Welcome everyone, I’m Jeanne McCarty and I’m the CEO here at Out Teach, a national organization that is built to inspire and prepare today’s elementary students to become the next generation of fearless innovators.

We are designed by teachers for teachers and we support teachers in a number of ways.

From personalized coaching to professional learning communities that we host and other supports like open education resources available to all, to enhance any curricula that you have.

We also build enhance outdoor spaces that transform the outdoors into active learning labs through collaborative partnerships with schools and districts and others across the country. Together we’re just creating a world where every student can step into the wonder of science inspiring new ideas and proceeds to solve the many challenges that we will face in years to come, so today we’re so excited to be joined by some amazing educational experts and practitioners from across the country, all of them are using the outdoors to improve educational outcomes for students.

We all know that when students are more engaged in the learning and when they’re directing their own learning that they’re much more likely to succeed.

Let me share a little bit about what’s to come and then we’ll kick off our panel.

First we’ll discuss the National Movement. Everyone here is aware of that during the pandemic schools started to explore the potential of learning outdoors expanding upon what was our an already existing national movement, but it gained so much momentum.

And to speak to that point we’re honored to welcome Shital Shah from the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Education, where she’s a Director of Strategic Partnerships.  She’ll share why the Department of Education is prioritizing and supporting outdoor learning.

Then we’re going to hear some examples of how outdoor learning expand students horizons well beyond what’s possible indoors.

So every student can experience that kind of learning that broadens their opportunities in the short term and in the long term.  So on that front, Grace Manubay is here from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education and she’ll share how and why her agency has invested in outdoor learning spaces, as well as professional learning for teachers across the city here in the district of Columbia.

Then, we’ll hear more about how outdoor learning sparks inspiration for students.

At Out Teach, we believe that every teacher can be THAT teacher, that one that children remember throughout the course of their lives if they have the right, supports and the right tools so we’re lucky to have.

Three of those teachers here with us today so first is Katie West and she’s joining from Portland Maine.  She’s going to show us how she uses outdoor learning to support to spark inspiration for all students across all subjects and and some of the most severe weather conditions possible.

Then, two of my team members Tina Hein and Dr. Jarri Goodman will share what it is about learning outdoors that makes it so much more effective in teaching math and teaching literacy and then especially teaching science and stem.

Then, to close this out we’ll see how a school district in Georgia integrates outdoor learning and early stem and science instruction to change what’s possible for students.

Science has a long track record of transforming the impossible into reality, but it does take a generation of dreamers, thinkers, and doers to make good on that promise purposes.

I’m excited about these speakers it’s a really great group that we have so I’d like to get started, and to kick us off please welcome Shital Shah, the Director of strategic partnerships at the office of the US Secretary.

Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.