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 GSNN member, you will learn from and be inspired by the people who are transforming schools across the country.

Choose from five 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: 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

Early bird registration for the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo is open! Make plans now to join fellow green schools advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota April 8 – 9, 2019 for the ninth annual conference and expo! Learn more about registration packages here.

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.

Children and Nature Network 2019 International Conference

Join the Children and Nature Network for the largest gathering of children and nature advocates in the world, May 16-18, 2019 in Oakland, California. From inspiring keynotes to hands-on workshops, this biennial conference will inspire and equip you with best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for the children, families, and communities you serve.

Citizen Science Association 2019 Conference

The 2019 Citizen Science Association Conference will be held March 13 – 17 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The conference provides a venue for citizen science researchers, practitioners, community members, and theorists to come together and share knowledge and best practices in the interest of advancing the field of citizen science. Educators engaging in citizen science in their classroom are encouraged to attend and take advantage of the workshops, events, and networking opportunities offered during the conference. More information about registration, hotels, and travel can be found on the conference’s website.

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.

Upcoming Programming

2019 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

June 24 – 28, 2019 • Brooklyn, New York

The longest running Service-Learning training for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set in the heart of the uniquely diverse social fabric that is Brooklyn. Experience a week of inspiration, expert training, and powerful collaborations with an exceptional group of colleagues. Join like-minded K-16 and community educators from across the U.S. and beyond for a week to remember.

2019 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

July 22 – 26, 2019 • Los Angeles, California

Bring your vision, program, and project ideas to CWI’s acclaimed learning and design lab. Summer WEST is set in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most vibrant, culturally rich urban settings. Join us for a transformative week of project and program design, expert training and guidance, field work, and inspired networking.

Learn more about these opportunities and register online.

**CWI encourages schools to send cohort teams (minimum of four, max of eight per school) and is offering special rates to support this. School Cohorts will focus on their own practice while moving their school forward and learning deeper approaches to accomplish this, including a process for examining and advancing their practice. Cohort teams will continue working together when they return to school (not typical w/ teams).**

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 was published by Routledge in August 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.

Free Online Course

Introduction to Sustainability

Learning about sustainability is easier than ever thanks to “Introduction to Sustainability,” a free online course developed by Kappa Delta Pi in partnership with Creative Change Educational Solutions. The self-paced course introduces sustainability as a context for learning, highlights connections across grades and disciplines, and provides strategies for reframing curriculum to emphasize these connections. With activities, videos, discussions, off-line projects, and guided curriculum design, the course engages adult learners in an integrative and reflective learning experience that emphasizes practical applications. The course is based upon (and includes excerpts from) Susan Santone’s book, Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability.


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 classrooms, 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.


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

Exploring Learning Stories

Date:  January 16, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Lotje Hives and Astrid Steele

In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, “Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.” Join into a conversation about the value of documenting Learning Stories as experienced through a unique University and School Board research partnership. Webinar facilitators will discuss how observing and documenting learning in, about, and for the environment alongside learners, is slowing down the process of learning and offering a space for thoughtful reflection about relationships, stewardship, and global citizenship to inform pedagogy. Examples (artifacts, photos, narratives, and video), references, and practical strategies will be shared. As we know, learning moments are happening all around us all the time. Let your students help you tell the story of their learning. It’s not about getting the perfect photo, but rather about exploring the perfectness in moments of learning. Listen. Think about perspective. Focus. Enjoy and be prepared to be surprised! In the words of an inspired kindergarten scientist, “Observe. It’s like using your senses but in a fancier way.”

Using Progressive Skits to Teach Food Chains

Date:  February 13, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Emily M. Stone

Teacher-led progressive skits are a quick and engaging way to make food chains come alive for students aged six to adult. They provide a good mix of teacher control and student creativity and use repetition and humor to facilitate learning. They can be customized to work with any grade level or even mixed groups by purposefully selecting the level of vocabulary and detail you include. In her presentation, Emily will walk you through the basics.

Safe Routes to School National Conference – Save the Date

The 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from November 12-14, 2019. Save the date for this opportunity to join hundreds of active transportation and public health advocates and practitioners from across the country for valuable networking, sharing best practices, and exploring one of Florida’s most vibrant and active cities.

The Call for Conference Program Proposals will open on January 7, 2019.

