“The Missouri River is a huge component to a lot of communities and it is highly ignored,” said Kristen Schulte the Education Coordinator for Missouri River Relief.
Education officials believe the best way to connect students to the Missouri River is through their teachers.
“We present the info at an adult level and then we have them think about how would you incorporate this, how would you do this for your students,” said Schulte.
Nicole Trautman teaches high school science in Lindsay, Nebraska, about two hours northwest of Omaha. Recently, Trautman and a handful of other teachers got to take part in a workshop thanks to a grant from the EPA.
“I found it very interesting to learn about the bottom of the river and the silt and sediment that are collecting down there,” said Nicole Trautman.
Trautman says even though her small town is far from the river, she wants to incorporate it in her lesson plans since they have a creek nearby.
“I’m hoping to educate my students about things we can do to preserve the ecology of the creek and eventually help the water that is going to flow into the river,” said Trautman.
Schulte says day one of the educator workshop is spent on the river; day two is spent in the classroom.
“Our mission is to connect people to the Missouri River. We feel like that is the first step towards people caring and feeling more responsible for the river,” said Schulte.
Schulte says each teacher walked away with a lesson plan, one she thinks will inspire students to get to know the Mighty Mo.
“The Missouri River is not only a resource for drinking water, but it is a place to spend time, get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of it,” said Schulte.