Extension internship

Transformative Life Experiences with Environmental Education

nrca students in waterUConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) offers several educational programs for both children and adults, including the Conservation Ambassador Program, Conservation Partnership program, and Teacher Professional Learning program. Environmental education is a crucial part of working towards a more sustainable world. The first step in making positive environmental changes both locally and worldwide is making sure that the public is knowledgeable on issues and their possible solutions.

This summer, I am working with the NRCA as their Environmental Education Intern through the UConn Extension program. In this position I will help organize and teach the UConn Pre-College Summer Environmental Conservation course. This involves preparing lessons and activities for high school students covering a range of topics such as green infrastructure, forestry, wildlife techniques, and water quality. Through this program, I hope to inspire students to continue their education in environmental topics, and also to place value on conservation and sustainability issues. At the end of the program, the students will have come up with an environmental project to complete in their own community. I hope that through this position I will push future college students to continue to value the environment and take action in their communities. In addition to preparing materials for the course, I am also assisting NRCA with analyzing databases with information on programs from the previous years, to be able to better understand participation, demographics, and project topics. This will help NRCA create informed goals when it comes to improving their programs and catering them to the public.

By Abigail Bar, UConn Extension Intern

Learning by Doing with Heather Wirth, Extension Intern

My name is Heather Wirth, and I am excited to be an intern this summer through UConn Extension. I am working with UConn 4-H – Tolland County to plan this year’s edition of 4-H Food Revolution. My job is to create a curriculum for a four day youth summer program as well as recruiting participants. During this program youth ages seven to eleven are given the opportunity to experience hands-on learning by partaking in STEM activities relating to preparation of food, gardening, and sustainable living. This program is an important enrichment opportunity for children during the summer, and it creates a foundation for healthy living habits as well as awareness of ecological topics. Food Revolution is a fun way to connect with youth about important environmental matters and to get them out in the field to experience exciting topics.The Food Revolution program also includes lessons and activities to get children started on a Junior Master Gardener certification. I hope to make an impact on the youth of my community by providing an exciting program that sparks curiosity and lifelong learning. 

During this internship, I am working on general recruitment of new members for Tolland County 4-H. By utilizing community based outreach, my goal is to spread awareness about getting involved in 4-H in order to bring in new adult volunteers as well as more youth participants. There are a vast array of ways for people to get involved and I would like to show those who are interested that they can bring valuable knowledge and skills to the 4-H community. I would like to implement educational sessions and resources (such as brochures and social media posts) to a broad audience to spur the interest of newcomers to the organization. Another major component of my internship program is to facilitate the Tolland County 4-H Fair in August. In preparation for the event I will serve as a resource for the youth participants, assist the fair board, and conduct general organization.