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Seminar: “Symbiotic Schoolyard” with Janneke Petersen

April 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

A project-based & highly engaging curriculum, Symbiotic Schoolyard guides students as they “take on the role of restoration ecologists to figure out how to increase the biodiversity of their own schoolyard. Through hands-on lessons they figure out that planting native plants restores a complex food web.”

As a middle school science teacher, I wanted to involve my students in place-based, real-world projects. I wanted my students to be empowered to solve huge problems, like biodiversity loss. And I wanted my students to study our local ecosystem for our ecosystem unit. The only units available to me were based on ecosystems half way around the world! I searched (and searched!) and could not find high-quality, PLACE-BASED ecosystem units that embedded REAL-WORLD PROJECTS.

Then I discovered native plants and habitat restoration. A light bulb turned on. What if my students could PLANT NATIVE PLANTS in our own schoolyard, as a part of my ecosystem unit? My students and I could solve the problem of biodiversity loss in our own schoolyard and the restoration project could anchor a place-based ecosystem unit.

I spent five years developing the Schoolyard Habitat Restoration Unit. It has been field tested by twelve teachers and went through iterative design with multiple rounds of feedback from the pilot teachers and three Master teachers who reviewed the unit. The result is a high-quality, comprehensive unit with everything you need to teach.

Seminars are held via Zoom on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Central Time (7:30 p.m. Eastern Time) and last about one hour. All members and potential members are welcome to join the meeting. The link to join this seminar is:


April 16
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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