Professional Development

Be a Catalyst for Change…Become a Green Schools National Network Member

The green schools movement is the most critical education reform initiative of our time. Through the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) membership program, you can show your support and become a catalyst for change for green schools everywhere.

GSNN’s membership program is designed for leaders (like you!) who use sustainability to drive innovation in their classrooms, schools, or school districts. As a member of the program, you will learn from and be inspired by the people who are transforming schools across the country.

Choose from 5 different levels of membership: Individual, Nonprofit, preK-12 School, School District, or Corporate. Each level comes with its own set of benefits and discounts, some of which include: professional publications, a subscription to Green Teacher Magazine, discounted Green Schools Conference and Expo registration, discounted and free professional development opportunities, networking opportunities, and discounted fees for GSNN school and district coaching.

Visit GSNN’s membership website to learn more and sign up.

Green Schools Conference and Expo

Register to attend the 2018 Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE) to advance healthy, high-performing green schools! The 8th annual conference is scheduled for May 3 – 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Gather with green school champions for two days of learning and collaboration to support our shared mission of equitable, healthy, and high-performing schools, where students can learn how to sustain and improve the world around them. GSCE will be hosted in partnership this year with Rocky Mountain Green (RMG). Both events will kick off with a joint opening plenary and share an Expo Hall. Make plans to attend today…we look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Are you a Green Schools National Network member? If so, you can register for the early bird registration rate even after that deadline ends! Learn more about becoming a member above.

A limited number of reduced rate hotel rooms are available.  Learn more about registration packages and travel/hotel information here.

Looking to plan your GSCE experience? Check out the 2018 program schedule to peruse the seven conference tracks and pre-conference workshops. Also, learn more about this year’s opening keynote speaker, Janine Benyus.

2018 CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability

The Annual CELF Summer Institute in Education for Sustainability (July 9 – 12, 2018, Manhattanville College, New York) is an intensive 4-day workshop that enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. The Institute 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 – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to all subject areas.

The Institute begins by building a learning community and a common vocabulary around sustainability, and progresses with hands-on activities, case studies, special guest presentations, and field work. The schedule includes supported planning time so that participants will have tangible materials to bring back to their classrooms.

Benefits and Resources:

  • Gain access to CELF’s online resource library.
  • Align curriculum projects with national education for sustainability standards and performance indicators.
  • Learn from and share best practices with Institute facilitators and peers from across the region and around the world.
  • Access post-Institute support for on-going education for sustainability implementation.

Learn more about registration and credit options here.

American Meteorological Society’s Project Atmosphere Workshop

Project Atmosphere is a hybrid (online and in-person) teacher professional development workshop offered by the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Education Program. Teacher-participants will be required to engage in online learning modules prior to the on-site portion of the workshop (taking place at the U.S. National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri). At the conclusion of the on-site portion, teacher-participants will be asked to complete work in the course management system in collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania. This project is specifically designed for K-12 teachers who teach science courses with atmospheric content and is intended to:

  • Introduce teachers to the latest technologies and techniques for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather.
  • Explore and suggest ways in which the products of these technologies and techniques can be employed in school studies of the atmospheric environment.
  • Prepare workshop attendees to conduct training sessions on selected atmospheric science topics for teachers in their home regions during the next school year.
  • Encourage participation in AMS DataStreme Atmosphere Local Implementation Teams.

Applications to participate in this workshop must be submitted by March 26, 2018. If accepted, participants are required to pay a $45 academic fee. Academic credit is available.

The Biomimicry Institute

The Biomimicry Institute is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to innovation inspired by nature. Biomimicry offers an exciting project-based approach that helps teachers blend STEM and environmental education in creative, hands-on lessons students love. The Biomimicry Institute helps educators and organizations bring biomimicry into their teaching by providing curriculum and training, networking opportunities, and content development support. Learn more about our services and visit the online library, AskNature, for the resources and information you need to bring biomimicry into your teaching practice.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education works with schools and school districts to help them integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into their curriculum. Core services include consulting and leadership development (on-site and off-site); professional development and faculty coaching; curriculum design, assessment, mapping, and alignment; and school and community partnerships. The Cloud Institute holds an annual Summer Design Studio that enables educators, administrators, and program designers to learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.


Community Works Institute

Community Works Institute (CWI) supports and promotes exemplary teaching strategies and practices for K-16 educators and community programs that support students in becoming caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. CWI offers a variety of professional development opportunities for K-16 and community-based educators in the United States and internationally, including on-site training, retreats, coaching, and consulting. Their signature offering is a series of summer institutes that integrate field-tested service-learning best practices and principles of sustainability to engage K-16 students in academically based service that contributes to sustainable communities.

