Spring is here, and in-person teaching and learning is becoming more and more of a reality for many school districts. With schools beginning to open up, implementing outdoor learning spaces is a great option for teachers and students for safe and engaging instruction.
Every Day is Learn Outdoors Day!
The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative has created a resource to promote safe outdoor spaces for learning and play. This effort features an augmented reality tool to help educators and school faculty visualize how to most effectively use their outdoor spaces for safe learning. Additionally, one of the Initiative’s founding partners, Green Schoolyards America, offers a library of practical resources to help get students learning outdoors every school day, even after the pandemic.
Learning outdoors provides the most equitable and engaging way to get students on the path to lifelong environmental learning. Keep in mind that the EEI Curriculum units integrate well into History-Social Science and Next Generation Science Standards instruction at each grade level.
Youth Are Leading the Way
Earth Day presents a unique occasion to discuss with students youth-led environmental movements. The California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) gives an empowering example of how “California Youth Lead the Movement for Environmental Action.” CAELI also provides students a peek into “How Justice and Equity are Shaping Environmental Literacy for a Better Future,” and insight into how environmental learning equips them with the knowledge to envision a different kind of future and to make it a reality in these examples.
Wishing our Educators a Happy Spring!
–The OEE Team
EEI Program Updates
Order now! Be sure to stock up on the EEI Curriculum units you need for your students’ return to the classroom. Order your units here while they are in stock. To expedite the ordering process, click ‘yes’ on the first page of the form. For more information or questions, reach out to us: email@example.com
Professional Development Opportunities
Workshop Proposals for the 2021 California Science Education Conference
Submit a workshop proposal that addresses a variety of learning needs for the science education community. Proposal options range from 90-minute workshop, short course, and exhibitor workshop, and seek to explore topics such as hybrid and virtual learning, by grade band, role in implementation, and level of implementation. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, March 26, 2021.
Climate Change and History, History-Social Science Region 4 Special Topics Series
The CLIC (Content, Literacy, Inquiry, and Citizen) Project-Climate Change and History event is an online workshop focusing on resources for in-person and remote teaching and learning (no cost for educators). It will provide networking opportunities with grade-level teachers from the Bay Area, who can also earn continuing education credits (CEU). Registration for this event ends on Monday, April 26, 2021.
AEOE Statewide Spring Conference
The theme of this year’s Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) spring conference is “Broadening Our Perspectives to Strengthen Environmental Learning.” This virtual event will feature workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities. Gain professional knowledge, connect with educators and educational leaders across the state, and learn about community action projects of the Environmental Education Certification Program. Registration for this event ends on May 14, 2021. Please visit the AEOE website for more details.
The Lawrence Hall of Science has developed a new resource to help educators identify curriculum units that emphasize environmental concepts connected to science learning standards. Find out more about how the Environmental Literacy Curriculum Connections may also help in planning outdoor programming, safe in-person learning, and maximizing students’ time outdoors.
Award, Grant, and Contest Opportunities
California Coastal Commission’s Climate Video Challenge
This contest opportunity is focused on Middle School and High School filmmakers to address “What [does] climate justice looks like to me?” Students are asked to make a 3-minute music video, animation, interview, documentary, or advertisement addressing the concept of climate justice. For more information on rules and how to enter please visit the California Coastal Commission website.
Deadline: March 31, 2021
Environmental Storytelling Contest
The Redford Center Stories Environmental Justice Storytelling Initiative is open to 5th-8th graders and the educators that support them. This contest requests that students submit a maximum 90 second video and is intended for students to explore and deepen their own relationship to the natural world and their local environment.
Deadline: March 31, 2021
Award: A feature in a Redford Center celebration of youth visions and voices from across the country.
Whole Kids Foundation Grants for Gardens Program
The Grants for Gardens Program’s goal is to support schools and non-profit organizations to turn outdoor spaces into hands-on learning gardens that connect kids with food, spark their curiosity, and support classroom curriculum.
Deadline: March 31, 2021
The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge
The Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge is a project-based learning experience that asks middle and high school teams to design bio-inspired ideas that can provide solutions to the climate crisis.
Deadline: April 1, 2021
Award: Certificate & $500 towards the environmental charity of your choice
Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest – Water Rising
The 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest, Water Rising, challenges students to explore and understand their connection to water, and to creatively call attention to and communicate the need to protect water resources. The types of creative projects that will be accepted include works of art, creative writing, film, interactive multimedia, performing arts, and poetry.
Deadline: June 14, 2021
Annie’s Grants for Gardens
Annie’s Grants for Gardens program offers funding for edible garden projects that help connect to nutritious food. Grant can be used to purchase gardening tools, seeds, or other needed supplies for new gardens or to support existing garden projects.
Award: Up to $5,000
Environmental Literacy News
Climate Champions: Collaborative Learning for Climate Action
By Nan Renner
March 8, 2021
A COVID-19 Story in Three Acts: The Origin of the LAUSD-Skyhook Eco-Vans
By Gerardo (Gerry) Salazar
February 19, 2021
Reimagining Science Education with Climate Change
By Dr. Kelley Le
February 16, 2021
A Journey to Centering Equity
By Celeste Royer
January 25, 2021
Trash Hack: Action Learning for Sustainable Development
By Pramod Sharma
January 18, 2021
STEM Activities to Keep Your Students Engaged This Winter
By Lisa Beach
December 14th, 2020