school nature exploration near Craters of the Moon
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Tip Sheet: EE Week for Schools

What is EE Week:

Sponsored by Samsung, NEEF’s National Environmental Education Week 2016 (EE Week) will take place on April 23-29, 2018, and is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education (EE), inspiring environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students across the country. Open to anyone who is helping share environmental knowledge in some way or is encouraging others to learn more about the planet, events and projects took place in classrooms, after-school clubs, parks, nature centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, at home, or any other location!

Here are some great ways you can get involved!

 

Ways to include environmental education in what you’re already teaching:

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Within the NGSS are a set of skills known as Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), practices that help students understand an observation or solve a problem. Lessons on local environmental conditions and sustainability challenges offer many opportunities for students to learn and apply the SEPs while addressing issues in their communities.
  • Common Core: Common Core standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. Environmental education is often celebrated as a way to make other school subjects rich and relevant and can encourage students to become 21st century problem-solvers.

 

Start one of these activities or projects with your students:

 

  • Conduct a school or classroom energy or water audit to calculate usage and put together a plan for reducing usage in the future. Conduct pre- and post- audit tests to see how much energy or water you’ve been able to save through your plan. Share your plan and results with the rest of your school and your community! Check out National Wildlife Federation’s Cool Schools Challenge or Green School Initiative’s Water Quality & Conservation Checklists and Tools for examples!
  • Plant a school vegetable or pollinator garden. Designating a small patch of the schoolyard for some native flowering plants is a great way to attract pollinating insects to your school. Track what insects appear to visit most frequently and see how many different types of insects your students can find. Students can form small groups to research some of these pollinators and then present to the rest of the class about what they have learned. Explore NEEF’s Pollinator Activity Guide or the National Gardening Association’s Classroom Projects for more ideas!
  • If your school does not already have a recycling system, talk to your students about what types of materials are recyclable and start a recycling bin in your classroom or school cafeteria. Contact a local recycling center to see if someone can give a guest presentation to the class about how different materials are recycled and the processes that take place at the facility. Green Education Foundation offers tips for getting started.
  • NEEF’s Educator Toolkits offer free lesson plans, activities, and educator resources for exploring Greening STEM education. Browse these links to find more ideas and suggestions of what to do with your students!

 

Learn more about EE Week here.

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