ArcelorMittal opened up its doors on Saturday morning for a free, one-day seminar focused on helping teachers and school leaders incorporate environmental education into their lessons. Special guests and speakers included Alisha Zick, off-site education coordinator at the Dunes Learning Center; Nicole Harmon, Humane Educator at Humane Indiana; and Ylanda Wilhite, Youth Conservation Action Partnership Coordinator at the Field Museum of Natural History.
“ArcelorMittal is committed to and engaged in our community. Everything we do aligns with our 10 Sustainable Development outcomes, which includes a focus on the environment," said Kelly Nissan, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager at ArcelorMittal. "The great partners we have here today help us work toward our goals. They are all very qualified and passionate in delivering environmental education programming."
Each being partners of ArcelorMittal, the organizations and speakers educated the audience on a wide array of topics, including wildlife education, environmental stewardship, and community resources.
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Guests of the educational forum also enjoyed a tour of ArcelorMittal’s Dune and Swale preservation area. The habitat was restored on 10 acres of the ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development campus in East Chicago, and combines the management and restoration of a unique type of natural habitat that has made its home along the Great Lakes. The conservation program at ArcelorMittal is recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council.
ArcelorMittal’s stake in the community gives young children and students from around the Region the opportunity to take the knowledge they learn in their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms and apply it to the world.
“A great deal of our programming is sponsored by ArcelorMittal and this partnership allows us to connect with the children of the Region and make them feel like they’re apart of the area. It also opens up the opportunity for summer camp and gives more than 200 students that wouldn’t have this experience otherwise,” said Alisha Zick, off-site education coordinator at the Dunes Learning Center.
The Dune and Swale also serves as a destination for local school children to learn about the environment. Teachers who attended the event were grateful for the experience and look forward to seeing how their students will make a positive impact on the environment through education.
“Kids are more willing to learn if they are interested in the subject, and what better way to gain interest than to be able to engage and learn about the environment hands-on, right here in Indiana,” said Linda Padilla, Assistant Principal at Lincoln Elementary School. “Learning about nature and the environment is essential. The kids are going to be the ones that have the biggest impact on the environment in the coming years. The more that they know, the better the impact will be.”
“Being a kid now is very stressful; there’s a lot going on,” Zick said. “Connecting with nature gives them an outlet and gives them a comforting place. They also begin to understand and have an appreciation for all of the wonderful things we have around here.”
For more information about ArcelorMittal, please visit usa.arcelormittal.com.