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Students Fare Well at Regional Certification Training

Published Friday, September 27, 2019
On-campus winners: Emily Augustin, Kathryn VanderZiel, Kelly Nettik, Kandy Noles Stevens, Alison Olberding, Whitney Donkersloot
On-campus winners: Emily Augustin, Kathryn VanderZiel, Kelly Nettik, Kandy Noles Stevens, Alison Olberding, Whitney Donkersloot

Southwest Minnesota State University students enrolled in Science Methods and Assessments did well at a recent regional certification for outdoor education.

The certification training was provided by the Jeffers Foundation, established in 2005 with a primary purpose of providing direct primary education and development of primary education principles aimed at teaching young persons stewardship, conservation and preservation.

Assistant Professor of Education Kandy Noles Stevens and adjunct professor Jerry Wenzel were co-facilitators of the training and students in both of their sections of the class created lessons for submission to the Jeffers Foundation Board for potential publication. 

Five students on campus and five in the online section were selected as award winners. In addition to receiving cash awards, the students’ lessons will be published, and each of the 10 recipients have the opportunity to present their lesson at the Minnesota Science Teacher Association's annual conference.  

The lessons selected were innovative, student-centered, and research-based and will be shared with educators around the region as exemplars on outdoor education.  

On-campus competition: The top award winner was Whitney Donkersloot (sr., Early Childhood Education, Worthington, Minn.) with her lesson, "Rock Scotch Sort.”  Honorable mention award winners were Kelly Nettik, (sr., Early Childhood, Pipestone, Minn.), "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree … Or Does It?”; Kathryn VanderZiel, (sr., Special Education, Kenneth, Minn.), "Mud Kitche”; Emily Augustin, (sr., Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Springfield, Minn.), "Art in Nature"; and Alison Olberding, (sr., Elementary Education, Pipestone, Minn.) "Could You Survive?”,

On-line competition: The top award winner was Melynda Jackson (sr., Early Childhood, Janesville, Minn.), “Rainbows.” Honorable mention award winners were Emily Counter, (sr., Elementary Education, Slayton, Minn.), “Float and Sink in Nature”; Cassey Hickman, (sr., Early Childhood, Fargo, N.D.), “Honey I Shrunk the Class”; Nichole Post, (sr., Early Childhood, Okabena, Minn.), “Measurement in Nature”; and Angela Fehr, (sr., Early Childhood, Morris, Minn.), “Forming Letters with Nature.”