Reagan Science Teacher Receives Scholarship to Audubon Camp

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

A highlight of the summer for Reagan Middle School science teacher Amanda Hoelscher:  a week at camp in Hog Island, Maine.

Passionate about the environment, Hoelscher won a scholarship from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia to attend a camp for educators. The one-week camp allows teachers to deepen their knowledge of environmental education and citizen science through workshops, seminars, field trips, and boat excursions to scout out local wildlife, including puffins and harbor seals.

Campers explored seaweed science and art, birding, ponds, astronomy, and bioluminescence in daily class offerings.

Hoelscher was a summer residential outdoor educator with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal before beginning her teaching career in the county schools. She is always looking for ways to infuse her love of environmental education into the traditional classroom setting.

“I am passionate about useful, hands-on learning that connects the big picture ideas of seventh-grade life science to ecology, conservation, and environmental topics,” explained Hoelscher. “I left the Hog Island Educators Camp with a treasure trove of activities, resources, and strategies that will benefit my students.”

Hoelscher was impressed by the Hog Island educator team as well as the special guest speakers, among them respected naturalists and environmentalists. Her fellow campers were also inspiring.

“The passion and energy of the educators at Hog Island Camp and the educators attending were infectious,” said Hoelscher. “My students will benefit from the positive energy and renewed spirit I am bringing back with me, and I will be sharing my resources and ideas with other teachers around me. ”

The Educator Camp has also inspired Hoelscher to start an after-school nature club at Reagan for those students with additional interest in local and larger natural and conservation topics.

Amanda Hoelscher


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