Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Program

The Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher Program engages certified educators to share their successful strategies for implementing Long Island Sound into existing curricula with their peers in professional development workshops. All workshop lessons and activities designed for use in the classroom or field are aligned to the content standards of the Connecticut/New York Science Frameworks and/or the National Science Education Standards, in a format that can be easily implemented into existing curricula. The Long Island Sound Mentor Teachers plan interdisciplinary sessions that include a participant field component within the Long Island Sound watershed.

Fall 2022 Mentor Teacher Workshops:

Westchester County-

Join us on Sunday, October 23, from 9:30am to 3:30pm, for a teacher-led workshop at the Marine Education Center in Mamaroneck. Here the Long Island Sound will serve as inspiration for teachers to develop curricula that are student-centered, data driven, and engaging for learners both inside and outside the classroom! Participants will explore the natural landscape of the Sound and learn how students are leading the way in remediating observed human impacts. Information about current remediation projects will be shared by scientists and students, including oyster bed restoration and invasive species removal. Participants will learn how to facilitate opportunities for students to conduct their own research on the Long Island Sound. This workshop is free and designed for current classroom educators working with students in grades 4 -12. A total of 6 Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits can be earned. Register here or email [email protected] for more information. Space is limited. Registration is still OPEN!  

New York City –

Join New York Sea Grant on Saturday, October 8, from 9:30am to 3:30pm, at the PS 175 City Island, for our teacher-led workshop “Sea of Change” focusing on our local Long Island Sound estuary habitats, water quality, and impacts caused by climate change. Learn how to engage students in hands-on, STEM focused marine education, explore the local oyster research stations with our partners at City Island Oyster Reef, and bring back materials to facilitate water studies in your classroom. Participants will learn about local resources, organization, and projects to give students meaningful, locally based, environmental stewardship opportunities. This workshop is designed for current classroom educators working with students in grades 4 -12. This workshop is free and a total of 6 Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits can be earned. Registration is available here or email [email protected] for more information. Space is limited. Register today! 

Long Island –

Join us on Saturday, October 1, from 9:00am to 2:30pm, for a teacher-led workshop at The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay! The hands-on workshop will offer phenomenon-based lessons centered around water quality issues in Long Island waters and include resources, goodies, and on-the-field activities. Activities will include rain garden and runoff labs, a nitrogen cycle game, eelgrass tortilla-making, and water quality testing. Plus, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to board the oyster sloop Christeen for an end-of-the-day sail on the Sound.

This workshop is free and designed for upper elementary and high school teachers. Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits and participation certificates are both available upon request for interested attendees. Registration is currently full; please email Jimena at [email protected] to be put on the waitlist.

Connecticut –

Join us on Saturday, October 1, from 9:00am to 3:00pm for the Long Island Sound in your Classroom!

We will start the morning at The Norwalk Seaport Association’s Office, where we will learn about planning a trip to do ecological studies, data collection, and water analysis. Then we will depart for the Norwalk Seaport Association dock and take their boat to Sheffield Island, where we will tour the lighthouse and implement the lessons learned in the classroom. Learn about the Maritime history of Norwalk’s Harbor and make curricular connections with Next Generation Science Standards such as HS LS2-6 , DCI LS2.A – Interdependent Relationships, DCI LS2. C – Ecosystem Dynamics, DCI LS4.D – Biodiversity and Humans and CCC Stability and Change, Systems and System Models.

At this teacher-led workshop, attendees will:
● View and identify a wide variety of bird species on the journey to Sheffield island.
● Discuss the adaptations that have allowed various species to thrive in Norwalk’s Harbor.
● Tour of the lighthouse and learn about the history of the island and the lighthouse keepers
● Explore the coast line and view, sketch or collect and identify a wide variety of Shells, Crabs, Seaweeds, and other small organisms
● Take water samples and discuss water quality
● Investigate, explore and compare the variety of estuary ecosystems present on the island
including the salt marsh, rocky shore and sandy shore.
● Discuss the importance of each ecosystem and the impact humans have on those systems
● See one of the largest Osprey nests atop the boat ramp to the island
● Pull a plankton net and a seine net observe and identify plankton species present
● Do a crab count of local crabs by size, species and sex.
● Sample a variety of lessons for students k-12 and provide feedback for the Seaport Association.

