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Teachers go "back to school" at Binder Park Zoo

Aug. 2, 2006

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--The phrase "back to school" is a reality this week for 28 elementary and middle school teachers from around Southwest Michigan who are spending the week at Battle Creek's Binder Park Zoo.

Participants in "Ecology for Teachers at the Zoo" are learning new ways to teach basic ecological concepts. The five-day workshop is presented by Western Michigan University's Mallinson Institute for Science Education and the WMU-Battle Creek campus and co-taught with the zoo's staff. It is focused on such topics as ecosystems, plant and animal relationships, endangered species, invasive species and the ecology of zoo animals.

Course participants meet daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday morning, the focus will be on biodiversity, ecological systems and biogeography, with the emphasis on the zoo's Africa exhibit. The afternoon will primarily focus on environmental education resources. Pairs of participants also will present the findings of their weeklong animal observation projects.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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