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Ag Ed Students Engage in Shaver's Creek Outdoor School

Posted: December 1, 2011

Freshman Kate Bassett, Junior Britney Marsh, and Senior Jessica DiMarizio recently assisted as educators in the Shaver's Creek Outdoor School. Outdoor School is a four-day residential outdoor education program for upper elementary school students (mostly 5th graders). The elementary students spend a week at the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center in a camp setting learning about the natural world and studying concepts that support their science curriculum.
Britney Marsh, a junior majoring in Agricultural Education, is discussing weaving at the Outdoor School at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Britney Marsh, a junior majoring in Agricultural Education, is discussing weaving at the Outdoor School at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center recruits Penn State students to be cabin counselors for the 5th graders, trying to create a summer-camp like feel to the program, and agricultural education majors are always sought after for this role.  As counselors, AEE students are responsible for helping the students maximize the benefits of Outdoor School.  Helping students get ready for the day/night, supervising their safety, leading games/activities, sleeping in the cabin, and being a positive role model were the primary responsibilities of Kate, Britney and Jessica.  In addition to those counselor duties, they also assumed the duties and responsibilities of a teacher, an experience to help them prepare as agricultural educators.

PSU students assisted the Shaver’s Creek staff in teaching the daily ecology lessons to a small Learning Group with tasks ranging from helping to manage the group during an activity, or being involved teaching a portion of the lesson.  PSU students also teach a station in 19th Century costume for Then & Now, the cultural history lesson, or assist with the Living Things lesson, during which elementary students are introduced to live animals from Shaver’s Creek.  “My experiences at Shaver's Creek have helped develop a strong set of skills in inquiry-based instruction, which I am excited to use as a student teacher,” said Jessica DiMarizio, a senior in agricultural education.

Penn State’s Department of Agricultural and Extension Education is very proud to have Kate, Britney, and Jessica as some of its many outstanding students.  Learn more by visiting the Outdoor Field School at Shaver's Creek website. To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the department at teachag@psu.edu.