Coastal/Environmental Education

Photograph of Students learning the principles of watershed distribution.PROJECT SUMMARY:

The project provided students and teachers in 6 coastal and non-coastal Title 1 secondary Mississippi schools with experiential learning activities to emphasize connections between their local watershed and coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico using GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) protocols, OBIS (Outdoor Biology Instruction Strategies) lesson plans (Lawrence Hall of Science), and service-learning projects.

PARTNERS:

  • NOAA B-WET Program
  • USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs, MS
  • USM Center for Science and Mathematics Education in Hattiesburg, MS
  • Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Refuge in Gautier, MS
  • MS Department of Environmental Quality

ACTIVITIES:

Photographs of teachers attending workshops to learn environmental protection.

  • 3-day summer workshop for 12 teachers from 6 schools
  • 3  visits to each school during the school year >400 total students impacted/visit
  • 2- day field trip to coastal habitats per school
  • Gulf Coast Research Center
  • Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • McLeod State Park
  • Ship Island (a Mississippi Barrier Island)

Photograph of activities at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Refuge

TEACHER: 

  • pretest/posttest
  • Likert scale survey
  • reflections 

STUDENT:

  • pretest/posttest - field trips
  • written comments  - school visits
  • reflections reports

The table below shows a comparison in statistical data from both pretests and posttests compiled from several secondary schools in southern Mississippi when participants were evaluated on their knowledge of environmental issues. The results clearly show a significant increase in the knowledge level in the posttest results indicating that both students and teachers alike became acutely more aware of the impact they have on the habitat as well as ways to increase both plant and animal survivability in these critical and delicate coastal areas after their participation in this study.

TABLE: Protest/Posttest Evaluation Results

School

Date

Location

Pretest Mean

Posttest Mean

Significance Value

Hancock North Central Elementary

3/18/11

5/15/11

GNDNERR*

Clermont Harbor, MS

7.2162

4.7059

11.4865

8.1471

≤0.01 (0.000)

≤0.01 (0.000)

Nicholson Elementary

3/25/11

5/29/11

GNDNERR*

Ship Island, MS

3.8333

2.963

6.933

4.667

≤0.01 (0.000)

≤0.01 (0.001)

Tupelo Middle School**

4/7/11
through
4/8/11

Ocean Springs, MS and Ship Island, MS

5.36

9.58

≤0.01 (0.000)

Vancleave High School***

4/19/11

4/11/11

GNDNERR*

Ship Island, MS

5.5937

  

* The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

** One two-day field trip

*** Teacher has not returned the tests