CWI is now offering early bird rates for each of its 2018 summer institutes. See below and visit the website to learn more about these professional development opportunities and to register.

2018 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

June 25 – 29, 2018

Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont

The longest running service-learning training for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set in one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. A week of inspiration and expert training, amid the breathtaking summer landscape of northern Vermont.

2018 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

July 23 – 27, 2018

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California

An immersion for K-16 educators in CWI’s acclaimed learning lab, using one of the world’s most vibrant and culturally rich urban settings as our classroom. An exceptional week of transformative professional development, program design, and networking.

Creative Change

Creative Change is a national educational consulting firm based in southeast Michigan. Districts and universities turn to us when their curriculum isn’t working – when achievement is low, inequalities persist, or it’s time for fresh thinking. We provide professional development, curriculum, and consulting to help educators across grades and disciplines reframe instruction around sustainability and social justice.

Our work integrates project- and place-based learning, and culturally responsive instruction. Topics include food systems, ecological economics, and multiculturalism. Evaluations show consistent gains in student achievement, especially in underserved communities. Grounded in scholarship, our approach will be published by Routledge in 2018.

Creative Change offers:

  • On-site and hybrid professional development combining interdisciplinary content and effective pedagogy.
  • Ongoing support and one-on-one coaching for educators.
  • A curriculum library featuring exemplary lessons, frameworks, and complete course modules.


At EcoRise, we believe in the power of teachers to ignite innovation and the potential of students to design a sustainable future for all. Our school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship. Over 350 schools have implemented our full program and 1,800 teachers in 26 countries have accessed our educational materials. Our curriculum, classroom grants, ongoing training, and support engages educators and students in meaningful learning experiences. Our program empowers teachers to confidently champion sustainability and innovation in their classroom, while students cultivate 21st century skills and sustainable living practices.

We offer:

  • Online and in-person professional development, curriculum, and self-paced resources for green industry connections to K–12 educators, STEM educators, and Project-Based Learning teachers.
  • For U.S.-based schools, we award micro grants to student-designed sustainability projects.
  • Our committed partnership with like-minded institutions and corporate supporters to expand reach and impact.

Visit to learn more.

Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program

The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (Fulbright TGC) is a year-long professional development opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. Fulbright TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration. Activities include:

  • Global education online course: Fulbright TGC fellows complete a rigorous, semester-long online course focused on best practices in global education.
  • Global symposium: Fulbright TGC fellows gather in Washington, DC, for an in-person professional development workshop to build networks, collaborate, and develop strategies to enhance world learning.
  • International field experience: Fulbright TGC fellows travel abroad for two to three weeks to experience another country’s culture and education system and promote mutual understanding.
  • Capstone project: Fulbright TGC fellows create a global education guide that serves as a resource for their local community to build global awareness and mutual understanding.
  • Alumni support: Fulbright TGC alumni may apply for grants and participate in global education networks to enhance and sustain their engagement.

The deadline to apply is March 13, 2018. Visit the website to learn more about this opportunity, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.

Green Schools Alliance

Green Schools Alliance is an international organization that advances student success and saves schools resources by fostering whole school sustainability. Originally developed as a network created by schools for schools, the Alliance has evolved to provide integrated and organized support to students, school professionals, schools, and districts to foster sustainability work.

Alliance programs are scaled and developed from member ideas to make them more accessible for other member schools. The Alliance conducts work via its international coalition of schools, rooted in the idea that collaboration among schools brings the greatest change for sustainable learning environments and communities. They:

  • promote student success through leadership training, project-based learning, and a support system.
  • inspire school professionals through access to training, resources, and a community of fellow sustainability champions.
  • provide schools with tools to accelerate whole school sustainability efforts through collective purchasing power, access to resources, and reporting and recognition systems.
  • offer districts the programs to leverage high-volume purchasing power, foster collaborative communication, and gather system-wide information on school efforts.

Learn more about upcoming events and training programs.


Green Strides Webinar Series Calendar

The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools they need to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars.

Green Teacher Webinar Series

Building Kids’ Citizenship Through Community Engagement

Date and time: February 28th, 2018 at 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenter: Bob Coulter

How can we give young people opportunities to grow through productive involvement with their local community? In this webinar, veteran educator Bob Coulter draws on more than 30 years of experience as he shares strategies to support young people in their efforts to become confident, self-directed citizens. These ideas are made practical through recommendations for productive uses of digital technology and a review of frameworks that have proven useful for designing community-based learning experiences.

