The K-12 student education program provides students with hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities where the content is focused on estuarine habitats, organisms or coastal issues. Teachers can schedule a field trip and bring their classes to the Reserve for a guided program which includes a nature hike on the boardwalk, a tour through the interpretive center, and grade-specific hands-on activities. The K-8th grade curriculum covers topics such as estuaries, watersheds, coastal food webs, and ecological diversity while the 9th-12th grade curriculum includes activities such as BioAccess, seining in the bay and water quality monitoring.
The Reserve’s curriculum provides students with an opportunity to understand various ecosystem functions through the exploration of an estuary. It also provides them with the tools to make difficult decisions about the future of these valuable resources.
In addition to activities at the Reserve, Weeks Bay offers several off-site programs that teachers and students can participate in. Schools around the country can learn about estuaries by participating in the EstuaryLive program, an interactive fieldtrip over the internet, while local school groups can reserve one of our theme boxes which can be sent directly to the classroom (Baldwin County Public Schools only). Additionally, limited space is available for local high school teachers and their classes to participate in restoring Alabama's coastal habitats through the Baldwin County Grasses in Classes Program.
During the summer months, Weeks Bay Reserve offers several programs designed to expose local youth to coastal environments. For more information on summer programs, click here.
In addition to school programs, Weeks Bay offers professional development opportunities for teachers during the summer break. The courses are designed to provide participants with an understanding of estuaries and methods for incorporating estuarine issues into their classroom and field work.
*All of the Weeks Bay Reserve K-12 programs and materials are aligned with the Alabama Standard Course of Study and the National Science Standards.
Resources for Educators:
Contact Weeks Bay Education Coordinator, Margaret Sedlecky