*Date Change* DEP Celebrates Ten Years of LIFE Program

Jan. 13, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Education and Sustainable Initiatives is hosting the 10th Anniversary of the Learning in Florida’s Environment (LIFE) Program along with the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and Franklin County School District on Jan. 16 at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve.

In the last 10 years, the LIFE program has reached more than 33,000 middle school students and teachers with real world STEM-learning opportunities in Florida’s unique public lands. The goals of the LIFE program include increasing student achievement in science, strengthening teacher capacity for inquiry-based instruction and preparing students for future careers in STEM fields.

Franklin County was the first LIFE program site established in 2005. That pilot-project site has continued uninterrupted, becoming a model for a sustainable “Green STEM” partnership. Over the last 10 years, 23 additional LIFE program sites have been started at various locations across the state.

“The LIFE program has become a model for environmental education on public conservation lands across the nation,” Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Education Director Greg Ira said. “We are excited to recognize the pioneering role Franklin County Schools have had in the successful trajectory of this award-winning program.”

The event is free, and no registration is required. Those attending are asked to meet in the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve parking lot at noon, where they will then drive to the LIFE site to observe 7th grade students from ABC Charter School conducting field labs. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and will be held at the buffer preserve meeting area. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

WHAT:   Ten Year Anniversary of the LIFE Program

WHEN:   Friday, Jan. 16, 2015
               Noon to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve Center
               3915 State Road 30-A
               Port St. Joe, FL 32456

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