Cover Art Contest & Upcoming Curriculum Pilot Program

Upcoming Curriculum Pilot Program and Cover Art Contest.

Lessons on the Lake old cover-01
Lessons on the Lake old cover-02

While there are statewide standards for science in Louisiana, exactly how to teach these principles (aka curriculum) is left up to the teacher in the classroom. And, although designing a curriculum can give a teacher much-needed room for creativity, it can be a daunting task to tackle every year. So, science teachers of the Pontchartrain Basin, we'd like to introduce you to your new best friend: Lessons on the Lake Third Edition. Replete with fully designed activities that meet Louisiana's science standards, Lessons on the Lake is a textbook designed for educators by educators.


Interview with Editor of a Class Room Favorite, Laine Farber:



Interviewer: What do you think the biggest difference is between the old and latest editions? What did you change?


Laine Farber: A lot has happened since the second edition was published in 2001: Hurricane Katrina; reopening the lake for recreational use; advances in science, and the development and implementation of dozens of new coastal restoration plans. The new edition includes updates on all of these important developments and much more! Our goal when rewriting this book has been to make it more accessible for educators. Keeping busy teachers in mind, we removed activities that require a plethora of expensive equipment and hours of prep-work. Plus, we added some new activities that focus on engaging students without breaking the bank.

Lusher Field Trip (56)

Our Education Coordinator, Anne Barret, teaching Lusher Charter Students how to measure water clarity using a transparency tube. As an educator at the Pontchartrain Conservancy, she oversaw editing of the second edition of Lessons on the Lake.

I: What was your motivation?


LF: Our goal with this book is to provide educators with an aid for teaching children about coastal Louisiana and inspire environmental stewardship.


I: Who is this book meant for?


LF: The textbook is geared toward educators, elementary students, and middle school students, but we encourage anyone interested in learning more about the lake to pick up a copy.


I: What do you want students to take away from this book?


LF: One can learn quite a lot from Lessons on the Lake, but the one thing I hope students take away from the text is the cultural, economic, and environmental importance of Louisiana’s wetlands.

Lusher Field Trip (14)

AmeriCorps and author/editor of the third edition of Lessons on the Lake, Laine Farber. She's pictured teaching Lusher Charter Students about water turbidity using a Secchi disk.

I: What part of the book are you most proud of?


LF: There is truly no one thing that I am most proud of in Lessons on the Lake. I am proud of everything! It has been a tedious, but fulfilling task thus far, and I am looking forward to seeing it through to the very end. I feel like a proud parent and I will probably cry when I unbox the first collection of reprints. We’re proud to be able to put environmental science curriculum into the hands of Louisiana’s teachers. What they do every day - educating our youth - is one of the most important jobs in our society.


I: When’s the rollout?


LF: Our plan is to begin the 2019-2020 school year with a pilot program, having teachers use the book with their students and give us feedback. We want teachers to find this to be a valuable asset to their classroom instruction and step one is that is getting feedback from the front line - the teachers in the classroom! A full rollout is planned after we revise the book based on our teacher feedback.


I: Tell me more about the cover art contest!


LF:  We are excited to get the public involved with this project! On February 1, we will be launching a cover art contest. We are looking for submission of art inspired by the beautiful natural scenery of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin from local artists and student-artists. The contest is open to the public and will run through March 22.