PCEP Update: November 2016

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Aloha · Talofa · Yokwe · Paing Kowos · Kaselehlie · Ráán Ánnim · Mogethin · Alii · Håfa Adai · Tirow

Greetings PCEP Partners! Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) is happy to present the October/November 2016 bi-monthly PCEP Newsletter Update. We have reports from Pohnpei, Guam, and Chuuk.

This Update features various types of professional learning events that have taken place in the region. A common thread that the authors report on is the participation of teachers from the formal education sector, from various grade levels. Nevertheless, there are also instances of informal educators participating. The other unifying thread is the use of PCEP resources for these professional learning opportunities. PCEP staff have been able to share out their experiences with other staff who engage in ongoing professional learning and development—it continues to be an important learning experience for all of us!

Keep an eye on our web portal, where we are continuously uploading new resources. For any comments or questions, please send to Emerson (odangoe@prel.org).


Learning About El Niño Impacts in Pohnpei

On September 22, 2016, the Pohnpei PREL Service Center hosted an interactive workshop to share and increase knowledge of El Niño and its impacts on Pohnpei’s water resources. Because some of the anticipated climate change impacts around the world include more severe El Niños, education about El Niño in particular is an important part of climate change education overall.

The workshop was led by Isaiah Bolden and Sasha Seroy—graduate students from the University of Washington’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program—in partnership with PREL staff Canita Rilometo and Juanita Lawrence. Participants included elementary school teachers, community members and professionals in environmental conservation and management, farmers, and the local weather services. Partners from the Pohnpei Environmental Protection Agency, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Pohnpei Farmers Association shared their work, their observations of El Niño’s influence on and around Pohnpei, and how these community stakeholders respond to these effects. This 1-day workshop to inform and increase sharing of El Niño information among educators and professionals involved a hands-on demonstration of the global atmospheric and oceanic patterns—changes from normal conditions to El Niño and/or La Niña conditions.

The workshop resulted in teachers taking away posters to use in classrooms to educate students about El Niño. In March of 2017, the IGERT group will visit Pohnpei again and conduct another workshop as a follow-up from the visit in September.

report by C. H. Rilometo; photo courtesy of Sasha Seroy and Isaiah Bolden

Linking Pacific Resources to Guam’s Classrooms

On September 28, 2016, over 50 Guam secondary science and health teachers attended a training focused on using PREL’s PCEP and Water for Life (WfL) resources to support instruction. The training, called “The Guam Water for Life Workshop,” focused on water concepts and relationships to issues affecting changing climate in the islands.

The training was held at the University of Guam (UOG) and was sponsored by the Guam Department of Education (GDOE), UOG, and PREL’s PCEP and WfL Programs. Workshop facilitators included PREL Guam staff, Pam Legdesog; GDOE Program Consultant, Eloise Sanchez; UOG School of Education professor, Dr. Cheryl Sanguenza; Simon Sanchez High School teacher and Guam’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Melanie Blas; and Ms. Heidi Ballendorf from the Guam Waterworks Authority. A special Skype session was conducted to enable participants to interact with the authors of the Water for Life Handbook—Dr. Danko Taboroši and Dr. Ethan Allen.

During the training, teachers were led through sessions that focused on available water and climate education resources contextualized for the Pacific, connecting those resources to the Guam science and health standards. They also participated in sample activities from the PREL resources related to water education. Other local Guam agencies including Island Girl Power, Department of Agriculture, UOG Sea Grant, and the National Parks Service supported the event by donating instructional materials from their respective programs. The event was such a success that teachers have requested a series of similar trainings over the coming year, providing more opportunities for professional learning around climate change and water.

report by and photos courtesy of Pam Legdesog

Training Teachers in Chuuk with PCEP Resources

On November 9, 2016, teachers from the Northern Namoneas Region in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia participated in a workshop on the various PCEP resources available for the classroom. The workshop was facilitated by PREL staff Canita Rilometo (Pohnpei PREL) and Dorsalina William (Chuuk PREL), with assistance from Diana Manuel (Chuuk PREL).

In attendance were 2 teachers from each of the elementary schools located on Weno, Chuuk, as well as members from the Chuuk Local Professional Learning Community, including Wisney Nakayama (Chuuk State Legislature Representative) and Rachael Akapito (Climate Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Education Program of the International Organization for Migration [IOM]). The workshop started off with participants introducing themselves and sharing what they know about their clans, which led to a discussion about place-based approaches to education—learning about who you are and where you are from.

Throughout the workshop, PREL staff guided the participants in exploring activities using the Low and High Island Posters and the Place-Based Resources for Pacific Islands Schools book series. The participants interacted with each other in their different groups, sharing many ideas. The workshop was a success, creating the foundation for a follow-up workshop in January 2017. Participants of the workshop expressed their interest in learning more about the available PCEP resources, having seen the relevance of these resources to our island life.

PCEP acknowledges IOM for their partnership with the workshop, especially in providing tote bags with Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness materials for the participants.

report by Dorsalina William; photos courtesy of C. H. Rilometo

New Books on the Horizon

Be on the lookout for two new books to be added to the Place-Based Resources for Pacific Islands Schools book series. One focuses on agroforests, and the other on coral reefs. We look forward to sharing these resources with you through the PCEP web portal Resources page at pcep.prel.org/resources/.

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Copyright © 2016 Pacific islands Climate Education Partnership, all rights reserved.

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