21st CCLC Summer Institute 2017, July 25-27. Philadelphia PA.

Hannah West

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Hannah West Ms. West is a career environmental educator with Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden in rural western Virginia near Lexington. In partnership with 12 local schools, Boxerwood is a locally based nonprofit organization that facilitates outdoor experiences for more than 2,500 K-12 students each year. Support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration B-WET program enables many of these students to pursue meaningful watershed education experiences.

In the past six years, Ms. West and her Boxerwood team have led nature-based programming for five unique 21st CCLC programs. These programs have been based on the grounds of the Nature Center, in schoolyards, in the community, and alongside local creeks and rivers. Ms. West enjoys connecting learners of all ages (including teachers) with inquiry-based, hands-on outdoor science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities. Acknowledging that working with afterschool populations can be challenging, she has found the opportunities to be invigorating and rewarding. The successes of these experiences demonstrate that high-quality outdoor learning is possible for any 21st CCLC program that partners with a strong, locally based environmental education provider.