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ELP forms new partnership with Manu Learning Center in Peru

ELP forms new partnership with Manu Learning Center in Peru to promote environmental education

Manu Learning Center buildings

The UO’s Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) has developed a new partnership with the Manu Learning Center (MLC), http://www.crees-manu.org/mlc_concept.htm, located in the rain forest near Cuzco, Peru. The partnership will enable the MLC to provide environmental data to an international audience and receive educational curricula to potentially be used by local Peruvian schools. In turn, the partnership will provide a new international component for the Environmental Leadership Program at the UO. The pilot year of the project will be funded by the T & J Meyer Family Foundation as part of a larger grant to the University of Oregon.

The idea is simple. MLC staff will collect baseline data from the rain forest on macaws, a threatened species. They will send the data to ELP staff in January 2008. UO undergraduates will take Katie Lynch’s Environmental Education course in winter term 2008 where they practice how to deliver high quality environmental education and how to evaluate effectiveness of their teaching.

The real work begins in spring term. UO students will work with 5th grade classes in six Eugene area schools to deliver a curriculum they have developed using the macaw data to illustrate ‘how science works’ and how the analysis of data can lead to new scientific findings. It is expected that approximately 180 5th graders will benefit from this exciting new program.

Once the teaching has been completed, the UO students will create a project website, powerpoint presentation and written final report describing the project and its results. UO faculty will also arrange for the curriculum to be translated into Spanish. These materials will then be shared with MLC partners for use in local Peruvian schools. There may also be an opportunity to develop a pen pal program between elementary students in the U.S. and Peru.

“This is a very exciting new development for ELP”, says Steve Mital, co-coordinator of ELP. “When Katie Lynch and I visited MLC last year we were welcomed with open arms. This new partnership allows us to take the concepts our students learn and apply them in an international context.  We’re really looking forward to using new technology to collaborate with organizations doing innovative work in far-flung places.”

ELP is a program of the Environmental Studies program at the University of Oregon. Contact Steve Mital 346-0591 for more information.