Building Complete Communities

Date and time: March 5th, 2018 at 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenter: Kathleen Watt

Join us as we discuss sustainable development and environmental protection, and how to bring these ideas into the classroom. To accommodate a growing population while protecting the environment, it is important that cities and towns are built in a sustainable way. In this webinar we will talk about how building complete communities and using greenbelts (areas of protected greenspace) can be effective methods to protect the environment and how your students can learn about these initiatives. We will chat about how sustainable development, environmental protection, and reducing climate change can be integrated into classrooms to help students become more aware of sustainable growth. We will provide many classroom ideas and free educational resources. Join us to hear more about how your students can learn to build complete communities for the future!

Risky Play and Child Development

Date and time: March 13th, 2018 at 7:30 – 8:30pm EST
Presenters: Lisa Howard and Anders Wange Kjellsson

Do we overprotect our children? Might our attempts to keep children safe actually do more harm than good? This webinar will consider these questions and what we might be able to do to restore balance. Lisa and Anders will share some tools for talking to parents, educators, and others about the importance of risk taking, and will provide examples of good play space design on children’s behavior.

National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will be held April 26 – 27, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event convenes stakeholders engaged in farm to cafeteria activities who are working to source local food and promote a culture of food and agricultural literacy across the country. Registration is open through April 9, 2018. Early bird pricing is available through March 9th. Learn more about pricing and programming for the 2018 event.

North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference – Save the Date

The 48th North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) annual conference will be held in Spokane, Washington from October 9 – 13, 2018. The theme for this year’s conference is EE: A Force for the Future.

For more than four decades, NAAEE has convened one of the leading annual conferences for environmental education professionals, designed to promote innovation, networking, learning, and dissemination of best practices. The annual Research Symposium, held in advance of the conference, attracts new and established researchers to examine in-progress EE research and promote dialogue between researchers and practitioners.

The Call for Presentations is now open! Submit a proposal to present at this year’s conference by April 2, 2018. Learn more about this opportunity on the website.

More information on registration and travel will be coming soon!

Shelburne Farms 

Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Its home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.

Shelburne Farms’ school programs staff support both student learning and professional development for educators. The ideas of place and sustainability are at the heart of its work. Shelburne Farms offers a variety of experiences that inspire deep connections to community and a commitment to a healthy future.

Upcoming Programming

ABCs of Farm-Based Education March 2018

March 9 – 11, 2018

Are you looking to build a farm-based education program, or inspire your existing programming? At this workshop, you will fill your toolbox with kid-tested, educator approved activities, as you join a community of peers from around the region. Spend three days in hands-on, discussion and activity-based learning and explore Shelburne Farms’ dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms. Experience activities from Shelburne Farms’ publications Project Seasons and Cultivating Joy and Wonder as we discuss ways to engage school groups and farm visitors. In addition to activity sharing and program development, we will discuss tips for creating a safe learning environment and will have ample time for getting to know one another and our respective farm-based education sites. Learn more and register here.

Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement and Sustainability

March 23 – 24, 2018

Join Vermont Folklife Center and Shelburne Farms for a deep dive into tools and techniques for digital storytelling to engage students and communities in sustainability. Together we will explore interview techniques, storytelling, and personal narratives as a way to reach sustainability goals in both schools and communities.

Whether your focus is pedagogical – project- and place-based learning – or content driven – farm to school or climate change – we will orient learning around the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs offer a way to connect meaningful place-based learning to global issues. Using digital storytelling techniques and tools, you and your students have the power to make positive change in schools and communities. We will gather at Shelburne Farms in a retreat like setting to practice skills, share stories, and develop action plans for implementation.

Cost $250. Includes meals and accommodations. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Limited to 16 participants. Learn more and register here.


Project Seasons for Young Learners: Cultivating Joy & Wonder

July 9 – 13, 2018

Are you looking for new ways to connect your program to the community outside of your classroom? Join us at the Farm for hands-on, interdisciplinary activities and explore ways in which these can be adapted to your own learning community. Connect with other early childhood professionals to share best practices over these four days in a picturesque setting, leaving you energized and inspired to create even more meaningful opportunities and experiences within your program.

Cost $575. Includes light breakfast and lunch; excludes accommodations and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.