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 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

Seasonal Educator Workshops

Shelburne Farms has taken some of your favorite school program topics and turned them into one-day, seasonal educator workshops! Join us on the Farm throughout the year for a series of programs designed to deepen your knowledge of a topic and enrich your curriculum. In fall, winter, and spring we will spend time outside connecting with the land, interacting with experts, and developing tools and techniques to take back to your students. Workshops can be taken individually or as a series.

Each workshop costs $30. Register here.

Animals in Winter

Saturday, January 12, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

What strategies do Vermont animals use to survive winter? We will examine their methods and hone our tracking skills as we hike through fields and forests searching for signs of active animals in winter. Come network with other educators, experience our favorite activities and resources, and share your own.

Milk & More

Saturday, May 4, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

Explore a Vermont tradition and build awareness of the importance that dairy plays in the farming landscape. You’ll experience a variety of fun, hands-on activities relating to cows and visit our own Brown Swiss herd. We will delve into activities that explore the roles that farmers and dairy products play in our local food system and in keeping our communities healthy and thriving.

Teach Earth Fellowship from Earthwatch Institute

Teach Earth is built upon the principle that every individual can contribute to a sustainable planet, regardless of scientific background or skill. Each year, Earthwatch Institute selects talented teachers from all subject areas to participate in a 7-14 day immersive learning experience, working side-by-side with world-class scientists on field research expeditions around the world. From the edge of the Arctic to the coast of Maine, these teachers collect data on climate change, ecology, wildlife, and more. Teachers have an opportunity to learn the scientific process first-hand and help to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Teachers return to the classroom with new perspectives and knowledge, invigorated and inspired to share the experience of real discovery with their students.

Visit Earthwatch’s Institute website to learn more about qualifications and award details and to fill out an interest form. The 2018 Fellowship Application period runs from October 1, 2018 to January 10, 2019.

Tributaries of Life: A Watershed Inquiry

This online course offered by Oregon State University is designed to help teachers increase their freshwater ecology knowledge and learn how to facilitate student-directed watershed inquiry that includes action projects. Participants will practice sensory-based activities outdoors and keep a journal to record their reflections. Participants will read, watch videos, and conduct fieldwork to learn essential watershed content. Using scientific protocols, participants will conduct research and use their findings to develop an action plan.

This course is for teachers of all academic disciplines in sixth through twelfth grades. Two sessions are available: March 4 – April 14, 2019 and May 6 – June 16, 2019. Course cost is $435, plus a $60 registration fee.

General Resources

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an updated 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit to improve lead reduction implementation practices, to clarify intent, and to make the toolkit more user-friendly. This toolkit includes modules, customizable templates, and tools to help implement a lead testing program, as well as supplemental fact sheets for water utilities, child care facilities, tribal schools, and day cares.

Carton 2 Garden Contest

The fifth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Packaging, is now accepting registrations! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria.

Fifteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Entries are due by Monday, March 25, 2019, but will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Center for Green Schools School Board Advocacy Toolkit

The School Board Advocacy Toolkit from the Center for Green Schools is a free resource that helps green schools allies address sustainability issues and impact greener policies at the school district level. It is designed to make local green schools advocacy approachable and actionable. The toolkit contains talking points, template letters and presentations, sample policy language, and more for you to use to promote greener policy options related to any school sustainability issue.

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.

Green Apple Day of Service

Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects. Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online. Register by March 15, 2019 to be eligible for a Green Apple Award.

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.

National Environmental Education Foundation Animal Migration Activity Guide

Designed for elementary age kids, this activity guide is full of fun ways to learn about animal migrations in the U.S. Activities encourage kids to use STEM skills to explore the topic, whether they are using math to plot the coordinates of monarch migration paths, engineering to design their birdfeeder, science to understand the phenomenon of animal migration, or technology to get involved with online citizen science.

NatureBridge Training and Tools for Teachers

A recognized leader in the field of environmental education, NatureBridge provides hands-on, inquiry-based programs for children and teens at national park locations across the country. The organization’s website includes an educators webpage that offers classroom resources organized around five areas of study; tips and resources for incorporating nature into classroom lessons; and professional development workshops that provide skills to create hands-on science and environmental education curricula for students.

Teaching Our Cities Practice Toolkits

Teaching Our Cities, a project of Common Ground, is creating a collection of toolkits that share best practices that are working at partner schools. Toolkits include videos, blog-style reflections, resources, and practice descriptions. Current toolkits cover teaching a sense of place, learning expeditions, green exhibitions, environmental leadership portfolios, and magnet theme days.

