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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Meraux Foundation Invites Teachers to Participate in the Mississippi River Delta Institute June 13-15

MRDI provides a field-based opportunity to inspire, educate, and prepare teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through experiential, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds. 

Photo Courtesy of Meraux Foundation

Contributed by Meraux Foundation

Teachers in St. Bernard and neighboring parishes are invited and encouraged to participate in this year’s Mississippi River Delta Institute, a professional development program taking place June 13-15. 

“This annual professional development program gathers teachers from near the river’s delta and its headwaters and helps them incorporate outdoor learning into their classrooms,” said Bill Haines, a board member of the Meraux Foundation. “From canoeing along the coast to visiting some of the world’s most complex flood prevention systems, this is an engaging educational opportunity that’s also lots of fun. We invite any teachers interested to apply before time runs out.”

Alecia Desselle, the St. Bernard Elementary Teacher of the Year and a veteran of the program, said MRDI had a huge impact on both her career and her life.

“I know that when teachers hear the term ‘professional development’ they are immediately turned off. I just don’t think they realize this is not your typical PD but a life changing experience,” said Desselle.

She said the hands-on learning and the excursions that are an integral part of the program are truly inspiring. “This program really helped me to engage my students in a variety of STEM disciplines. I encourage all of my colleagues to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.” 

Mandy Nguen, a stand-out teacher at Lacoste Elementary, echoed those sentiments. 

“I have had the pleasure of completing the institute four times now and every time I begin, I wonder if I will be able to finish with new takeaways. And I have each and every time! From the connections that I have made to the activities that I have taken back to the classroom, this institute can be altered to fit our science curriculum in any grade level and will add additional background knowledge that our students can benefit from.”

Nguen also applied what she learned at MRDI across her classroom curriculum.

“I have been able to use the stem activities we conducted during the institute and connected them to our social studies curriculum when teaching about the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas,” she said. “I highly recommend this professional development to anyone who may be interested in a few days of hands-on learning and fun!

MRDI provides a field-based opportunity to inspire, educate, and prepare teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through experiential, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds.  

Learn more and apply at merauxfoundation.org/river.

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