Education is a key part of the FIPR Institute’s mission. Legislators intended the Institute to be a place people could turn to for information on phosphate issues. Traditionally, the Institute has focused its education efforts on technical workshops and conferences local, regional and international. In 1997, the FIPR Board decided to expand the Institute’s educational efforts to include teachers and students in grades K-12, and the Education Program formally began.
FIPR Institute’s varied research reflects the many integrated academic subject areas that naturally illustrate benchmarks children must master according to the Florida Next-Generation Sunshine State and Common Core Standards. A dragline, for example, illustrates concepts of force and motion, while listening and speaking skills can be polished in a debate about future land uses for permitting and mining. Even in the earliest grades, concepts such as plants and animals needing food and certain habitat characteristics to thrive can provide an opportunity to tie the classroom to the local topic of phosphate.
STEM, STEAM, STREAM…and everything in between!
The FIPR Institute’s Education Program is known for using the Institute’s scientific expertise, research and phosphate information to reinforce Florida’s K-12 Next-Generation Sunshine State and Common Core Standards in math, science, language arts and social studies. Since 2011, the Education Program has been a local leader in advocating, developing, and delivering training on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) lessons and activities. Further subject integration has resulted in the development of STEAM (to include the arts) and STREAM (to include reading) lessons that keep the FIPR Institute’s Education Program on the cutting edge of instructional methods.
Educator Professional Development:
Workshops, trainings, and consultations are all ways in which the Education Program can help teachers gain professional development. Please check the “News and Events” listing for a current list of upcoming professional development opportunities with the FIPR Institute.
The annual Summer Workshop for Teachers is a mainstay of the FIPR Institute’s educator professional development training efforts. Participants in this one-week intensive workshop include teachers from kindergarten through high school, representing all subject areas. Technical and scientific experts teach workshop participants about phosphate from its geologic origin and history in Florida, to the way it is mined and processed and how the mined land is reclaimed. Field trips and hands-on activities then allow teachers to experience first-hand what they learn in the classroom. Education experts from the FIPR Institute and area schools then show the participants how the information correlates to the current Standards they teach, ranging from expository writing, research and graphing to physics, chemistry, biology, history and economics.
In-classroom Educational Outreach:
The Education Program of the FIPR Institute offers other educational and training resources, such as in-school workshops, activities and traveling libraries, for K-12 students and their teachers.
The FIPR Institute also publishes teaching units that were created with mini-grants and have been successfully pilot tested.
- Ammonium Phosphate Crystals
- Survival: The Gopher Tortoise Game
- Bird Seed Phosphate Mining Student Guide
- Colorimeter Lab Demonstration
- Cookie Mining
- GPS Technology and Phosphate Mining
- Midas Miners Activity
- Making Fossil Imprints
- Making a Timeline Rope
- Ore Body Battleship
- A Paste with a Taste
- Reclamation Rangers
- Florida’s Changing Shape
- Florida’s Ancient Oceans
- The Stuff of Life-DNA
- How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Identifying Rocks and Minerals
- Neutralization of Pond Water
- Phosphate: A Florida Resource Mined for Math
- Soil Analysis Rapitest
- Soil Analysis LaMotte
- The Art and Science of Gyotaku (Fish Prints)
- Phosphate Mining: Borrowed Land
- Phosphate Mining and Reclamation
- Prehistoric Florida, Fossils and Phosphate