Radney Elementary wins BEEP statewide environmental ed award

Radney Elementary School’s gifted student program was honored on Friday, March 1, 2012 when the Best Environmental Education Program (BEEP) Award was presented to Radney teacher, Laurie Barrett.

Laurie Barrett (center) holding 2012 BEEP Award, with husband Tom and daughter Ava, along with the Bronsons (Lake Watch of Lake Martin) and Bill Deutsch (Alabama Water Watch)

The award was presented to Mrs. Barrett by Shirley Farrell, President of the Environmental Education Association of Alabama, during their annual conference at Camp McDowell near Jasper, Alabama.  Following are some of the reasons voiced for the 2012 BEEP Award going to Mrs. Barrett and her students:

“She empowered her students with a spirit of ethical responsibility for the future of their natural world and a wealth of teaching points about environmental matters by partnering with representatives from Lake Watch of Lake Martin and Alabama Water Watch (AWW) at Auburn University.  Events included water quality monitoring of a stream behind their school and Lake Martin, learning about algae and invasive plant species, learning about the concept of watersheds and how non-point source pollution like eroded soil degrades water quality, having hands-on experiences with geology, geography and forestry, learning the art of orienteering, and weekly hikes in the woods behind the Radney School.  Mrs. Barrett’s efforts enriched the lives of her students in countless ways and serve as an inspiration to other environmental education teachers throughout the state.”

Mrs. Barrett has worked closely with Lake Watch of Lake Martin water monitors,
Dick and Mary Ann Bronson and Tom and Pat Lynch,
who assist with the numerous special topics several times a month. The students gain knowledge about water science and an appreciation of their water resources through testing water quality via AWW methods, including Water Chemistry, Bacteriological, and Stream Biomonitoring. They contribute to the AWW statewide online water quality database through their regular monthly monitoring of Lake Martin. Mrs. Barrett enriches learning in the sciences further by incorporating activities from Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams, an accredited environmental education curriculum developed by AWW (with major input from Lake Watch monitors, Dick and Mary Ann Bronson).

Mrs. Barrett’s husband Tom and daughter Ava were present at the ceremony, as were Dick and Mary Ann Bronson from Lake Watch of Lake Martin and Dr. Bill Deutsch from Alabama Water Watch.  Lake Watch of Lake Martin has made a commitment to continue their environmental education support to Radney School for school year 2012-2013, and beyond.

For additional information on Mrs. Barrett’s activities with her gifted class, see:

AWW makes a splash with students at Radney Elementary (http://blog.auburn.edu/aww/?p=240)

Lake Watch of Lake Martin teams up with AWW to enhance student learning (http://blog.auburn.edu/aww/?p=154)