Climate Change Education Related Resources

Aspen Global Change Institute

The Aspen Global Change Institute is dedicated to advancing the understanding of Earth system science and global environmental change through interdisciplinary workshops, research and consulting, and education and outreach. The website includes a virtual classroom with useful materials on the fundamentals of earth science, field studies, and lifelong learning workshops.

Climate Change in My Backyard

The Climate Change in My Backyard curriculum series, designed for students in grades 5-12, integrates student participation in Project BudBurst with NASA climate data to teach about climate change and its consequences for our environment using an earth-systems science approach. Aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, the curriculum incorporates best practices in inquiry teaching and scaffolds students’ use of science practices to support learning of disciplinary core ideas and connecting crosscutting concepts.

The series consists of three complete curricula, targeting different age levels—grades 5 to 6, grades 7 to 9, and grades 10 to 12. Each curriculum comprises four units that address critical aspects of a systems approach to understanding climate and its impacts on humans and the environment:

  • Understanding the Earth as a system
  • Identifying key changing conditions of the earth system
  • Recognizing earth-system responses to natural and human-induced changes
  • Predicting the consequences of changes for human civilization

This series was developed by the Chicago Botanic Garden with support from NASA and in collaboration with the National Ecological Observatory Network and schools and teachers throughout Illinois.

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy is a nationally connected and trusted nonprofit dedicated to climate literacy, climate change education, youth leadership, and citizen engagement for innovative climate change solutions. The organization provides resources and opportunities for educators, youth, policy makers, communities, and businesses to build climate literacy, develop powerful climate advocates, and elevate leadership. Visit their website to learn more about available curriculum, trainings, professional development, and networking opportunities.

Climate Interactive’s World Energy Simulation

The World Energy Simulation is a role playing exercise that enables people to try out the policies and investments that will allow them to reach their goals on climate change. With a focus on the mix of policy solutions that will lead to a more stable climate, this simulation can inspire hope that is grounded in our best understanding of the dynamics of the energy and climate system. This website includes resources you need to conduct this simulation in your classroom.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

The CLEAN Network is a professionally diverse community of 630+ members committed to improving climate and energy literacy. The CLEAN Network website has two sections of interest to K-12 stakeholders. The CLEAN Collection of Climate and Energy Educational Resources is a high-quality and rigorously reviewed collection of over 700 free climate and energy educational resources aligned with climate literacy and energy literacy frameworks and Next Generation Science Standards. Guidance in Teaching About Climate and Literacy offers examples and tools to help educators step their students through the key principles of climate and energy.

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Teaching Climate Science

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science is an interagency guide that provides a framework and essential principles for formal and informal education about climate change. It presents important information for individuals and communities to understand Earth’s climate, impacts of climate change, and approaches for adapting and mitigating change. Principles in the guide can serve as discussion starters or launching points for scientific inquiry. The guide can also serve educators who teach climate science as part of their science curricula.

Climate Wisconsin

Climate Wisconsin is an educational multimedia project featuring stories of climate change, from warming trout streams and decreasing ice cover to lower lake levels and extreme heat. These stories are produced to support teaching and learning about climate change in Wisconsin and are available in a variety of formats.

Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators

From Cornell Open: Environmental educators face a formidable challenge when they approach climate change due to the complexity of the science and of the political and cultural contexts in which people live. There is a clear consensus among climate scientists that climate change is already occurring as a result of human activities, but high levels of climate change awareness and growing levels of concern have not translated into meaningful action. Communicating Climate Change provides environmental educators with an understanding of how their audiences engage with climate change information as well as with concrete, empirically tested communication tools they can use to enhance their climate change program.

Starting with the basics of climate science and climate change public opinion, Armstrong, Krasny, and Schuldt synthesize research from environmental psychology and climate change communication, weaving in examples of environmental education applications throughout this practical book. Each chapter covers a separate topic, from how environmental psychology explains the complex ways in which people interact with climate change information to communication strategies with a focus on framing, metaphors, and messengers. This broad set of topics will aid educators in formulating program language for their classrooms at all levels. Communicating Climate Change uses fictional vignettes of climate change education programs and true stories from climate change educators working in the field to illustrate the possibilities of applying research to practice. Armstrong et al, ably demonstrate that environmental education is an important player in fostering positive climate change dialogue and subsequent climate change action.

