Alabama Rivers Educator Workshop @ Cheaha State Park

In 2019, we facilitated several AL Rivers Educator Workshops, based on the book, Alabama Rivers: A Celebration & Challenge by Dr. Bill Deutsch, funded by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

Due to the high interest in the workshops, we were able to secure funding for more workshops and a second edition of the Educator’s Guide to Alabama Rivers curriculum from MidSouth RC&D. Unfortunately, the three workshops planned in 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID. Needless to say, we were so excited to be back at it again with an Alabama Rivers Educator Workshop at Cheaha State Park on October 2!

Dr. Deutsch introduces the lesson, “Springs, Spirits, and Spas” prior to the afternoon hike.

The group included a variety of educators teaching a broad diversity of subjects, including Math, History, Science, Language Arts, and 4-6 grade 4-H. We were also joined by Cheaha’s Assistant Park Naturalist, Noel Lashley.

Here’s a snapshot of our day!

Educators from Athens, Alabama working on their Alabama state seals. Photo Credit: Bill Deutsch
A workshop participant shares what she thinks could be on Alabama’s State Seal. Photo Credit: Sydney Zinner
Dr. Deutsch walks through Alabama’s geological history with “Towel Tectonics.” Photo Credit: Sydney Zinner
Rachel McGuire demonstrates the concept of aquatic food webs and the importance of biodiversity through “Food Web Cup Stack.” Photo Credit: Mona Dominguez

The afternoon featured a wonderful guided hike by Cheaha’s Park Naturalist, Mandy Pearson

Cheaha State Park Naturalist Mandy Pearson guides an afternoon hike to help teach the lesson focused on “Springs, Spirits, and Spas.” Photo Credit: Sydney Zinner

To date, a total of eight workshops have been facilitated around the state, reaching more than 120 educators. Within just the first few months following the 2019 educator workshops, over 1,000 students had been reached. Although COVID may have slowed educators down a bit with the delivery of the curriculum, it seems safe to assume that the number of students reached has at least doubled since that time.

Rock Garden Lookout at Cheaha State Park. Photo Credit: Bill Deutsch

Alabama Rivers Educator Workshops are open to educators including teachers, volunteers, and informal educators. Those who complete the training will be able to use the curriculum with their students or groups and share it with other educators!

If you are interested in participating in an Alabama Rivers Educator Workshop, keep an eye on our Events Calendar and make sure you are subscribed to the AWWareness Newsletter so you are notified when a workshop is scheduled!

Workshop participants enjoy the view at the Rock Garden at Cheaha State Park. Photo Credit: Sydney Zinner