Pitt-Bradford education students create educators’ guides for local sites
BRADFORD, Pa. – Education and Hospitality Management students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford have teamed up with the Allegheny National Visitors Bureau to create curriculum resource guides that help educators make the most of a class trip to area sites.
Students presented their most recent guides for the Longhouse National Scenic Byway today (April 24, 2014) to a group of nearly three dozen business and tourism professionals taking part in the ANF Vacation Bureau’s “Backyard Tour” of the region.
The guides include activities to complete with students in grades 5 through 8 or secondary students before, during and after a visit. Individual students focused on different stops, drawing on their own expertise to design lessons and provide resources to teach students about the history and ecology of the area. The guide focused on four stops along the byway: Kinzua Point, the Old Powerhouse, Red Bridge and the U.S. Forest Service Ranger Station.
Jude Harter, a social studies education 7-12 major from Clarendon, prepared activities for Kinzua Point and the Old Powerhouse, including information on how different groups of people might view the forest and reservoir, such as a logger, early settler, angler, U.S. Army Corps engineer or 1960s resident of the town of Kinzua.
He includes information about Seneca Chief Cornplanter, an activity to write a letter to President John F. Kennedy about the construction of the Kinzua Dam (and a link to information about President Kennedy if they’re too young to know who he is), and a worksheet for students to keep track of sensory details they observe during their visit.
Andrew Kinney, a biology education 7-12 major from Port Allegany, created a section of the guide focusing on how humans have affected the national forest. Activities include learning about fire ecology and comparing and contrasting articles about the practice written from the perspective of a national newspaper versus a trade publication.
In information about forestry, Kinney suggests having students bring in things from home that are made of wood and researching what type of tree they may have come from. Allan Miller, a social studies education 7-12 major from Jamestown, N.Y., and Katharine O’Neil, a social studies education 7-12 major from Arnold presented resources for a visit to the ranger station on Route 59, including information about what types of jobs are available in the forest.
The education students also worked with students in Pitt-Bradford’s hospitality management program, who researched the logistics of a field trip. They provided a map, information on the time and mileage from one spot to another, and suggested places for a picnic lunch or to add other stops such as the Kinzua Bridge State Park Skywalk to the trip.
Available in pdf format, educators can either use the guide online with the benefits of links or choose pages to print to fit their own purposes. Best of all, students have researched which Pennsylvania Common Core standards are addressed by each activity.
Although designed for educators, the guides have activities relevant for families taking a day trip or camping in the forest. This is the third guide produced by students of Dr. Wayne Brinda, assistant professor of education and director of teacher education. Earlier guides provide educational resources for the Eldred World War II Museum and the Penn Brad Oil Museum
Another guide focusing on wilderness areas in the ANF is planned for next year.
The Longhouse guide should be available on the ANF Visitors Bureau’s website by the end of July. Earlier guides can be viewed there now at visitanf.com/group-school-programming-opportunities.