Thursday, May 1st, 2014, 4:30-5:30 Central Time. Earth Partnership Teacher Presentations. For this webinar, teachers taking this course will share insights about outdoor learning taking place at their school. Presenters include Chad Seagrist and Mircea Gui from the Detroit Institute of Technology (DIT) at Cody; Hope McCarthy, Cathy Kitterman, Fran O'Brien, Wendy Kirk, and Sue Carpenter from Ringwood School Primary Center near Chicago; and Regina Mueller from Beach Park Middle School, also near Chicago.

Detroit Institute of Technology at Cody

Chad Seagrist is the lead science teacher and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEaM) Coordinator at the Detroit Institute of Technology @ Cody High School. Chad has worked on projects that include urban forestry, investigating climate change and remote sensing, full-scale and mini- innovative vehicle design, underwater submersibles, engineering, and eco-activism. Presently, he is leading an on-site project called the Gardens @ DIT. It involves student-led components ranging from seed propagation to outdoor classroom construction. This transformational collegial effort is on-going!
Chad picture.jpg

Mircea (Mitch) Gui is a native of Romania who immigrated to the United States in the early 1990’s. In Romania, he graduated from the University of Oradea in 1983 with a degree in Physical Therapy and Sports. For the past 15 years, Mitch has worked as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, serving in some of the most challenged inner-city schools. He is currently a Biology teacher at Detroit Institute of Technology at Cody, a relatively new college preparatory high school with a goal of graduating at least 80% of students on time and prepared for college. He has been involved in sponsoring various STEM-related clubs and activities for his students, including a greenhouse and garden, and he has been part of the DIT Leadership Team.

Click here to see a video made by DIT senior Royce Williams, about the school and surrounding neighborhood, including a school garden project made possible in part by the Earth Partnership program.

Ringwood School Primary Center

Hope McCarthy, Cathy Kitterman, Wendy Kirk and Fran O’Brien are all teachers at Ringwood School Primary Center in the Johnsburg School District in Illinois near the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Sue Carpenter volunteers her knowledge and expertise as “Professor Prairie” in the Ringwood classrooms. Professor Sue was the photographer and chief editor for the presentation. Fran, Cathy, Sue and Hope together formed a team for an Earth Partnership Summer 2012 Institute. In September of 2012, the team engaged in many STEM related activities and established the on-site Ringwood Prairie Garden in May of 2013. Wendy joined the group inspired by the outdoor EPS activities integrated across the curriculum. Their classes have enjoyed many EPS activities including Observations from a Single Spot, Noting Notable Features, Soil Texture Feel Test, Measuring Slope, Prairie Species Selection, and Preparation and Planting a Prairie Garden. Over the past several years they have taken graduate courses through the McHenry County Conservation District and shared this knowledge with their students. They want to thank Mary Kozub, McHenry County Conservation District Education Outreach Coordinator and Steve Laubach and Claire Shaller, Earth Partnership for all their encouragement in bringing outdoor education to teachers and students.
L-R: Hope McCarthy, Cathy Kitterman, Wendy Kirk, Fran O'Brien, and Sue Carpenter.
L-R: Hope McCarthy, Cathy Kitterman, Wendy Kirk, Fran O'Brien, and Sue Carpenter.

Beach Park Middle School

Regina Mueller has worked as a 7th grade Special Education Teacher at Beach Park (IL) Middle School for the past twelve years. She received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts from Millikin University in Decatur, IL in Art with concentrations in painting, drawing, ceramics, and commercial art in 1980. She received her Master's in Special Education in 2005 from Dominican University. She has been an Earth Partnership for Schools teacher for four years and volunteered at Pohickory Nature Preserve of Newport Township for eleven years. She founded The Prairie Club four years ago. Besides believing in the importance of environmental preservation she is an avid sewer, creates native plant gardens for friends and family, has two children in college, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Contact Info and Powerpoints
DIT presenters: Chad Seagrist,

Beach Park Middle School presenter: Regina Mueller,

Ringwood Primary Center presenters: Hope McCarthy,

Webinar Recording
(Please contact Claire Shaller,, if you are having any problems accessing this file)

Discussion Question
Thank you to tonight's presenters for bravely offering to share their projects with the rest of the group using a new technology. Our discussion thread for this final webinar is an open response format. Please post your thoughts/questions on one or more of the presentations.

(from Ashley Okel): YouTube video demonstrating how to make tote bags out of recycled plastic bags: