the pilot as it appears that interest in science wanes at this grade level. The point of the pilot project was to discover whether field trips to various science and nature-oriented institutions (Mote Marine Laboratory, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and LCF among others) could reignite interest and “make science real” for students. The answer is yes and “Students who attended the field-trips demonstrated consistently better attitudes towards science than students in the control or comparison classes.” *

Each field-trip included a class on some aspect of physical science that related to the host’s scientific niche. LCF certainly found the most literally down-to-earth subject to teach: geophagia (“earth eating”, a behavior exhibited by most primates, including humans). Students gathered soil, performed chemical analyses of their samples and, based on the results, attempted to answer the question “Why do lemurs and other primates eat dirt?” Their speculations were correct - some earth is full of minerals useful or needed for producing strong healthy, bodies.

Special Tampolo Program

Amalia Fernand and students in Tampolo

Amalia Fernand and her students wearng their lemur masks in Tampolo

Former LCF intern Amalia Fernand directed a one-week educational workshop in Tampolo during her month-long stay in Madagascar. Armed with paper, paint, crayon, microscopes, binoculars and assorted craft supplies, Amalia led her students on a fun journey of discovery... of their own backyard. Amalia raised all funds for her expenses and supplies at the Montessori school of DeLand, Florida, where she was teaching.

Observation of nature (binoculars and microscopes are popular items), craft-making (lemur masks are a favorite), and field trips in the Tampolo forest were all part of the fun week. Proof that the project was a resounding success came when the number of children attending the workshop increased from 25 to 64 in three days.

Based on her experiences teaching about Madagascar and lemurs both at home and at Tampolo, Amalia is presently preparing a Comprehensive Environmental Education Program about lemurs and their ecology for English-speaking teachers. The program, which will be available on CD and sold through LCF’s website next year, will include lesson plans, readings, math problems and activities tailored for grades four through six.

 
 







 
Association of Zoos & Aquariums                                     
 
P.O. Box 249, Myakka City, Florida 34251 | 941-322-8494 | copyright ©2009 Lemur Conservation Foundation                                                              
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