CCJSHS Teacher Selected to Attend Keystone Science School

Allison Thomas Will Attend Key Issues Institute
Posted on 05/16/2016

Allyson Thomas, a teacher at Crescent City Jr.-Sr. High School, has been selected by Georgia-Pacific to attend Keystone Science School’s 2016 Key Issues Institute: Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom, this summer in Silverthorne, Colorado.  

Held every June and July, the Key Issues program brings together K-12 educators from around the world for a highly interactive four and a half-day workshop. The program is designed to help teachers of all subjects build students’ critical thinking skills while also reinforcing teachers’ confidence and skills in bringing environmental issues and STEM-based principles (science, technology, engineering and math) into the classroom. Teachers learn to present scientific concepts in an unbiased way to their students while discovering ways to make environmental issues and STEM interesting and engaging.

Thomas is one of 17 teachers sponsored to attend Key Issues from Georgia-Pacific’s facility communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

“Georgia-Pacific is proud to support educators by helping them highlight important environmental issues in engaging and creative ways,” said Kevin Curry, vice president, Palatka Operations. “The Keystone Science School program gives teachers the chance to learn about environmental issues first-hand and it also provides tools they can use to share these important lessons with the students in our local community year after year.”

At Key Issues, teachers work in teams to solve “real-life” scenarios such as investigating the source of a town’s health epidemic, testing water quality of a nearby river and building a sustainable cable-car model. Teachers bring home lesson plans and lab kits to apply what they’ve learned to their local classrooms. The institute also coordinates ongoing support from other educators and instructors online.

Since 1997, Georgia-Pacific has sponsored nearly 200 teachers from its facility communities across the country to attend Keystone Science School.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected by Georgia-Pacific to attend the Keystone Science Key Issues Institute. I am continually looking for ways to increase engagement and provide unique science-related experiences in my classroom,” Thomas said. “I believe humans should be good stewards of the Earth we inhabit. In order to practice good stewardship, we must be familiar with the issues affecting the environment and work together to create solutions. I look forward to learning new information and strategies that will deepen my understanding of environmental issues and, as a result, enhance the education experience for my students.”