12th Annual National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) (www.neefusa.org/greening-stem/environmental-education-week)
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)’s 12th annual National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is taking place April 17-23, 2016. Sponsored by Samsung, EE Week is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education. We invite environmental educators of all kinds, teaching any age, to take part in the celebration by registering their existing or new events, field trips, or projects as EE Week events at NEEFusa.org/eeweek. Registrants receive discounts on EE publications and eligibility for certain NEEF grants, contests, and more! Follow NEEF on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and engage with the community through the hashtag ‘#EEWeek.’ Free materials and educator toolkits are always available on the NEEF Greening STEM Learning Center. We hope you will join in celebrating a simple equation: Environmental Education + Everyone = A Brighter Future for All.
Educator Climate and Conservation Colloquium (Ec3) (www.greenschoolsalliance.org/about-ec3-and-green)
Ec3 is a one-of-a kind professional development opportunity for educators and sustainability coordinators offered by the Green Schools Alliance in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. At Ec3, participants:
- Work with national experts
- Receive training in sustainability leadership, financing, and assessment
- Share ideas and network with colleagues
- Participate in NCTC’s unique conservation programs and fieldwork
This year’s Ec3 is being held from July 6 – 10. For registration information, please visit: www.greenschoolsalliance.org/how-apply.
Nature-Based Education Summer Institute (http://nbeconference.weebly.com/)
The University of Maine at Farmington is hosting a Nature Based Education Summer Institute on Saturday June 25, 2016, with an optional pre-conference institute on Friday June 24th. The full day program is focused on nature-based education. Sessions are designed to be interactive and outdoors, for a range of educators working across age levels and settings. Programming is designed for educators-in-training as well as those who have extensive experience in the field. Opportunities to connect with colleagues will foster shared learning and exploration. The day features a keynote by David Sobel, locally grown food, and workshops that will bring participants outside to learn more about how nature-based education benefits children and adults. Visit the website for the program schedule and registration information.
The Aldo Leopold Foundation Teaching Tools (www.aldoleopold.org/AldoLeopold/teachingtools.shtml)
The Aldo Leopold Foundation was established to inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. The foundation offers a broad spectrum of educational materials and tools that teachers can use in their classrooms, including the Leopold Education Project, an interdisciplinary environmental education and conservation curriculum. Check out the website for a full listing of available resources.
BEETLES: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors (http://beetlesproject.org/)
BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, and Expertise Sharing) is one of many programs at the Lawrence Hall of Science, a public science center created in 1968 as part of the University of California at Berkeley. BEETLES is devoted to creating:
- versatile environmental education professional learning materials;
- student activities for use in the field;
- a collaborative, resource-sharing network of environmental educators; and
- additional resources for field instructors, leaders, and classroom teachers.
All BEETLES resources are based on current research and understandings about how people learn, and tested by dozens of programs in diverse settings all over the country (and beyond). Although BEETLES materials have been designed for residential outdoor science schools, they’ve been snatched up and used successfully in a wide variety of outdoor science education settings.
California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum (www.californiaeei.org/Curriculum/)
EEI is California’s groundbreaking, first-in-the nation K-12 environmental education curriculum. It is California State Board of Education-approved, teaches select California science and history/social science standards, and helps support Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Although developed to meet California standards, some lessons may be adapted for use by educators in other states.
Wow! The Wonders of Wetlands (www.dnr.state.mn.us/projectwet/wow.html)
This K-12 Guide is just one of several resources offered by Minnesota Project WET, which trains classroom and other educators in hands-on, interactive lessons that are focused on water and encourage critical thinking. The guide features more than 70 pages of background material followed by more than 40 activities. Every page is thoughtfully laid out with core text, great photographs, sidebars, maps, and illustrations to make information clear and quick to use. Activities are organized into five sections: wetland definitions, wetlands plants and animals, water quality and supply issues, soils, and people. The appendix offers instructions for planning and developing a schoolyard wetland habitat. Learn more about Minnesota Project WET, as well as the national Project WET Foundation.
CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability (http://www.celfeducation.org/WhatWeDo-summer-institute-about.html)
CELF’s Summer Institute (July 18-20, 2016) enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. This program equips K-12 teachers with practices and teaching methods to address the core concepts of Education for Sustainability – the intersection of social, economic, and ecological systems. Teachers participate in the CELF Summer Institute to:
- Become familiar with teaching strategies that challengestudents to embrace complex problem solving, encourage students to transfer and relate information between disciplines through hands-on and collaborative activities, compel students to connect to their community – at home, in school, and in the world beyond, and inspire them to make a difference.
- Explore effective and engaging methods of communicating the interconnections between a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and fair and equitable social sector – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to every academic subject area.
Learn more about the elementary school teacher institute (http://www.celfeducation.org/WhatWeDo-summer-elementary-teachers.html) and the middle/high school teacher institute (http://www.celfeducation.org/WhatWeDo-summer-middle-teachers.html).
Educating Children Outdoors (ECO) Summer Institute (www.northbranchnaturecenter.org/eco_training.html)
Standards Based Nature Immersion Graduate Courses for Educators
The ECO Institute for Teachers is a five-day nature immersion course for elementary teachers, assistants, aides, and administrators. During the week, a leadership team of professional nature immersion specialists guides teachers in direct application of outdoor classroom routines as well as ways to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core into those routines. All courses are held in an outdoor setting so come prepared to spend the entire day outside. The North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont hosts our group on 28 acres of diverse and abundant land. See below for an overview of the courses and visit the website for registration information.