Education for Sustainability (EFS) Leadership Academy

A year-long, residential, leadership academy for those wishing to be part of a learning community exploring education for sustainability, systems thinking, and school transformation. ​

Our hope is to support education leaders in creating healthier and more just communities. The EFS Leadership Academy is designed for those in education who want to inspire change in partnership with a peer network committed to ecological integrity, economic vitality, and social justice. We will engage you with new ways of thinking, skills to create change and nurture yourself, and present you with innovative ideas and strategies to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the future. At the heart of this work is educators and a sense of hope, love, and resilience.  Please join us and your colleagues in making a difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.

Cost $1500. Includes meals and accommodations; excludes travel and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Limited to 16 participants. You can learn more about how to apply for the 2018 – 2019 cohort of the EFS Leadership Academy here. Applications must be submitted by May 4, 2018.

The Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability

July 23 – 27, 2018

Spend five rich days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative institute created to give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of education for sustainability. This week is part conference, part workshop, part retreat. The 2018 Summer Institute will draw upon the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration, connecting you and your students to a global movement.

Cost $600. Includes light breakfast and lunch; excludes travel and graduate credit. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.

Education for Sustainability Immersion

August 16 – 17, 2018

For those who already have a strong foundation in Education for Sustainability, our two-day Immersion will provide you with the opportunity to reflect, learn, and collaborate with a small group of colleagues from across the country in a residential, retreat-like setting here at Shelburne Farms. The Immersion has a design studio feel with participants self-directing much of their work with a few inspirational speakers and workshops/explore times. Expect to take a deep dive into such topic areas as place-based education, social justice, systems thinking, or other topics in the field of Education for Sustainability that are important to you. This course is action-oriented with an expectation at the end that each participant has a solid project or curriculum to implement. Programming begins on the first day and continues into the evening, and then concludes mid-afternoon of the second day.

Cost $375. Includes meals and accommodations; excludes graduate credits. Limited to 15 participants. Scholarships are available to cover the course fee. Learn more and register here.

General Resources

Experiential Tools: Resources for Teaching and Group Facilitation

Experiential Tools was founded by author and educator Jennifer Stanchfield to provide educators with quality, unique, and user-friendly methods to enhance learning, increase engagement, build community, facilitate group development, and engage learners in meaningful reflection and dialogue.  Resources offered include consulting, professional development programs, workshops, books, and teaching and facilitation tools. Visit the website for a list of upcoming workshops.

Facing the Future 

Facing the Future is an international program, based out of Western Washington University, creating tools for educators that equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future. The curriculum is organized around eight sustainability big ideas:

  • Connecting with Nature
  • Equity and Justice
  • Health and Resiliency
  • Interconnectedness
  • Local to Global
  • Peace and Collaboration
  • Respect for Limits
  • Universal Responsibility

Facing the Future curriculum materials and resources are available for K-12 teachers, teachers in colleges of education, and for some community college and undergraduate classes. All materials are developed for teachers, by teachers, with best teaching and learning practices in mind and are aligned with Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and most state standards frameworks.

Grades of Green

Grades of Green was founded in 2008 by four California moms who wanted a better world for their children. This nonprofit provides schools with free and easy access to over 40 activities that aim to instill environmental values in students. Activities are broken out into categories, including air, energy, toxins, waste, water, and earth. The organization also has a Youth Corps Eco Leadership Program that mentors 60 selected second through twelfth grade students to become eco-leaders. Participation in the program is free, though students must submit an application to be considered.

Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Practices

Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Practices is a framework of scientific practices that scientists use in the field. This guide was developed to help K-12 teachers introduce their students to the methodologies used for scientific field research and guide them through the process of conducting field investigations using these scientific practices. In particular, this guide demonstrates how to use descriptive and comparative methodologies for field studies typically used in the environment and natural resource sectors. The guide has been updated to address how the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards may be used to integrate field investigation scientific practices with real world content through crosscutting concepts that practicing field scientists and engineers tackle in their role as professionals.

Learning Lab

A product of the U.S. Green Building Council’s The Center for Green Schools, Learning Lab provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action.

Discover best-in-class content, training, and tools. Access their curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards and were created by educators, for educators.

NEEF’s Get Dirty! Learning Expedition Toolkit

The National Environmental Education Foundation developed this guide to assist educators in planning instructive and memorable outings that incorporate best practices of outdoor environmental education.

The toolkit proceeds step-by-step from planning, to conducting, to presenting place-based projects. Additional resources and tips are suggested. Supplemental activities that develop goal setting, leadership, and team building skills are also included.

