An Everglades Champion School encourages teachers to participate in Everglades Literacy professional development, integrates Everglades Literacy into the curriculum, promotes Everglades interdisciplinary projects and field experiences, as well as Everglades community and culture.

It is a call-to-action, designed to incentivize and empower schools to find their Everglades potential by focusing on curriculum, projects, and practices that become a part of their school culture. It will encourage schools to make Everglades conservation a core value of the institution.

What is An EVERGLADES  

Champion School?

 

HOW TO BECOME AN

EVERGLADES CHAMPION SCHOOL

Learn more about the application process, documentation, and what it takes to become an Everglades Champion School below: 

Water

The Everglades Foundation is collaborating with Youth Making Ripples to launch a new film competition called "Everglades Champions Making Ripples" focused on sharing messages about how the Everglades are connected to our oceans. Only schools participating in the K-5 Everglades Champion Schools Program are eligible for this competition. The deadline for this competition is April 22, 2021.

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To learn more and submit your film, visit: 

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K-5 Everglades Champion School students and their teachers are invited to create a short film that can focus on any number of topics that illustrate how our Everglades and oceans are interconnected: from how water quality issues in the Everglades affects our oceans and estuaries, to a look at mangrove habitats, or how invasive species are a serious threat.

A CASH PRIZE OF $250 WILL BE AWARDED TO THE CHAMPION SCHOOL WHO IS JUDGED THE WINNER OF THE COMPETITION.

 
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Application Resources

Click on the icons below to navigate the application resources.

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Are you still in a virtual classroom or using our distance learning resources for adaptations to the Everglades Literacy Teacher Toolkit?

 

Explore the "Suggested Distance Learning Adaptations and Resources" document to search for additional ways to adapt and integrate the Everglades Literacy Teacher Toolkit Lessons into the curriculum while in a virtual setting.

 
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What is a Field Study?

Champion school evaluation criteria -

category ii, indicator C

A field study inquiry question contains at least 2 variables (dependent and independent) that can be tested. The question must also provide the specific parameters of the study. A field study can be an extension of the Everglades Teacher Toolkit, but can't be the same lesson.

Definition


An independent variable (cause) is a variable that stands alone and isn’t changed by the other variables you are trying to measure. Usually when you are looking for a relationship between two things, you are trying to find out what makes the dependent variable (effect) change. A dependent variable is the variable being measured in the field study. Inquiry Question: Does the _________ (independent variable) affect the _________ (dependent variable) of the __________ (location/parameters of the study)?




Example 1: SCAT FORENSICS FIELD STUDY


Students attended a Field Trip to learn about food chain in ecosystems and the different animals that inhabit South Florida’s ecosystems. Students participated in an indoor lesson about animal scat. In small groups, students discussed the diets of different animals, identified scat samples, and made edible scat. After the indoor lesson, students hiked through the natural areas looking for animal tracks, with a focus on the hardwood hammock habitat. Students tried to analyze which animal the scat belongs to by considering location, size, and contents. Inquiry Question: How can scat observations (independent variable) determine the animal identification or type of consumer (dependent) living in the hardwood hammock (parameters)?




Example 2: LAKE APOPKA WATER QUALITY FIELD STUDY


Students took a field trip to the North Apopka Shore. The SJRW Management team took all of the students and parents on a trip around the north of Lake Apopka and wetlands. They talked about water conservation, land conservation, and how the water was being cleaned. They took several stops for the students to see the water pumping stations and lake cleanup. Then their attention was focused on the plants and animals that use the lake. They also learned about all the new sightings of birds at the North Shore. Students conducted water quality testing of lake before and after the water pumping stations. Then they went back to class and summarized the data from the water samples. Inquiry Question: How does the water pumping station (independent variable) affect the water quality (dependent variable) of Lake Apopka (parameters)?




Example 3: BIRD FIELD STUDY


Students participated in a bird field study. After learning and studying about native birds in the Everglades, students were asked to identify the birds native to the school yard. Classes went outside around the school at different times of the day (front and back, within the sanctuary) to identify the birds within the environment. Students used Audubon of Florida Checklist of Florida Birds to document the birds identified. Students tracked for 1 month every other day at different times throughout the school day. After collecting the data, students compared the native birds found in the school yard to the native birds in the Everglades. Inquiry Question: Does the time of day (independent variable) affect the amount of native birds (dependent variable) found in the school yard (parameters)?




