CSI-Osceola: Creative Science Investigations at the Waterfront - An Osceola County Invasive Aquatic Plant Teacher Workshop

July 28-August 1, 2008     9 am - 4 pm

PURPOSE:  Provide teachers with expanded content knowledge and laboratory/field experience in the area of aquatic (and upland) plant biology and ecology. Participants will learn new investigative and instructional methods for exploring and teaching about Florida's diverse native, non-native and invasive plant communities. Participants will also assist in developing curricula and research projects. Professional development points (CEUs) will be provided upon completion of the 4 days of instruction and activities. Goal: Inspire educators to take this information back to their students and teach with renewed enthusiasm and inspiration!
Note: All lessons/activities developed and/or utilized by the CAIP Education Initiative support the need for teachers and students to meet Florida Sunshine State Standards.

Dates: July 28 - 31, 2008

Suggested number of teachers: 15

WE PROVIDE: meals, drinks, stipend and loads of educational materials                    


  • camera / binoculars
  • in-service paperwork
  • hat / sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • Loose-fitting shorts or slacks
  • long-sleeve shirt for sun protection
  • water shoes

July 28 (Monday)      Aquatic plant field trip 
Location:  East Lake Fish Camp • 3705 Big Bass Rd Kissimmee, FL 34744 • (407) 348-2040 •
See link for directions: http://www.eastlakefishcamp.net/Directions.html

9:00 a – 9:30 a

Meeting room @ store/café: Welcome, orientation; pre-test; boating safety, etc. (Eleanor Foerste)

9:30 a – 11:45 a

Airboat tour of East Lake Toho; hands-on aquatic plant identification/discussion of Florida’s freshwater habitats and impacts being made by hydrilla and hygrophila infestations.       

    • Ken Langeland (UF/IFAS) Ecology of native vs invasive plants
    • Ed Harris (FWC) A day in the life of a plant manager; user conflicts, snail kites, etc.
    • Sarah Berger (UF/IFAS) Lake research and data collection
11:45 a – 12:00 p

Restroom break

12:00 p – 12:40 p Lunch (provided): Boggy Creek Fish Camp Café
12:45 p – 1:00 p to the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative (Amy Richard)
1:00 p – 1:30 p

Ed Harris – FWC (on behalf of Jeff Schardt) PowerPoint presentation: challenges faced by plant managers AND citizens of Florida

1:30 p – 3:00 p Invaders new media presentation and curricula development (Amy Richard)
3:00 p – 4:00 p

Hydrilla game activity (Amy Giannotti – FWC Regional Biologist)


July 29 (Tues)            Why Do We Need to Manage Invasive Plants?  

AM Location: St. Cloud Lakefront 1104 Lakeshore Blvd St Cloud FL 34769 See directions on this page: http://www.stcloud.org/index.asp?SID=417 Parking lot between New York and Michigan Avenues. Meet at pavilion to the west (left) of the boat ramp.

PM Location: Peghorn Nature Park 2101 Peghorn Way St Cloud FL 34769 (entrance @ corner of Budinger and 17th St) (407) 957-7189 http://www.stcloud.org/index.asp?SID=439

9:00 a – 9:10 a

Meet in front of banquet hall/restaurant building: Housekeeping/announcements, etc. (Eleanor Foerste)

9:15 a – 10:45 a

Plant Identification on a lake shoreline (pond or stormwater ditch): locating easily accessible plant samples for student activities (Dr. Ken Langeland — UF/IFAS CAIP)

10:45 a – 11:00 a

BREAK (restroom) and move to Peghorn Nature Park (see address above)

11:00 p – 12:00 p

Upland Plant ID by Ken Langeland @ Peghorn Nature Trail (meet @ trail entrance)

12:00 p -- 12:40 p Box lunch (provided) at Peghorn Education Center
12:45 p — 1:15  p

First-hand experience with invasive plant research in Osceola County (Sarah Berger)

1:15 p – 2:15 p

Why Manage Invasive Plants? Discuss new media presentation/web (Amy Richard)

2:15 p – 2:25 p


2:25 p – 4:00 p

Plant ID Challenge Activity: Teachers identify plants using new knowledge and assist in  Curricula Development (Amy Richard)


July 30 (Wed)              Develop Curricula   

Location: School District Computer Lab • Blue Lab 1089 Michigan Avenue St. Cloud FL 34769 (NE corner of Michigan Avenue and 11th Street)

9:00 a  – 9:10 a

Housekeeping/announcements, etc. (Eleanor Foerste)

9:10 a – 10:15 a

A Fish Tale new media presentation/lesson (i.e., dissolved oxygen and plants in Florida’s freshwater lakes); discuss materials needed to accompany lesson.

10:15 a – 10:25 a


10:30 a – 12: 15 p

Use the latest new media technologies to inspire students to create PSAs, virtual posters, and other cool graphic communications. Teachers prepare audio/visual lessons about the problems caused from invasive, non-native plants. VIEW SAMPLES: DEP PSA samples/YouTube, etc. (Phil Chiocchio/Ringling School of Art and Design and Nick Burch/Digital Three Studios).

12:15 p – 1:00 p Lunch (provided)
1:00 p – 4:00 p

Project WILD: Aquatic and upland invasive species (Lori Haynes/FWC)


July 31 (Thurs)            Develop Curricula 
Location: Osceola County Extension Office • 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane • Kissimmee, FL 34744 • See directions at this link: http://osceola.ifas.ufl.edu • (321) 697-3000

9:00 a – 10:00 p

Invasive Species impacts to Ecosystems Activity: Tour and practice invasive species identification. Conduct Plant Diversity study with quadrant analysis to integrate math and science skills.

10:00 a – 12:00 p   

Project WILD training: Aquatic ecosystem activity: combining plants and animals for lessons about invasive species. (Lori Haynes / FWC)

12:00 p – 12:45 p

LUNCH (provided)

12:45 p – 1:45 p

Aquatic WILD activity – curriculum adaptations (Lori Haynes / FWC)

1:45 p – 3:30 p 

Additional UF/IFAS 4/H School Enrichment Resources to supplement classroom activities

3:30 p – 4:00 p 

Post-tests, evaluations and Presentation of Certificates of Completion

Questions? Call Eleanor Foerste’s cell phone at 407-908-4379

Eleanor C. Foerste
Faculty, Natural Resources
UF/IFAS Osceola County Extension
1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744
321-697-3010 fax

Helping residents understand and act on natural resources issues including green building, local ecosystems,  wildlife, pond management, air quality and water quality.