The Drawdown Agenda

The Drawdown Agenda is a podcast series that explores the ground-breaking research behind the best-selling book Drawdown. Each episode features key members of the Project Drawdown team, a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, policy makers, business leaders, and activists who have mapped, measured, and modeled the 100 most important climate solutions that can help us reach “drawdown.” Episodes explore key carbon-reduction solutions across the seven sectors at the heart of Drawdown – energy, food, women and girls, transport, materials, and buildings and cities, and land use – as well as emerging solutions.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

From Amazon: In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.

Visit Drawdown’s companion website, where you can learn more about Project Drawdown and the solutions proposed in the book.

Earth Day Network Climate Education Week Toolkit

The Climate Education Week Toolkit is a free, easy-to-use, ready-to-go resource with hand-picked lesson plans, activities, and contests for K-12 students. It meets Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core standards.

The Effects of Climate Change on Agricultural Systems

The Effects of Climate Change on Agricultural Systems is a five-hour curriculum unit developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Southwest Regional Climate Hub, in partnership with the Asombro Institute for Science Education. This engaging, fun, and scientifically rigorous education unit is intended to foster climate literacy among sixth- through twelfth-grade students and help them understand how increased temperatures and extreme events can impact crop productivity and food security. The unit consists of five activities that can be conducted in formal and informal settings and are aligned with Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Green Teacher’s Teaching Kids about Climate Change

To help educators tackle this essential but challenging topic with K-8 students, this new book includes 20 age-appropriate activities that can be undertaken at home, in school classrooms, outdoor spaces, and in the community. Within the 80 pages of this large format paperback, you will find many useful pathways to guide young people toward an understanding of this complex topic.

Developed by educators from across North America, the collection includes activities that introduce basic concepts of climate literacy, such as energy forms, urban heat islands, and the difference between weather and climate. Walking school buses, green commuting challenges, and public transit investigations are a few of the transport-related activities. Building model solar cars and solar cookers and studying passive solar house design are a few of the energy-oriented activities included in the book.

Rather than overwhelm young people with the daunting challenges facing humanity, the book’s focus is to help them to appreciate the many solutions that individuals, organizations, and governments are already implementing to mitigate climate change. The overall goal of the book is to introduce basic concepts and to help cultivate a sense of wonder about the natural world.

Green Teacher’s Teaching Teens about Climate Change

Rather than overwhelm teenagers with the daunting challenges facing humanity, the focus of this new book is to help them move from despair to empowerment and appreciate the many solutions that are already being implemented to mitigate climate change. Developed by educators from across North America, this book includes activities that explore basic concepts such as carbon pricing and climate change denial. Car trip reduction plans, bike-a-thons, and public transit investigations are a few of the transport-related activities. How to organize a climate change summit or share local examples of climate change with peers in other regions are two other notable activities found in the book.

In an era where public opinion is shaped by emotional appeals and unsubstantiated personal opinion, never has it been more important to provide teens with opportunities to engage in hands-on, minds-on activities that allow them to explore the complex issue of climate change. The teaching strategies provided in this 80-page, large format paperback will engage students and help them develop the critical thinking skills they will need as citizens of this era.

National Climate Assessment Teaching Resources

The National Climate Assessment offers a wealth of actionable science about the causes, effects, risks, and possible responses to human-caused climate change. This series of guides for educators focuses on the regional chapters of the Assessment Report, helping to unpack the key messages of each region and point to related, high-quality online resources.

Nature Works Everywhere: Understanding Climate Change and Nature’s Role in Creating Resilience

This six-part high school curriculum immerses students in exploring the causes and effects of global climate change and how climate change affects their regions.

NIEHS Climate Change and Human Health Lesson Plans

This module is intended to promote student discovery and learning about the complex interactions between climate change, the environment, and human health, using content from the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2016 report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment.

NOAA’s Teaching Climate Website

This section of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website provides a treasure trove of resources for teaching climate and energy.

Our Climate Our Future

Our Climate Our Future, a project of the Alliance for Climate Education, is an award-winning climate education resource for teachers and students, equipped with videos, trivia questions, and lesson plans. Registration is required, however, there is no cost to access materials.