- ECO Level 1- June 27-July 1, 2016
This week-long course will introduce teachers to core routines which create the structure for an outdoor classroom experience to succeed. Through the practice of storytelling, playing, building, creating, and reflecting, you will become a student of the day-long outdoor experience. As a group, we will participate in standards-based lessons embedded within the day long outdoor experience. This learning mirrors the experience of students during a typical day of ECO. Our day includes discussion, philosophy, and planning with school teams with the oversight of an experienced instructor. We invite you to leave all technology at home. We will provide you with electronic documents at each day’s end.
- ECO Level 2 – July 25-29, 2016
This course continues to practice and build off of the groundwork of the core routines established in Level I, as well as dive deeper into the technical field skills and pedagogy that serve as tools to enhance the outdoor learning experience. During the course we immerse ourselves into inquiry-based learning through intensive experiential lessons, activities, and discussions, examine how storytelling can be used as a way to teach and prompt lessons, and develop science based journaling techniques and routines to introduce to students as an indoor reflection to their outdoor classroom. Participants will also be provided with sample lessons to use in their own classroom which align with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core. Again, we invite you to leave all technology at home. We will provide you with electronic documents at each day’s end.
Green Teacher Webinars (http://greenteacher.com/webinars/)
Transforming School Food
Presenters: Jonathan Foley and Dan Hendry
Thursday, April 21 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST
The transformation of school food is long overdue. This webinar’s presenters will share two different approaches that are currently underway. In the first, we’ll learn about California Thursdays, where participating school districts serve locally grown, healthy foods in their cafeteria every Thursday. Following that, we will learn about the Slow Cookers for Kids project where a partnership with the culinary arts program at a local community college teaches grade 7-8 students how to shop and prepare inexpensive, healthy meals. Please be prepared to share your own ideas for transforming school food with all the participants in this session.
Sustainable Homes and Renewable Energy Education
Presenters: Nelson Lebo, Susy Ellison and Paul Hackl
Monday, May 2 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST
Introducing young people to sustainable home design and renewable energy is critical to our collective future. Three co-presenters will share their award-winning strategies of engaging young students and teens in a variety of hands-on projects, such as solar cookers, strawbale houses, and cardboard models of energy-efficient homes.
Project Learning Tree GreenSchools Training (www.plt.org/get-project-learning-tree-teacher-training)
Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a national environmental education program that provides PreK-12 teachers and informal educators with professional development, instructional materials aligned to state and national academic standards, service-learning programs, and grants for action projects. PLT’s GreenSchools program offers training for adults, including tips on starting a green school program, how to obtain equipment and collect data, and ways to empower your students to design and lead an action project that uses their STEM skills. It includes a set of 5 investigations for students to reduce energy and water use, recycle, and improve their school site, among other projects. For a PLT GreenSchools online course that can be completed in your own time, along with a listing of other PLT online courses and products, go to shop.plt.org. To attend an in-person professional development workshop in your state, go to https://www.plt.org/your-state-project-learning-tree-program.
Dominion K-12 Educational Partnership (www.dom.com/corporate/our-commitments/community/charitable-giving-and-the-dominion-foundation/dominion-k-12-educational-partnership)
Dominion’s K-12 Educational Partnership grants are designed to encourage and enhance the study of energy and/or the environment. Successful grant proposals should support environmental education or the exploration of energy; represent innovative and promising ideas; teach math and/or science skills; reach a significant number of students; and demonstrate broad-based community support. Applicants, including schools and nonprofits, need to be located within Dominion’s service area. Grantees may receive up to $2500 to apply toward their projects. Applications are due by 5pm on May 31, 2016.
GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals. Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily. Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy. Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.
The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants (http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/learning-leadership-grants/)
The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:
- Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research.
- Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.
Grants awards are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year and are reviewed three times a year, every year. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15.
Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants (www.plt.org/apply-for-greenworks-environmental-education-grant)
Project Learning Tree® (PLT), a national environmental education program for PreK-12 educators, offers GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. The projects partner students with their whole school, local businesses, and/or community organizations, and provide opportunities for student leadership. The funds can be used by students to implement recycling programs at their school, conserve water and energy, or establish school gardens and outdoor classrooms. To be eligible to apply, an educator must have attended a PLT training, either in-person or online, that also provides them with PLT lesson plans and other resources to help integrate these projects and environmental education into their curriculum. Apply by September 30th, 2016.
State Farm Youth Advisory Board Service-Learning Grants (www.statefarmyab.com/apply/national-grants)
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is currently funding service-learning projects between $25,000 and $100,000 that address the root cause of the following issue areas: access to higher education/closing the achievement gap; economic empowerment and financial literacy; community safety and justice; health and wellness; environmental responsibility; and arts and culture. More information about applying can be found on the website. Submissions are due April 29, 2016 by midnight.
Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program (https://unsungheroes.scholarshipamerica.org/)
For nearly 20 years, and with over $4 million in awarded grants, Unsung Heroes has proven to be an A+ program with educators. The program’s “alumni” have inspired success in the classroom and impacted countless numbers of students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000.
Applicants must be:
- Employed by an accredited K-12 public or private school located in the United States
- Full-time educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff with effective projects that improve student learning
Applications are due by April 30, 2016.