Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership) is getting a lot of attention from San Diego Unified School District elementary teachers after last week’s professional development workshops. Targeting K, 1st, and 6th grade teachers, the workshops were well attended with 47 teachers learning the curriculum, many for the first time. If all these teachers implement SWELL, then about 1,400 more elementary students will learn about local water issues in their classrooms this year.
In a post-workshop survey, all teachers rated the workshop as very well-organized and would recommend the workshop to other teachers. Perhaps it had something to do with the sandwiches and cookies provided after a long day of teaching, thanks to generous donors to Project SWELL through Coastkeeper. Or the gift packs and reusable water bottles from Project SWELL partners City of San Diego Think Blue. More likely, it has to do with the thoughtfulness and care put into the creation of the curriculum. Project SWELL was created for teachers by teachers, and it’s easy for teachers to squeeze in the hands-on lessons as part of their regular science curriculum.
The trainings are a great way to share news and new developments with the SWELL program, especially recent updates to the SWELL website and a tutorial of how to access the supplemental curriculum materials (maps, pictures, and graphics) as part of a password protected section of that site. SWELL is adapting quickly to be applicable in the 21st century classroom with smartboards, notebooks, and ipads!
Coastkeeper loves interacting with the teachers who make water education a priority in their classrooms. We took a few videos of the teachers after the workshops to learn more about their motivation and desire to teach Project SWELL lessons. Enjoy!