NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Dozens of Stephen F. Austin State University students recently participated in Wetland Adventure, an outdoor science field investigation, at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas.
Under the direction of Drs. Paula Griffin, assistant professor, and Alan Sowards, professor, in SFA’s James I. Perkins College of Education, 85 SFA face-to-face and online students participated in the project, which the university has offered for 15 years.
SFA students were responsible for teaching three 45-minutes science lessons concerning aquatic plant adaptations, water quality and food chains to 750 fifth-grade students from Nacogdoches and Crockett Independent School Districts.
“This project provides SFA students with teaching strategies on how to use field investigations to teach hands-on and place-based elementary science lessons,” Sowards said. “SFA students learn the importance of planning, collaborating, teaching and modifying their lessons to different-ability students. It also introduces them to the importance of using outside resources to accomplish their education goals.”
The project is a partnership between SFA, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
Additionally, members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department filmed one day of Wetland Adventure and interviewed SFA students and Sowards about the experience. The video may be used in November to celebrate the 20th anniversary of education programs offered at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.