NOTE: This workshop requires a payment of $10 to attend. Space is limited. To register, fill out the google form HERE, after which time you will receive details on how to pay via check or Venmo.

If you have any questions about the LIS Mentor Teacher program or workshops, or you have a workshop idea you would like to share in the future, please contact Jimena Perez-Viscasillas, LISS Outreach Coordinator, at j[email protected] or 631-632-8730. For NYC/Westchester County contact  Lillit Genovesi [email protected] or 718-595-3954. For Connecticut, contact Diana Payne at [email protected].

Past Workshops

From Your Yard To The River: Teacher Workshop for Upper Elementary and Middle School Teachers
Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 9:00am-1:30pm, with optional seining until 2pm. Marine Environmental Stewardship Center, Cedar Beach, 231 Harbor Beach Road, Mount Sinai NY 11766.

Plot Studies Of Coastal Ecosystems on Long Island’s North Shore
Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 9:00am-3:00pm. Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, Sands Point, NY.

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mighty Nissequogue
Saturday, August 11th from 8:30am-2:30pm. Paul Givens County Park Smithtown, NY. Followed by a trip to Sunken Meadow State Park.

Be in the K.N.O.W.
Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Northport High School 154 Laurel Hill Rd. Northport, NY 11768. Followed by a site visit to Twin Ponds in Northport.

Geo-science Outdoor Research Program
Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 9am-3pm
Stony Brook University’s Calverton Business Incubator in Calverton, NY followed by a site visit to Wildwood State Park in Wading River, NY

Long Island Sound: Past, Present, and Future
Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 9am-3pm
Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, NY followed by a site visit to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Norwalk, CT

Long Island Sound Workshop
Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 8am-3pm
Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT

Geo-science Outdoor Research Program
Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 9am-3pm
Stony Brook University’s Calverton Business Incubator in Calverton, NY followed by a site visit to Wildwood State Park in Wading River, NY

Seine the Sound
Friday, September 26, 2014 from 8:45am-3:15pm
Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT

Marine Debris
Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 9:00am-3:00pm
Pelham Bay Park in Bronx, NY

Learning’s a Beach
Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 9am-3pm (rain date: September 29th)
West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook, NY

Seine the Sound
Monday, September 23, 2013 from 9am-3pm
Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT

Awesome Estuaries
Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 9am-3pm (rain date: September 22nd)
Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY

Seine the Sound
Friday, September 21, 2012
Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT

Marsh Madness
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park, NY

Teach at the Beach
Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 8am-3pm (rain date: May 19th)
Wading River Beach Club, Creek Road in Wading River, NY

Watershed Connection Workshop
Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 8am–2pm (rain date: Sunday May 15)
Caleb Smith State Park in Smithtown, NY

Seine the Sound
Friday, May 6, 2011 from 8:30am–3pm
Meigs Point, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, CT

Wonders of the Wetlands Workshop
Saturday, April 30, 2011 from 9am–3pm (rain date: Sunday, May 1)
Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai, NY

Integrate Long Island Sound Into Your Curriculum 
Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 8am–3pm
Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT

Teach at the Beach, Sail on the Sound!
Saturday, May 21, 2010 from 8am–3pm
Lighthouse Point Park/On-Board the Quinnipiack

Background

Connecticut Sea Grant developed the Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher (LISMT) program in 2002. Since then, high quality, creative, and respected teachers have been recruited to assist their peers in incorporating Long Island Sound content into curricula within the scope of the current education standards, which are now the Next Generation Science Standards. In 2010, the LISMT program was expanded to New York through New York Sea Grant. Since 2002, the 53 LISMT workshops in CT and NY have utilized 59 Mentor Teachers to reach 684 formal and informal K-12 educators, and through them, more than 54,860 students in over 101 Connecticut and 27 New York cities, towns, and regional school districts.

Mentor Teachers

New York and Connecticut Sea Grant periodically seek pairs of teachers to serve as Mentor Teachers. With oversight from Sea Grant, each pair works together to plan a professional development session for their peers. There is funding for each pair to provide an outdoor component (shore or boat excursion) as part of the session. Each Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher receives a stipend and Long Island Sound resources for their classrooms. Please contact Diana Payne at [email protected] (CT) or Jimena Perez-Viscasillas at [email protected] (NY) for more details on how to apply to be a Long Island Sound Mentor Teacher.

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