Collaborative Remediation

The Importance of Youth in Restoration Projects

Anticipated outcome for students

Students take ownership of the local environment, and as they continue to grow into adulthood, investigate and collect data longitudinally in subsequent grades. This process will create a community-wide climate of oversight within which events such as the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Fukishima Power Plant disaster and the Sago Mine tragedy are less likely to happen. Local problems such as those that resulted in the placement of our watershed on a Superfund list more than once over the years would be mitigated by residents that are environmentally literate. When, as global and national citizens, we observe man-made environmental catastrophes that we as STEM educators see as “teachable moments”, there exists a level of abstraction that increases with the geographic distance of the event from one’s students. Place-based science removes that abstraction, and if it’s K-12, then as children grow older students themselves become resources- repositories of information, for the students that follow. It is capacity building in our most precious resource, our youth.

Anticipated improvement to the local community

The improvement will be evidenced in the transition a watershed from an existing state displaying varying degrees of impact, to one demonstrating increasingly diverse botanical assets, which will in-turn develop an increasingly diverse wildlife habitat. And, because the plan includes grade levels from the kindergarten year through senior year, the students will develop a more powerful understanding of the responsibilities of environmental stewardship beyond the use as mere words in our popular culture. Students will realize these changes not just within a year of their lives, but over their entire development into young adulthood. They will appreciate that maintaining a local ecosystem involves multiple agencies and stakeholders, and the cooperative and communication skills required to foment and sustain change, as they work in areas that are controlled by multiple agencies.

ESSENTIAL UNDERSTANDING 6: Federal policies and treaties put into place throughout American history have affected Oceti Sakowin people adversely. Tribes as sovereign nations have the authority to enter into government to government relationships. Currently, the relationships with the States are not the same for each tribe.

Indicator two: Analyze how land stewardship began to change through the process of treaty-making to land ownership.

The following Science Standards can be addressed-

K-LS1-1 Describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive; 1-LS1-1 Design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs; 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats; 3-LS1-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death; 3-LS4-2 Use evidence and reasoning to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing; 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence how some organisms thrive, some struggle to survive, and some cannot survive in a particular habitat; 3-LS4-4 Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change; 4-LS1-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction; 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter and energy among producers, consumers, decomposers, and the environment; MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem; MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems; MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem; MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations; MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.