The DEP is the proud sponsor of four nationally recognized, award winning curriculum supplements - Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, Aquatic WILD and Project WET. Each uses a natural resource - the forest, wildlife, aquatic areas or water - as foundations to teach about ecology; human impacts; conservation management and planning; uses of the resource; pollution; and, other related issues. Each supplement is designed for use with students in pre-school through the secondary grades, in indoor and outdoor settings, and in all types of environments. Developed and evaluated by teachers, administrators and natural resource professionals nationwide, these supplements are cross-referenced with the State Core Curriculum Content Standards and complement most lesson plans, instructional units and textbooks used by New Jersey teachers. The activities are interdisciplinary, incorporate a variety of learning styles and instructional strategies, strengthen creative and critical thinking skills and require minimal preparation.
Full-day interactive workshops for each supplement are offered and available year-round and state-wide, and at minimal costs. While sponsored by DEP, the workshops are usually hosted by public and private schools, businesses, organizations and nature centers. Participants receive one activity guide and standards correlation matrix, along with New Jersey - specific supplemental materials. Specifics about the Projects are contained in this section.
The DEP sponsors Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) in cooperation with the New Jersey Audubon Society. Project WET is a nationally renowned program that offers teachers a better understanding about the world's water resources through hands-on, multi-disciplinary lessons. Project WET is the only program that teaches about the importance and value of water in our every day life with formal and non-formal educators while offering specialized programs about New Jersey's water resources and watersheds. NJ Project WET is a well-rounded program that focuses on water supply, water quality, water conservation, watershed management, land use planning and wetlands. Project WET provides educators with accurate insight into critical water issues while offering a large selection of creative teaching strategies.
In addition to workshops, NJ Project WET reaches another 5,000 students annually and an estimated 12,000 parents, volunteers, educators and administrators through its Water Festival Grant Program. A Water Festival is a one-day celebration of water with a focus on a school's watershed. Students participate in a series of learning stations that examine water use over time, water's role in shaping our country, what a watershed is, how water is cleaned and used again, how a molecule travels through the water cycle and much more. The festivals involve the community and attract positive media attention that reaches thousands of people across the state.
NJ Project WET offers a unique learning opportunity for high school students and teachers through its Watershed Stewards Program. This program focuses on a weekend leadership workshop for a high school team of four or five students. They are provided instruction and training in watershed topics and team-building experiences that prepare them to focus on a watershed service project that will address an environmental concern. Each Watershed Steward Team must work with three community organizations and solicit another 20 volunteers to assist with the project. Participants receive a small grant to conduct a Watershed Stewardship Project.
This section also contains information about other DEP-sponsored enrichment opportunities.