Chattahoochee Elementary School third-graders will be given the chance to take a field trip to Sawnee Mountain Preserve next school year, where they will learn about the black bear and its habitat through hands-on experience.
This opportunity was provided for the students by the Bear University scholarship, which was awarded to Chattahoochee by the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation department. The Bear University scholarship program, introduced earlier this year, was created to increase awareness in teachers of the environmental education field trip programs offered by Sawnee Mountain Preserve.
Throughout the 2016-17 school year, the Bear University program will educate Chattahoochee students about the black bear and its habitat by allowing students to enter a simulated bear den. The students will use real wildlife biologist field techniques during the field trip. The program aligns with Georgia Science standards and provides a student-centered approach with interactive investigation in real-world and model settings.
“One of the reasons we started the Bear University scholarship program was to raise awareness about the many educational field trip opportunities available at Sawnee Mountain Preserve,” said Matthew Pate, Forsyth County Parks and Recreation manager of natural resources. “It is our goal that all third-grade students in Forsyth County will get to experience the Bear University program.”
The Bear University program was designed by a collaborative group from the Forsyth County school system and Forsyth County Parks and Recreation and was created specifically for third-grade students.
This is the first year the program has been offered. Nine schools submitted applications for the program.
“Chattahoochee Elementary School submitted a well-written application that clearly demonstrated how their student population would benefit from the scholarship and how they could help promote the program to other schools,” Sawnee Mountain Preserve Program Supervisor Joseph Daugherty said.
For more information on Forsyth County’s environmental educational programs or on the Bear University scholarship program, contact the Sawnee Mountain Preserve visitor center at (770) 781-2217.