The Living Islands Environmental Education Initiative Pilot Project (the pilot project) aims to design and deliver accessible, engaging environmental curriculum to rural Marshallese youth with the support and involvement of students and faculty from the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI).
The Living Islands Environmental Education Initiative Pilot Project (the pilot project) aims to design and deliver accessible, engaging environmental curriculum to rural Marshallese youth with the support and involvement of students and faculty from the College of the Marshall Islands (CMI). The pilot project will begin with the development of a dedicated student and faculty team at CMI followed by the creation and translation of appropriate curriculum for rural Marshallese youth, and finally the presentation of the new materials in rural communities. Overall, the pilot project will last approximately two and a half months, and serve as the foundation for ongoing environmental education.
Beginning in September, a member of the Living Islands team will work with CMI faculty, staff and students to form a core team of dedicated individuals to develop the curriculum. There are four main goals in involving CMI students and faculty in this program. First is to foster a positive and active relationship between the CMI community and Living Islands. Additionally, by helping to develop this curriculum, students at CMI will be given valuable leadership and research experience: contributing to the strength of the environmental studies program at the college. Furthermore, the input of the Marshallese students and professors will ensure that the resulting materials are culturally appropriate and relevant. Finally, by presenting this material to rural youth, the CMI students will be demonstrating the value of ongoing education as well as building stronger ties between rural students and CMI.
This team of students, under the advice of CMI faculty and a Living Islands team-member will work to develop engaging, culturally relevant, environmental sustainability curriculum for rural youth ages 8-12. The goal is create four, self-contained lessons that can be led by the CMI students at any rural school on four separate days. These lessons will focus on understanding the importance of natural resources, systems, and the environment, and providing youth the knowledge and skills to actively contribute to local sustainability and stewardship. Existing resources from the Micronesia Conservation Trust, Environmental Protection Agency, USAID, and others will be drawn upon in forming the foundation of these active, hands-on lesson plans. Each self-contained lesson will focus on a certain topic and will include a brief lesson on the topic and at least one activity to engage youth in the concepts they are learning. Topics may include waste disposal, habitat protection, natural resource preservation, climate change, or others as deemed appropriate by the team. Ultimately, the goal is to empower youth to take an active role in ensuring the environmental stewardship and sustainability of their communities.
In the end, the CMI students will take their developed curriculum and present it to youth in the rural schools. During the pilot project, the intention is to try presenting the four lessons to at least one school on Majuro as a test. The CMI team will then gather feedback from teachers and students to improve their program for subsequent presentations. As time allows, additional presentations may take place during the pilot project. Should the team, curriculum, and initial presentations prove successful, then the Environmental Education Initiative may gain the support of local leadership as well as Living Islands, and presentations would continue at the start of the next term at CMI. The goal of the pilot project is to lay the groundwork and prove its success as a robust and sustainable program.