Thursday, June 16, 2016

Schoolyard Ecology Teacher, Lise Letellier, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching Finalist Award

Journalist Josh Binswanger introduced  The Massachusetts Finalists for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching at a Celebration in Honoring Excellence in Teaching at the State House on June 15, 2016.

Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester presented the PAEMST Finalist award to Holyoke Catholic High School Teacher, Lise Letellier.

Lise Letellier has been featured on this blog several times for her contributions to the Buds, Leaves and Global Warming Schoolyard Ecology project.   Her presentation about her 5 year journey with this project was featured this spring on the following entry:

In addition to having mentored many new Schoolyard Eco teachers and contributing  numerous teaching resources she developed on the Harvard Forest Website, some of her Phenology curriculum is published on the LTER Education Digital Library.  Lise  and her students have also contributed to the Woolly Bully and the Hemlock Trees project.

Aside from her work with Harvard Forest, Lise has also served as a mentor and leader for the Appalachian Mountain Club, engaging both teachers and students in outdoor investigations. This work has been highlighted in a national  Project Learning Tree newsletter.

Lise's contributions to STEM education extend beyond leading field projects.  She has led the science department at her school for several years, and is the chair of the K-12 STEM Professional Development Steering Committee for the Springfield Diocese, and has served in the past on the Pioneer Valley STEM Executive Committee as well as the the review committee for the Mass. STEM Summit. 

Please join me in congratulating Lise for her EXTRAORDINARY contributions to science teaching!

We wish you every success in being honored at the National level....Final awardees are expected to be chosen later this summer.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Petersham Center School Student Wins Statewide Arbor Day Poster Contest!

Fifth grader, Lillian Maxwell's  Arbor Day poster from the Petersham Center School won the state-wide DCR competition this year.  

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)  hosted an awards ceremony and tree planting session at the Petersham Center School yesterday, led by Urban and Community Forester Julie Coop.


 A number of 5th graders from throughout the state were also honored with Honorable Mention Awards.  This year's theme was "Trees Grow With Us and For Us".  Each of the winning posters approached showing how trees benefit us in very different and effective ways.


 Two Petersham students shared  Tree Poems at the Ceremony

  It was the Petersham Center School's first year participating in the contest.  Harvard Forest Education and Outreach director, Clarisse Hart approached 5th grade teacher, Melissa Fournier, with the idea of participating in the contest.  Melissa enthusiastically took on the idea, and arranged for the Petersham Tree Committee and Harvard Forest to work with students in learning about "ecosystem services" that trees provide.  Sheila Youd of the Petersham Tree Committee even led a tree drawing lesson for the students.

5th Grade Teacher, Melissa Fournier
Reads "The Giving Tree"

Petersham Center School Principal, Joanne Menard speaks to
audience about the importance of Trees in Petersham

The Arbor Day  Ceremony ended with a Popsicle Party