EEI News: Fall Edition

Dear educator,

Happy Fall! Environmental Literacy is off to a great start this school year. Science educators will be happy to hear that the upcoming NGSS Statewide Rollouts are focused on environmental literacy and ways to use the environment as a context for supporting NGSS implementation! Learn more about this opportunity and register today.

History-social science educators will likewise find a great resource in the latest Source Magazine published by our friends at the California History-Social Science Project. The entire issue is dedicated to environmental literacy and is chock full of essays, lessons, and articles about applying an environmental lens to the past.

Read on to learn more about the latest happenings in the world of environmental education.

EEI Program Updates

New Webinar Available: Teaching Science Using Environmental Phenomena

This new and informative webinar introduces K-5 educators to ways to use environmental phenomena as a focal point for teaching the Next Generation Science Standards. Educators also explore ways in which California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&CS) can be applied to local phenomena such as landfills, worm bins, and local nature preserves. Watch this webinar on-demand.

Professional Development Opportunities

CA NGSS Statewide Rollout – Environmental Literacy

These two-day professional learning workshops are geared towards grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Participants will experience grade-appropriate learning sequences with an environmental literacy focus and examples of local environmental phenomena. Learn more and register here.

Inspired By Nature: Enhancing STEM with Biomimicry Design Challenges

This unique professional development opportunity designed by Bioneers and Ten Strands is a shoulder event to the California STEAM symposium. The training event is designed for middle school and high school educators interested in the intersection of environmental education and sustainable design. For more information or to register please visit the website.

Award, Grant, and Contest Opportunities

SMUD Electric Vehicle Video Contest

Middle school students have the chance to charge up change with the SMUD electric vehicle video contest. The contest asks students to submit a 1-2 minute video promoting the benefits of driving electric vehicles. Visit SMUD education for more details on how to enter this contest.

Deadline: October 18, 2019
Award: Varies

Public Education WHALE TAIL®️ Grants

Looking for funding for an ocean education or coastal stewardship project for underserved youth or the general public? The California Coastal Commission is accepting applications for the WHALE TAIL®️ Grants between now and November 4, 2019, from nonprofits, schools, or government entities. For full guidelines and the application please visit the California Coastal Commission webpage.

Deadline: November 4, 2019
Award: Up to $300,000

Green Ribbon Schools Award Program

The California Green Ribbon program recognizes schools that reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, and provide effective environmental and sustainable education. This award recognizes institutions that: reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainable education. To find out more and to apply please visit the California Department of Education website.

Deadline: November 14, 2019

California King Tides Project

The California King Tides Project asks people to take photos of the highest high tides of the year to help visualize future sea-level rise. Students can participate in the citizen science project, as well as view hundreds of photos from past King Tides seasons. Visit the California Coastal Commission website for more details on how to participate in the California King Tides Project.

Deadline: January 12 & February 9, 2020

Environmental Storytelling Contest

The contest is open to middle school classrooms across the U.S. The contest asks students to create a video story that tackles real-world environmental problems and proposes solutions for the future. Find out more about Redford Center Stories on the website.

Deadline: March 9, 2020
Award: $100- $500; Grand prize includes a class trip to Florida

Coming Together for the Climate video contest

The California Coastal Commission invites California middle school and high school students to participate in the “Coming Together for the Climate” video contest. Students are asked to create a video that answers the question: “how do we come together for climate change?” For more information and how to enter this contest please visit the Coast Commission’s website.

Deadline: March 31, 2020


Environmental Literacy News

The Source Magazine, Environmental Literacy in History-Social Science

The Source is a magazine created by the UC Davis California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP), it provides educator driven content such as sample lesson plans, interviews with teachers and scholars, essays on history education and a calendar of upcoming events. The August 2019 issue focuses on Environmental Literacy in History-Social Science, Environmental Justice, Learning in and From the Outdoors and Empowering Eco-literate Global Citizens. The magazine is accessible and available to read online.

On-the-Water Ocean Environmental Literacy for All

By Dax Ovid
August 12, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

Can Climbing Trees Replace Preparing for Tests?

By Katherine Martinelli
August 15, 2019
The New York Times

A Vision for Inclusive, Community-Driven Environmental Literacy

By Craig Strang, Jedda Foreman, Adam Frost, & Vanessa Lujan
August 20, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

A Confluence of Opportunities for Expanding Environmental Literacy

By Gerald Liebermann, PhD
August 20, 2019
Ten Strands Blog

The Irrefutable Case for Taking Class Outside

By Katherine Ehrenfeld Gardoqui
September 13, 2019
Education Week

A Call to Action: Educators from Five Countries Embark on Three-year Journey to Advance Environmental Literacy in Their Schools

By Dean Reese
September 23, 2019
Ten Strands Blog


Classroom Stories



“Having a visual to go with the vocabulary was very helpful to my ELL students.  It also helped me when creating sentence frames and speaking stems.”

— Michelle Lourenco, Kindergarten educator, Santa Paula Unified School District




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