Example 4: HARDWOOD HAMMOCK WATER SAMPLE FIELD STUDY


Students took a trip to the Tibet-Butler Preserve and explored the hardwood hammock area of the park. We took water samples from different areas and looked at them under the microscope. We charted what type of animals we found in the different areas. Inquiry Question: Does the location (independent variable) affect the amount of living organisms (dependent) found in the water sample in the hardwood hammock (parameters)?




Not sure if you have a testable inquiry question for your field study or project?


Check out this guide to writing an inquiry-based question provided by Sea Grant, Michigan https://www.michiganseagrant.org/lessons/teacher-tools/guide-to-writing-an-inquiry-based-question/




Can't get outside? Click here for Odysssey Earth Virtual 360-Degree Videos and Field Observation Datasheets


*If you cannot get outside or be with your students for a field study, these Field Observation Datasheets are a great alternative to use over a digital platform. Follow along with Richard Kern from Odyssey Earth as he explores different habitats of the Everglades using a drone with a 360-degree camera. Click on the website: http://www.odysseyearth.com/video-category/everglades-360/ and explore the 360-degree videos on habitats such as the Cypress Dome, Mangrove Swamp, Sawgrass Prarie, Seagrass Meadow, and more! Use the cursor to scroll up, down, and all around to view the habitats. Each video comes with a field guide and scavenger hunt questions created by Odyssey Earth. Then, use our Field Observation Datasheets to complete a digital field study of the habitats (click on links below). Cypress Dome Field Datasheet Mangrove Fringe Field Datasheet Sawgrass Prairie Field Datasheet Seagrass Meadow Field Datasheet Teacher Guide with Answer Key





 
 

Everglades Interdisciplinary Approach

Champion School Evaluation criteria -

category ii, indicator b

project examples

Examples of grade-specific, Everglades-themed Interdisciplinary Projects *Note-Champion Schools are not limited to the projects listed below, they are just examples of ways to integrate Everglades projects across multiple disciplines or subject areas.

Definition


An independent variable (cause) is a variable that stands alone and isn’t changed by the other variables you are trying to measure. Usually when you are looking for a relationship between two things, you are trying to find out what makes the dependent variable (effect) change. A dependent variable is the variable being measured in the field study. Inquiry Question: Does the _________ (independent variable) affect the _________ (dependent variable) of the __________ (location/parameters of the study)?




Example 1: SCAT FORENSICS FIELD STUDY


Students attended a Field Trip to learn about food chain in ecosystems and the different animals that inhabit South Florida’s ecosystems. Students participated in an indoor lesson about animal scat. In small groups, students discussed the diets of different animals, identified scat samples, and made edible scat. After the indoor lesson, students hiked through the natural areas looking for animal tracks, with a focus on the hardwood hammock habitat. Students tried to analyze which animal the scat belongs to by considering location, size, and contents. Inquiry Question: How can scat observations (independent variable) determine the animal identification or type of consumer (dependent) living in the hardwood hammock (parameters)?




Example 2: LAKE APOPKA WATER QUALITY FIELD STUDY


Students took a field trip to the North Apopka Shore. The SJRW Management team took all of the students and parents on a trip around the north of Lake Apopka and wetlands. They talked about water conservation, land conservation, and how the water was being cleaned. They took several stops for the students to see the water pumping stations and lake cleanup. Then their attention was focused on the plants and animals that use the lake. They also learned about all the new sightings of birds at the North Shore. Students conducted water quality testing of lake before and after the water pumping stations. Then they went back to class and summarized the data from the water samples. Inquiry Question: How does the water pumping station (independent variable) affect the water quality (dependent variable) of Lake Apopka (parameters)?




Example 3: BIRD FIELD STUDY


Students participated in a bird field study. After learning and studying about native birds in the Everglades, students were asked to identify the birds native to the school yard. Classes went outside around the school at different times of the day (front and back, within the sanctuary) to identify the birds within the environment. Students used Audubon of Florida Checklist of Florida Birds to document the birds identified. Students tracked for 1 month every other day at different times throughout the school day. After collecting the data, students compared the native birds found in the school yard to the native birds in the Everglades. Inquiry Question: Does the time of day (independent variable) affect the amount of native birds (dependent variable) found in the school yard (parameters)?




