Our innovative River Stewards project, a three-year program for Bay City, Texas Independent School District middle school youth (65% minority and 70% at-risk) uses field-based learning to enhance science performance and environmental stewardship. Three hundred and fifty students began attending two one-day science enrichment excursions in January 2007 to the LCRA’s new Matagorda Bay Nature Park, exploring topics in science and conservation such as: marine biology, renewable energy production, beach wildlife and shell analysis, live animal presentations, kayaking, water quality and pollution analysis, seining and dip netting to examine marine and estuarine organisms, profiling of beaches and dunes, and using GPS equipment for measurement. A thorough evaluation of the program is already underway, using the following quantitative and qualitative methods: teacher, parent, and student surveys, pre- and post-tests, standardized assessment scores (TAKS exam results), and academic performance. The comprehensive goal of the evaluation is to gather empirical data that reflects the impact of field-based programs on academic success, understanding of the sciences, and attitudes about the conservation of our natural resources.
For more information about River Stewards or how you can participate, please contact the Alliance at (512) 498-1587.