EEI News: Spring Edition

Hooray for springtime! The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and plants are starting to bloom!

Spring is a great time of year to make plans for bringing environment-based learning into your classroom. The EEI Curriculum can help you increase your student’s environmental literacy while supporting traditional academic subjects.

If you teach science, we encourage you to explore the science units beyond the grades you teach. With the Next Generation Science Standards, quite a bit of the content has shifted to different grade levels. Check out our EEI/NGSS correlation guides and a performance expectation spreadsheet to help you identify which EEI units support specific performance expectations.

Happy spring!

The EEI Team!


EEI Program Updates

We Are Hiring!

The Office of Education and the Environment (OEE) is seeking an “Office Technician — Typing” who is a self-starter, with great organizational and time management skills to work in a dynamic and fast-paced office. Find out more about this position and apply here.

EEI Units Spanish translations

A select number of EEI Curriculum units have been voluntarily translated into Spanish by bilingual educators. If you have English language learners in your classroom these materials may be helpful to you and can download them here.

California Department of Education Science Rollout #6 featuring the EP&Cs!

The next NGSS California state rollout will be focused on the Environmental Principals and Concepts and is expected to begin in the fall, stay tuned for more info.

CREEC Funded Phenomenon Summits

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) is conducting Environmental Phenomena Summits throughout multiple CREEC regions. Each two-day summit will bring together classroom teachers, non-formal educators, and scientist to identify environmentally-focused phenomena; highlight resources for building understanding of the phenomena; and identify grade-level appropriate student science activities. These events began last fall continuing through fall 2019. For additional information and to learn how you can participate check out the San Diego County Office of Education NGSS Resource website.

New History-Social Science Framework

While California’s history-social science standards have not changed, there is a new framework that focuses on a more inquiry-based approach to teaching. The new history-social science framework includes guiding questions and incorporates California’s Environmental Principals and Concepts (EP&Cs). It encourages teachers and students to explore the connections between history-social science and the world around them.

New Shorter EEI 101 Training Video

Need a quick introduction to the EEI Curriculum? Check out our new, shorter EEI 101 training video and qualify to qualify to get free EEI Curriculum units in print!

Changes to EEI Curriculum Ordering Policy

New to EEI, or just wanting to reorder material? Check out some of the changes to our EEI Curriculum Ordering Policy to make sure you get the units you want and need.

EEI Blog Articles

 5 Tips for Bringing the EP&Cs into Your NGSS Instruction

A classic article that was published in July 2018, this blog article remains a great resource to reference when looking for new and easy ways to weave California’s Environmental Principals & Concepts (EP&Cs) into your classroom Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) instruction.

 Fostering Environmental Literacy

Written for educators by an educator, “Fostering Environmental Literacy” explores what is environmental literacy and what it means to apply an environmental lens to your lessons. Educator Jim Bentley has created a resource that takes educators on a journey through the ways that he uses an environmental lens in his classroom.

Award, Grant & Contest Opportunities

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

Annie’s Grants for Gardens program offers funding for edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Grants can be used to purchase gardening tools, seeds, or other needed supplies for new gardens or to support existing garden projects.

Grant Amount: Up to $5,000

Applications Open: May 2019

Zero Waste Week Art Contest

Students invite their local communities to “Go Green and Think Blue” by joining them in the annual Students for Zero Waste Week campaign. During this campaign, students focus on reducing land-based waste in order to protect the health of local marine environment. During this week, students are asked to create an original pieced of artwork that illustrates how zero waste on land helps to protect the health of our local watersheds and ocean.

Award: The winning artwork to be used in the 2020 Students for Zero Waste Week campaign.

Deadline: May 1, 2019

CalRecycle’s Tire-Derived Product Grant

This grant opportunity for public school districts and (COES) offers up to $150k reimbursement to resurface playgrounds with tire-derived product material (rubber nuggets, pour-in-place applications, or rubber mats).

Grant Amount: Up to $150k

Deadline: May 14, 2019

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest

Climate change is the biggest issue of your lifetime. Your whole life will be lived as the impacts of global climate change are taking place. Our Contest is a call for young artists, thinkers, and activists who are concerned about the future of our human and natural communities to use their creative voices to explore, express, and advocate for issues related to climate change and our oceans. Participants are asked to create a piece about a coastal/marine species, place, or system that will be threatened, altered, or lost due to climate change. 

Grant Amount: $250-$1,500

Deadline: June 17, 2019

Greenworks Grants

Project Learning Tree offers GreenWorks grants to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment.

Grant Amount: Up to $1,000

Deadline: September 30, 2019


Environmental Literacy News

Why Does Teaching Science Beyond the Classroom Matter

Erika Remedios
April 8, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

Top 10 Tips for Outdoor Environmental Teaching

Alex Maxon
March 19, 2019

Connecting Curriculum and Standards to Teach About Healthy Habitats (part two)

Rebecca Fox
February 14, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

Investigating the Environment in the Past and Present: Environmental Literacy Programming for History-Social Science

Shelley Brooks, PhD
January 17, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

Meeting new science standards requires greater emphasis on teacher practice

Linda Jacobson
January 4, 2019
Education Dive


Classroom Stories


“When I started looking around on how to teach science, math, language, and art in the garden. I came across your great material connected to NGSS standards. In the picture … is one of the coveted Maps of California’s terrain, plants, and animals that thrive there. This map is an invaluable tool when we are teaching the kids in our outdoor classroom. ”

Price_NGS Map-pic-1

—Cynthia Price, 2nd-grade educator, Community Roots Academy Charter School


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