Example 4: HARDWOOD HAMMOCK WATER SAMPLE FIELD STUDY


Students took a trip to the Tibet-Butler Preserve and explored the hardwood hammock area of the park. We took water samples from different areas and looked at them under the microscope. We charted what type of animals we found in the different areas. Inquiry Question: Does the location (independent variable) affect the amount of living organisms (dependent) found in the water sample in the hardwood hammock (parameters)?




Not sure if you have a testable inquiry question for your field study or project?


Check out this guide to writing an inquiry-based question provided by Sea Grant, Michigan https://www.michiganseagrant.org/lessons/teacher-tools/guide-to-writing-an-inquiry-based-question/




Can't get outside? Click here for Odysssey Earth Virtual 360-Degree Videos and Field Observation Datasheets


*If you cannot get outside or be with your students for a field study, these Field Observation Datasheets are a great alternative to use over a digital platform. Follow along with Richard Kern from Odyssey Earth as he explores different habitats of the Everglades using a drone with a 360-degree camera. Click on the website: http://www.odysseyearth.com/video-category/everglades-360/ and explore the 360-degree videos on habitats such as the Cypress Dome, Mangrove Swamp, Sawgrass Prarie, Seagrass Meadow, and more! Use the cursor to scroll up, down, and all around to view the habitats. Each video comes with a field guide and scavenger hunt questions created by Odyssey Earth. Then, use our Field Observation Datasheets to complete a digital field study of the habitats (click on links below). Cypress Dome Field Datasheet Mangrove Fringe Field Datasheet Sawgrass Prairie Field Datasheet Seagrass Meadow Field Datasheet Teacher Guide with Answer Key





 
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Meet Our Champion Schools

2019-2020

 

Gold Level Schools

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Galaxy E3 Elementary - Palm Beach County

Gove Elementary - Palm Beach County

Grandview Preparatory School - Palm Beach County

Miami Lakes K-8 Center - Miami-Dade County

Millennia Gardens Elementary - Orange County

North Hialeah Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Ocean Studies Charter School - Monroe County

Pine Jog Elementary - Palm Beach County

Rock Springs Elementary - Orange County

Youth Co-Op Preparatory Charter School -Miami-Dade County

Silver Level Schools

AcadeMir Charter School West - Miami-Dade County

American Heritage School of Boca Delray -Palm Beach County

Bridges Montessori - Martin County

H.L. Johnson Elementary - Palm Beach County

Lake Stevens Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Norman S. Edelcup/Sunny Isles Beach K-8 -Miami-Dade County

Palm Beach Day Academy - Palm Beach County

Sheridan Hills Elementary - Broward County

Sunset Park Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Tildenville Elementary - Orange County

Wesley Chapel Elementary - Pasco County

Wyndham Lakes Elementary - Orange County

Zellwood Elementary - Orange County

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Bronze Level Schools

Bright Futures Academy - Palm Beach County

Central Park Elementary - Broward County

Fox Hollow Elementary - Pasco County

Gold Level Schools

Coral Reef Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Gove Elementary - Palm Beach County

Miami Lakes K-8 Center - Miami-Dade County

Millennia Gardens Elementary - Orange County

North Hialeah Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Youth Co-Op Preparatory Charter School -Miami-Dade County

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2018-2019

Bronze Level Schools

Bright Futures Academy - Palm Beach County

Central Park Elementary - Broward County

Fox Hollow Elementary - Pasco County

Christina M. Eve Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Forest Hill Elementary - Palm Beach County

Galaxy E3 Elementary - Palm Beach County

H.L. Johnson - Palm Beach County

Riverglades Elementary - Broward County

Rock Springs Elementary - Orange County

Sand Lake Elementary - Orange County

Sweetwater Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Zellwood Elementary - Orange County

Silver Level Schools

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Bronze Level Schools

American Heritage School of Boca/Delray - Palm Beach County

Central Park Elementary - Broward County

J.D. Parker Elementary - Martin County

Palm Beach Day Academy - Palm Beach County

Norman S. Edelcup/Sunny Isles Beach K-8 - Miami-Dade County

Sunset Park Elementary - Miami-Dade County

Wyndham Lakes Elementary - Orange County