Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Minnesota Commissioner of Education Visits Prairie Science Class
Midwest Region, August 17, 2003
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Minnesota State Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Cheri Pierson-Yecke visited the Prairie Science Class Sept. 16. The Prairie Science Class is an innovative partnership between the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center,and the Fergus Falls Public Schools, in which 50 fifth grade students spend half of each day at the PWLC.

The class uses the natural environment of the PWLC as a resource and context for learning tradional subjects. For example, students exploring measurement and comparison concepts participated in a duck banding.The students measured bill length, tarsus and wing cords, then banded and released more than 50 ducks.

The class also takes advantage of cutting edge technology. Each student is issued a PDA (handheld computer) for data collection, worksheet completion and journaling in the field.

The class is taught by two full time school teachers - one at the PWLC and one at the school, with assistance from the PWLC, HAPET, FFWMD and many other partners.

The visit by the Commissioner of Education added to the credibility and importance of the Prairie Science Class. The added visibility as an innovative program will help in the continued development of the program.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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