Monica Kilpatrick and Jo Adang have been co-coordinators for Georgia’s Project WET for almost 10 years and have enjoyed every minute! They come to Project WET from different angles and complement each other’s strengths—Monica from the non-profit, non-formal direction and Jo from the formal classroom. With a passion for environmental education they have been heavily involved in the state’s EE organizations and events, and both have served on professional boards and councils. In what spare time they can manage, Monica enjoys being with her two daughters and husband and hiking, reading, and volunteering at various community events; Jo loves to paint en plein air and spend time at her beach house on Tybee Island.
How long have you been a WET coordinator? Since April 1999 – it’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long!
What’s your favorite thing about doing WET workshops? I love providing educators with fun, hands-on, kinetic activities they can use to teach important concepts to students and love to see them get excited about using the activities in the classroom.
Give a quote from a recent workshop. Following a WET, WILD and PLT educator workshop: “The PLT, WET and WILD guides give ample opportunities to further studies of wildlife, water and forestry concepts through rich hands-on activities that engage students across multiple disciplines. I look forward to using them in my class!” Another teacher wrote: “I can now become an advocate and spread the word by explaining the importance of conservation with other teachers and within my community.”
Can you share a funny story related to WET activities? Several years ago, while conducting a workshop that happened to coincide with a terrible ice storm, the facility we were in lost power. With our “the show must go on” approach, we continued leading the workshop using the natural light of the windows to light the room. We were in the middle of leading the group through an activity when 3 firefighters came rushing into the room in full fire gear with axes in hand. Unbeknownst to us, a large tree limb had fallen on power lines in the parking lot causing sparks and a small fire. As with many of our workshops, we had incorporated drama, costumes and song throughout the workshop. The participants assumed that the firefighters were part of the activity and rather than leaving the building, they waited for them to join in!
What is your favorite WET activity? Wow – it’s so hard to only choose one. Sum of the Parts and Incredible Journey are definitely two of my favorites. Both are easy for educators to use in the classroom or outside, they get kids up out of their seats and the objectives are relevant to multiple grade levels.
Any life changes to share? Kids, marriage, new home, other? I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 18 years and we have 2 amazing daughters (Olivia, 12 and Ava, 14 – time flies!).We love to travel and make a point to visit someplace we’ve never been as often as possible.