Scaling up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success

Friends of the Earth’s latest report—Scaling Up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success––spotlights a growing movement of pioneering school districts using their massive purchasing power to provide plant-forward, climate-friendly food that is healthier for students and the planet. This report, which includes four detailed case studies, is based on lessons learned from 33 interviews with school food professionals. It documents specific climate benefits of menu shifts and provides valuable resources, detailed strategies, examples, and best practices from 18 school districts. The report also points to major policy and structural barriers and highlights policy actions that can help flip institutional incentives from an emphasis on highly processed, industrial animal products to healthy, fresh, climate-friendly, plant-forward meals.

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.

Stanford University: The Science and Policy of Global Climate Change Curriculum Unit

This seven lesson curriculum unit for middle and high school science classrooms addresses the fundamental issues of climate science, impacts of climate change on society and global resources, and mitigation and adaptation strategies. It was jointly developed by the Stanford School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences and the Stanford Teacher Education Program.


Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses text, video, photography, and interactive experiences to help educators, students, and advocates learn how food and climate interact and how personal choices can make a difference. Ideal for sixth- through twelfth-graders and general audiences and connected to Next Generation Science Standards and the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies themes, the guide offers activities for student research and provides extensive resources for further investigation.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective explores the links between food systems and our changing climate with an emphasis on systems thinking. A systems approach helps to illuminate how seemingly disconnected phenomena are often dynamically linked and can be understood best when viewed in a larger context. This collection of essays contains an extensive bibliography that provides resources for further investigation. Available as a free iBook for Mac and iPad users. A web version is also available for all computers and tablets.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by world leaders in September 2015. The SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and are intended to bring an end to poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. On this website, you can learn more about each goal and what actions you can take in your everyday life to contribute to a sustainable future.

For resources, lesson plans, and global projects aligned to the SDGs, visit TeachSDGs.

The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summit Toolkit

The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program works to convene, engage, connect, and empower young people around the world for action on climate change through Youth Climate Summits and leadership opportunities. The Youth Climate Summit is a replicable, scalable model that the Wild Center developed and has tested for over six years. This toolkit provides the framework and resources for planning and hosting a successful summit of your own.

The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries

From Amazon: How can we create a just, healthy, and humane world? What is the path to developing sustainable energy, food, transportation, production, construction, and other systems? What’s the best strategy to end poverty and ensure that everyone has equal rights? How can we slow the rate of extinction and restore ecosystems? How can we learn to resolve conflicts without violence and treat other people and nonhuman animals with respect and compassion?

The answer to all these questions lies with one underlying system―schooling. To create a more sustainable, equitable, and peaceful world, we must reimagine education and prepare a generation to be solutionaries―young people with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to create a better future. This book describes how we can (and must) transform education and teaching; create such a generation; and build such a future.

World’s Largest Lesson 2018

The World’s Largest Lesson was developed by Project Everyone to introduce the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development to children and young people and unite them in action to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. This year’s Lesson started on September 24. Visit the website to learn more about this project, find resources and lesson plans for each of the 17 goals, and learn how you can join this global effort.

Grants and Awards

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, 2019.

Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution Grants

The Captain Planet Foundation’s ecoSolution Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of the organization’s work over the last 25 years. The Foundation has funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling its mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change agents.

ecoSolution Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions and to fill out an application. The next deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

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 of up to $2,500 and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses. The deadline to submit an application is January 15, 2019.

Crayola Creative Leadership Grants

The 2019 Creative Leadership Grants program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary and middle schools. To apply:

  • Form a collaborative team to plan innovative ways of infusing creativity throughout the school.
  • Brainstorm a leadership program that will enrich creative capabilities and confidence within the school community.
  • Plan how and who will lead this collaborative effort.
  • Complete the application.
  • Submit application by June 21, 2019 (the principal must be a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals).
  • Receive a gift — every Early Bird application submitted before midnight on Monday, June 3, 2019 will receive a Crayola product Classpack®.

Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

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 February 1, 2019.

Fund for Teachers 

Fund for Teachers provides educators the resources and funding they need to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grant awards support a variety of projects, all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students, and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $30 million in nearly 8,000 teachers. Applications for 2019 are being accepted through January 31, 2019. Learn more about the application process and what current and past fellows have accomplished on the Fund for Teachers website.


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.

Steelcase Education Active Learning Grant

Steelcase Education Active Learning Grants are available for grades 6 – 12 educators who are ready to use their physical classroom space to advance learning in new and important ways. Grants are valued at $67,000 and include furniture, a design review, installation, on-site training, and a Learning Environment Evaluation measurement tool. Up to 16 grants are awarded per year. The deadline to submit applications is February 1, 2019.