May 22, 2013

Science, history focus of education workshop


---- — TICONDEROGA — The science and history of Lake Champlain will be the focus of a workshop designed to help teachers use their communities as learning resources.

The day-long workshop, called “Bridging Disciplines: Exploring the Stories of Our Place,” will be held Friday, May 31, at Fort Ticonderoga and will feature a variety of forums on how the region’s history and science are interconnected.

“The Lake Champlain Basin Education Initiative has been offering cooperative teaching programs about Lake Champlain since the early 1990s,” said Colleen Hickey, education coordinator for the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

“We wanted to offer a one-day workshop in New York this year in hopes of reaching more New York teachers.

“With this workshop, we’re encouraging interdisciplinary teams to learn about both science and history.”


With historic Fort Ticonderoga as the centerpiece, participants will go behind the scenes at the museum to examine documents and artifacts used to create the authentic and rigorously researched exhibits.

Rich Strum of Fort Ticonderoga and Lori Fox of St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga will lead an investigation into the facility’s documents, photographs and artworks to discover a lesser-known aspect of Fort Ticonderoga.

“The workshops will focus on a couple of key phrases that teachers can relate to: Common Core and next-generation science standards,” Hickey said, noting that information gained from the presentations will specifically address standards that teachers are required to meet in their teaching methods.

“Authentic investigation is part of those Common Core standards,” she added. “In this case, participants will conduct authentic investigation and research in both history and science.”


One presentation specific to science will focus on the impact residents of a community can have on the Lake Champlain watershed, and another will utilize Lake Champlain itself as participants paddle out onto the lake to examine plankton, water quality and aquatic ecosystems first-hand.

“With transportation costs an issue (for many of the region’s schools), it’s not always easy to conduct field trips,” Hickey said. “A lot of these resources are within walking distance of the school.

“Students don’t always have the opportunity to travel throughout the basin, but they can visit a pond, a stream or a historical spot in close proximity to their school.

“There is always the opportunity to focus on one area” as a sample of the entire lake basin.”


The workshop is open to all teachers in grades kindergarten through 12 but is specifically targeted for grades 4 through 9.

The workshop fee is $25, and registrations are due by May 28. Registration forms are available on the Lake Champlain Basin Program website:

For more information, call Colleen Hickey at 1-802-372-0211 or email

Email Jeff