The purpose of the Urban Watershed Ignited Streams of Learning Sciences (UWISLS) Internship is composed of five different parts: Working with students in a professional setting to develop active learning skills, working with college professors to develop a service learning project, remodel and improve the use of the Hiram Gardens, and to assess;remodel;and delineate wetlands located at the Hiram Field Station. This internship will explore the use of protocols used by professionals to assess wetlands, rivers, primary head waters, wildlife, and streams. The goals of this internship is 1.) To create a web page accessible by anyone interested in adapting a lesson plan approved by NEORSD (North East Ohio Regional Sewer District) to educate their students on important environmental issues such as CSO (Combined Stormwater Overflow), Controlling the population of deer, Wetland rehabilitation, River rehabilitation, primary headwater assessment and treatment, or the use of vacant lot resource. 2.) To remodel the Hiram Gardens and to create a sustainable garden 3.) To perform a service learning project with one of our institute professors 4.) To remodel, delineate, and create a model wetland to be used for schools located at the Hiram Field Station. During the internship, we as the interns will become Neer Peer Mentors which are college students who serve in a learning community (A group of five students and one teacher) to further bind the group to work together and create a scholarly learning community. Neer Peer Mentors will then become Wetland Consultants/Garden Consultants to remodel Hirams Gardens located at the Century Home and at Bonney Castle and the wetlands located at James H. Barrow Field Station. During the fall the Wetland Consultants/Garden Consultants will become Stewardship Liaisons to create and assist with a service learning program used in a classroom setting. Components of the program There are five components to this UWISLS internship. Training for the eight day institute, Performing as neer peer mentors and running the institute, Remodeling Wetlands, Remodeling Gardens, and service learning project Training for the eight day institute This component included activities to prepare for the institute.These activities included:
- Working together with agents from the Cleveland Metroparks in order to decide locations and realistics of protocol usage
- Preparing team building activities in order to keep students engaged
- Purchasing and organizing material used for the institute
Performing as Neer Peer Mentors and aiding in running the institute This component included activities based on leadership and guidance. These activities included:
- Working with high school students to educate them on environmental issues
- Working activities such as the invasive species scavenger hunt, telemetry, predator prey relationships, radio tracking, etc.. to be used in a classroom setting.
- Helping the student develop curricula
- Delineating wetlands
- Remodeling wetlands to be used as a model wetland
- Observing all plant life located near the wetland and classifying them
- Re-planting all wetland plants
- Working with other interns to remodel the Hiram gardens
- Creating a more sustainable garden
- Developing the cost efficient rain barrel system to be used throughout Hiram College campus
Service Learning Project
- Working with Professor Dennis J. Taylor in the spring of 2013 to develop and run active learning in his course during Hiram’s 3-week .
- Introducing active learning in a classroom setting
- Performing a service learning project which is a project that both educates the community as well as the students
Inter-program activities Many different activities were integrated towards education of stormwater management and wildlife management. These activities included: Predator prey relations
- Looking at survival curves and performing a predation experiment using a simulated environment and simulated prey of which students and neer peer mentors would conduct the role of prey.
- Conducting triangular finding
- Neer peer mentors pretended to be deer and showed the use of triangular tracking
- Going on a hike discovering signs of deer
- Discovering signs of invasive species and deadly plant diseases
Skills Developed This internship provided me with vital skills in various spots of science and contributed to the development of various skills including Leadership
- Developed through working with the high school students
- Preparing all the required materials for the activity as well as ensuring all the materials are collected and returned at the end of the day
- Developed throughout the internship and having to properly manage all of the downtime given
- Developed through the institute working to keep the students engaged and productive.
- Working with others to develop, run, and recreate a safe institute for the high school students
- Working with others to create and remodel gardens and wetlands