Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsors a suite of Project WILD programs, each offering a special iteration of this outstanding, hands-on approach to learning. Project WILD is a Kindergarten through 12th grade environmental and conservation education program emphasizing awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources. It is interdisciplinary and supplementary and can be used to teach basic skills in science, social studies, language arts, math, art, music and physical education. TPWD offers Project WILD through hands-on workshops for educators.
With an unbiased approach to basic wildlife management practices, Project WILD:
- teaches young people how to think about wildlife, not what to think...
- provides a set of fun, hands-on, easy to use educational activities...
- trains teachers and youth group leaders in an outstanding six-hour, hands on workshop ..
- includes helpful, scientific background information with all activities...
- incorporates powerful techniques and methods for teaching problem solving and decision-making skills, and
- is a program that is kid-tested and teacher-approved!
Human population growth is increasing exponentially. As our planet grows more crowded every day, natural and wild places are rapidly diminishing . . . and so is wildlife. Project WILD explores how people can understand wildlife and habitat and make decisions that use natural resources wisely.
- Classroom teachers, environmental educators, park and nature center personnel, Scout, Camp Fire and 4-H leaders, and others who work with young people.
- Activities work well with gifted students, impaired learners as well as mainstream students
- Nature centers, museums, zoos, parks, camps, wildlife refuges and youth groups as well as schools. Project WILD can be used indoors and outdoors.
- Teachers: Project WILD activities develop conceptual skills such as analysis, classification, description, estimation, evaluation, inference, hypothesis formation, and problem solving and are correlated with TEKS and TAKS!
The core of WILD is its activity guides. The Project WILD guide contains 124 activities concentrating on terrestrial wildlife, habitat and ecological concepts. The Aquatic WILD guide contains 48 activities emphasizing aquatic wildlife and habitats.. Proyecto WILD translates 34 of the most popular WILD activities into Spanish. Science and Civics: Sustaining Wildlife guide, for grades 9-12, has 350 pages of activities and resources. Flying WILD is the newest WILD program emphasing bird conservation and birding festivals. All are presented in lesson-plan format, which includes objectives, methods of teaching, background information, references available, a list of materials needed, and ways to evaluate learning.
The guides help incorporate wildlife-related concepts into classroom curriculum, and each activity is designed to teach one or more of the following concepts:
- awareness and appreciation of wildlife,
- human values and the wildlife resource,
- habitat and ecological systems,
- wildlife conservation,
- cultural and social interaction with wildlife,
- environmental issues and trends, alternatives and consequences, ecological
- systems and responsible human actions.
Each guide also includes grade level, subject, topic and skill indices as well as a glossary of terms.
Project WILD materials follow a conceptual framework that was developed through a rigorous process to ensure its accuracy, balance and educational validity. The materials were written by classroom teachers and other educators, university faculty, resource agency personnel, representative of private conservation groups and other community representatives. The activities were extensively field tested and evaluated for student achievement and scientifically sound materials. The program continues to be monitored and evaluated with changes made to the materials to respond to educator feedback and incorporate new information.
Project WILD is endorsed by the Texas Education Agency through the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC), and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC.) Project WILD has earned the endorsement of organizations including the California Board of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
In addition, Project WILD has received numerous awards including the 1984 Conservation Education Award from the Wildlife Society, a 1991 President's Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award for Education and Communications, and recognition from the North American Association for Environmental Education and National Wildlife Federation.