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East Foundation: Behind the Gates in the Classroom and on the Land

November 9, 2024 10am

Virtual Teacher Workshop with Maria F. “Masi” Mejia-Serna, Manager of Education Programs, East Foundation

Join the East Foundation Education Team as we highlight our programming in the classroom, on the land, and in partnership with like-minded organizations. In the classroom, we have deployed Texas Wildlife Association’s Wildlife by Design to over 100,000 students since 2014. These lessons are state science curriculum aligned and focus on: Skins & Skulls, Birds of a Feather, Where Is Our Water?, Investigating Life Cycles, and Stewarding Soil. This fall we have also deployed our new Behind the Gates classroom lessons which focus on land, water, and wildlife.

On the land we have had over 31,000 students participate in our Behind the Gates field days. We have been extremely fortunate that student scores amongst our pre- and post-tests have shown a significant improvement. During the pandemic, we adapted and developed virtual field lessons. This allowed students from across Texas access to the land and the life that depends on it. Our Virtual Field Lessons are free and science TEKS-aligned for 5th through 8th grades. These lessons allow classroom educators to scale up to upper grades or down to lower grades. During the pandemic, we impacted over 25,000 students across Texas.

In partnership with The Witte Museum, we have had over 180 students graduate from our Land Stewardship Ambassador Program in Bexar, Cameron, and Webb County. The program increases awareness of land stewardship principles, promotes civil engagement in today’s youth, and inspires students to obtain careers that support land stewardship. This course is a reading and writing intensive course and through interactive experiences, career exploration, and the study of stewardship students learn how to be a voice for Texas!

As Manager of Education Programs for East Foundation, Maria F. “Masi” Mejia-Serna, delivers natural resource education to the underserved communities of South Texas. She deploys educational programs on East Foundation lands and takes the proven L.A.N.D.S. (Learning Across New Dimensions in Science) curriculum of our partner, the Texas Wildlife Association, into area schools. Additionally, she provides project management support and leadership in the classroom, on the land, and in partnership with various natural resource education partners. Her treasured educational project is working with high school students who are committed to being Land Stewardship Ambassadors.

Masi currently serves on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Urban Outreach Advisory Committee and is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Masi received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation of Natural Resources and a Master’s degree in Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management from Texas Tech University. Masi resides north of Laredo, Texas with her husband and two sons.

Teacher Workshop offered at 10:00 Central on November 9, 2024

A Zoom link will be sent to registrants on the morning of the workshop

Sales will end on November 8, 2024