Full STEAM Ahead

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I recently attended the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education annual conference in Towson Maryland. This was my first MAEOE conference, and I’m excited to bring more teachers next year!

The conference theme was Full Steam Ahead, Expanding the Potential of Environmental Education.  It was wonderful to see so much integration between the arts and sciences.

I attended a painting workshop, where we talked about how to create art as an expression of ourselves, while learning techniques to be successful in the aesthetics of the artwork.

The Watershed Charter school executive director Jessie Lehson presented Growing Art through Farming, the intersection of art and agriculture. We learned to make pastels from rocks, and cut turkey feathers into quill pens.

There was an amazing presentation called When Wonder Wins, discussing how important it is to intentionally incorporate wonder into our lives.  In doing so, we are role models for our students so that they too will use the world around them to be inspired to keep growing and following their passions.

I really enjoyed the Earth Powers and Forest bathing lightening session.  Two sessions in one hour, where we discussed allowing kids to explore nature and tap in with their creative mind. We also discussed how to take moments our of our day to spend time in nature mindfully noticing our reactions and responses to outside stimuli.

Restorative Practices was by far the best session I attended, and all of the session I went to were amazing.  Dave Dahl,  from NorthBay Adventure Camp, spoke about using restorative practices and teaching out children using the M.A.E.C.E. method. Mindfulness, Awareness, Empathy, Compassion, and Engage. We participated in hands on team building activities to build relationships with one another in our 2 hour session. We discussed the self determination theory, Carl Rogers, and Dr. Dan Siegel who wrote The Whole-Brain Child.

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This conference was a wonderful learning experience and I am excited about next year!

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