Local teacher participates in Tallgrass Prairie Fireworks training

Matchstick prairies and fire trees, avatars and population ecology, story maps and tribal sovereignty- all were integrated into the recent Tallgrass Prairie FireWorks teacher training held July 31-Aug 1 near Milford, Kansas. Recreated and adapted from the original U.S. Forest Service’s FireWorks curriculum for the Northern Rockies Ecosystem, educators engaged in activities and discussion as they were introduced to concepts and activities relating to prescribed burning in the tallgrass prairie. Perusal of lesson plans, student activities, and hands-on demonstrations filled the day-long training session. Participants left with ideas and information for instilling fire education in their biology, agricultural education, and natural resources outreach classes and programs.
Those attending the training were Anita DeWeese, USD 438 Skyline, Jennifer Karr, USD 383 Manhattan, Colleen Hampton, Manhattan Catholic Schools, Kim Bellemere, Grassland Heritage Foundation, Nikole Caine, USD 435 Abilene, Laura Klenda, USD 397 Centre, Marlin Burcham, USD 465 Winfield, Pam Walker, Wilson County Conservation District, Melissa Wahl, Riley County Farm Bureau, and William Welch, Bishop Carroll High School.
Comments after the training validated the value of spending a day in the classroom. “The technology skills I learned are invaluable,” said one participant. “The application of this training is so highly applicable. From STEM to Vo Ag, these lessons can be applied in many settings.” Another participant appreciated “fully thought out plans that I can use. Easily integrated into my current curriculum.”
The Tallgrass Prairie FireWorks curriculum was a project of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange located at Kansas State University, one of 15 regional Fire Exchanges that are part the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP). The Joint Fire Science Program is dedicated to supplying high-quality science information to support decision making related to wildland fire, both wildfires and prescribed burning.