Black Hills Parks & Forests Association (BHPFA) attended the 30th  Annual South Dakota STEM Ed Conference in Huron Feb. 2-5 and was presented the “Friend of Science” award. The conference is an annual gathering of science and math teachers from across the state.

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Fowler, SDSTSA DOE Science liaison, the Friend of Science award annually recognizes organizations responsible for making a difference in science education.  According to Fowler, “The future is bright with their vision and endless efforts to enhance science education for the public… especially for our students! The SD Science Teaching Association (SDSTA) is honored to recognize Black Hills Parks and Forests Association as this year’s Friend of Science.”  For over 75 years, BHPFA has sold educational and interpretive products to the public. Through these sales, funds have been available to BHPFA public land partners for education interns, distance learning and classroom programs, and environmental research.

BHPFA attended the conference as a vendor, selling educational products for classroom use, and to debut the newly created Education Hub on the BHPFA website,  The Hub is a “one-stop shop” for educators to find environmental education and cultural resources in South Dakota.  “This easy-to-navigate web page offers immersive, hands-on, and unique resources that meet state-mandated education standards,” states Andrea Fountain, BHPFA Program/Volunteer Manager.  “With the positive feedback from teachers at the conference, we will continue adding content and keep the information up to date.”

Three women stand in front of a banner that has a thirty and dinosaur ballon. They are dressed in buisness causal at an event hall. They are holding an award that says "Friend of Science"

Left to Right: Patty Ressler, BHPFA Ex. Director, Dr. Jen Fowler, Education Specialist, SD Dept. of Ed and Andrea Fountain, BHPFA Program/Volunteer Manager holding “Friend of Science” Award