Solar One’s Green Design Lab

A program of Solar One, Green Design Lab is a K-12 education program that promotes experiential learning opportunities through science, technology, and design. Solar One’s programs increase environmental knowledge about energy, water, materials science, and food while fostering sustainable behaviors and stewardship. Using the school as a learning laboratory, Solar One’s K-12 programs introduce students to hands-on, real world experiences, support the development of creative thinking and problem solving skills, and turn students into advocates for sustainability in their schools and communities.

The Green Design Lab program delivers professional development opportunities to teachers; offers a curriculum package centered on the school building as a learning laboratory; and provides resources including videos, worksheets, and a toolkit for educators.

Water Quality Resources

5 Gyres NextGen Educational Curriculum

Developed by the 5 Gyres Institute, whose mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure, the 5 Gyres NextGen Educational Curriculum covers a variety of science subjects through the lens of plastic pollution. Topics include: plastic pollution sources and solutions, food chains, body systems, waste management, cause and effect, human impact, identifying plastics, watersheds, the water cycle, understanding currents, and packaging engineering solutions. All lessons follow Next Generation Science Standards and involve either a game or a hands-on activity, as well as problem-solving questions, math, and graphing.

Achieve the Core Curriculum:  Water is Life: The Earth’s Hydrosphere and Its Impact on Living Systems

Achieve the Core offers a number of free, ready-to-use classroom resources designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core and other college and career ready standards.

This particular module was developed by GSNN’s own Jennifer Seydel.  It consists of three units:

  • Unit 1: Students build background knowledge about the central role that water plays in all life.
  • Unit 2: Students use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s My Waters Mapper to explore major U.S. watersheds and the USGS National Water Information System to examine their local watershed.
  • Unit 3: This unit provides scaffolding toward students’ summative writing assessment.

Materials include lesson level agendas with text-dependent questions and activities, as well as formative and summative assessments.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Schools Water Access Resources

This set of resources compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focuses on improving access to safe, clean drinking water in K-12 schools. Resources include CDC’s toolkit, Increasing Access to Drinking Water in Schools, as well as tools and information from federal partners including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Education Program

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been providing K-12 students with meaningful watershed experiences for over 40 years. Whether your school is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed or not, the Foundation has resources and programs to meet your needs. Learn more about the Education Program’s offerings, including professional development for educators; field programs and leadership programs for students; and classroom resources such as videos, lesson plans, research tools, and ideas for student action projects.

Izaak Walton League’s Creek Freaks Program  

The Creek Freaks program is for kids ages 10-14 who want to make a splash to help the environment. They become their community’s stream experts – exploring local streams; learning how healthy trees, shrubs, and grasses protect clean water and wildlife; and what the community can do to improve water quality.

The program uses a guide called Holding onto the GREEN Zone, developed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which helps youth explore “green zones” (another name for riparian zones). The program is filled with discovery, exploration, and of course, using the Creek Freaks’ website to share photos and data with other Creek Freaks.

Educators will find training, curriculum materials, and a number of additional resources to help implement this program in their classroom.

National Drinking Water Alliance

The National Drinking Water Alliance’s (NDWA) mission is to ensure that all children in the U.S. can drink safe water in the places where they live, learn, and play. NDWA works to build access and consumption through inter-related action areas: research, policy, safety, access, and education. Resources for K-12 schools are broken out on the website around each of NDWA’s action areas.


ThinkWater is a national campaign supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help people of all backgrounds and ages think and care deeply about water. It does so by applying systems thinking to existing water education and research efforts and by actively engaging people in a new way around water issues. Resources for educators include videos, infographics, and lesson plans.

Trout in the Classroom

Sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a conservation-oriented environmental education program for elementary, middle, and high school students. Throughout the school year, students raise trout from eggs to fry and then release them into approved cold water streams and lakes. This act of raising, monitoring, and caring for young trout fosters a conservation ethic within participating students and promotes an understanding of their shared water resources.

Teachers can tailor the program to fit their curricular needs, meaning each TIC program is unique. TIC has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education.  More information on possible activities and lessons can be found on the TIC website.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Schools and Water Quality Resources

Compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Children’s Health Protection, this website includes a variety of resources from EPA and federal partners, national organizations, and state and local entities around the topic of water quality in K-12 schools.

Wow! The Wonders of Wetlands

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, 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.

