Newport teacher uses DEQ education program to engage students

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 9:48am

Newport teacher Jason “Mr. Vantaztic” Vanzant was recently featured on the National Project Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) website for his use of Project WET and other environmental education curricula in the classroom. Vanzant is a science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) instructor at Bogue Sound Elementary School, where he recently won a $ 50,000 grant from Lowe’s Education Toolbox to transform a classroom into a STEAM lab—the ideal setting for implementing Project WET and other environmental education activities.

Mr. Vanzant uses Project WET and other curriculum such as Project WILD, a program of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, to engage students in hands-on activities that encourage interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking skills.

In North Carolina, Project WET is coordinated by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources. Project WET and other environmental education workshops provide educators with credits toward the department’s Environmental Education Certification Program, which is administered by the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs. Vanzant is currently enrolled in the program.

To read Jason’s story and find out more about his STEAM lab and how he uses Project WET in the classroom, visit the National Project WET website at: For more information on the state’s Project WET program, go to