Grants and Awards

2018 USFS Pollinator/Community Garden Grants

The National Environmental Education Foundation, with major funding support from the U.S. Forest Service, is offering a little over $10,700 through mini-grants to facilitate Pollinator Garden and/Community Garden activities. Awarded grantees will be expected to facilitate the development of educational and conservation activities on local Forest Service lands, other partner public lands, local and municipal public lands, or on lands within urban communities. Programming should connect participants to urban forests and nature-based spaces: meeting people where they are. These activities will be accomplished by mobilizing community volunteers and educating participants about the importance of their actions and their relationship to the long-term sustainability of the lands.

Applicants can request up to $3,000. Awarded amounts will vary based on the scope and cost of work proposed by each applicant, quality of the submissions, and the review and selection process. The deadline for applications is Monday February 26, 2018.

ASM Materials Education Foundation K-12 Education Grants

The ASM Materials Education Foundation awards 20 grants of $500 annually to help K-12 teachers bring the real world of materials science into their classrooms. “Living in a Material World” grants recognize creativity and enhance awareness of materials science and the role that materials play in society. Teachers must describe a hands-on, curriculum-based K-12 project that involves student observation, teamwork, mathematics, and science skills that enhance student awareness of the everyday materials around them. The deadline for applications is May 25, 2018.

Captain Planet Foundation ecoTECH Grants

Originally developed in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and with ongoing support from Voya Financial, ecoTech Grants are specifically offered to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. ecoTech Grants were created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. ecoTECH grant projects must:

  • Be based in the U.S.
  • Integrate the use of technology to address environmental problems (not iPads or other tablets)
  • Be project-based
  • Be youth-led
  • Result in real, demonstrable environmental outcomes

ecoTECH grants are available as cash grants up to $2,500, and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses. Deadline to submit an application is July 15, 2018.

EPA’s Environmental Education Local Grants Program

Under the Environmental Education Grants Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 and $3.5 million in grant funding per year, supporting more than 3,700 grants.

EPA is making available up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants under the 2018 EE Local Grant Program. Ten RFPs are being issued nationally, one in each of EPA’s ten Regions, for total funding of up to $3 million nationwide. EPA anticipates awarding three to four grants in each EPA Region, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-35 grants nationwide. Proposals are due March 15, 2018.

EPA’s Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators 

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to honor, support, and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods.

  • Teacher awardees will receive a Presidential award plaque and an award of up to $2,500 to be used to further the recipient’s professional development in environmental education. Teacher awardees will also receive a congratulatory letter from a senior official from EPA and/or the White House.
  • The teacher’s local education agency will also receive an award of up to $2,500 to fund environmental education activities and programs (and not for construction costs, general expenses, salaries, bonuses, or other administrative expenses).
  • Honorable Mention recipients will receive certificates of recognition.

Applications due March 1, 2018.


EPA’s President’s Environmental Youth Award

The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental projects by K-12 youth. The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.

Each year the PEYA program honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to EPA for consideration. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:

  • restoring native habitats
  • recycling in schools and communities
  • construction of nature preserves
  • tree planting
  • installing renewable energy projects
  • creating videos, skits, and newsletters that focused on environmental issues
  • participating in many other creative sustainability efforts

PEYA has two parts — a regional award for Grades K-5 and a regional award for Grades 6-12. Each award-winning project will receive a Presidential plaque. All qualified applicants will receive a certificate honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment.

Applications are due March 1, 2018.



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.

International Young Eco-Hero Awards

The nonprofit Action For Nature (AFN) created the International Young Eco-Hero Awards to recognize and reward the successful individual environmental initiatives of young people ages 8 to 16. To be considered, projects must address environmental health, advocacy, research, or protection of the natural world, be action-based, and self-initiated. Winners will be selected by a team of independent judges with experience in environmental issues.

Applications for 2018 are being accepted through February 28, 2018. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility requirements, judging criteria, prizes, and how to apply.

UL Innovative Education Award

The UL Innovative Education Award is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to invest up to $250,000 annually in environmental and STEM education, sustainable communities, and youth empowerment. The purpose of the award is to increase the impact of existing innovative nonprofit programs that use the environment as a pathway to STEM Learning.

Through the UL Innovative Education Award, UL invests in the critical work of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada that are leading the way to inspire a passion for STEM education in young people through a focus on designing solutions to environmental problems. The award program, designed in collaboration with NAAEE, empowers the next generation of leaders to connect with the natural world, develop science-based sustainable solutions for local communities, and nurture a capacity for social responsibility.

Nonprofits are invited to submit applications through February 21, 2018. A select group of finalists will be invited to move on to the next phase of the application process.

Learn more about applying for this award and see past winners.