Happy Middle Education Month! March is the month to celebrate middle level education. What students learn during this formative period has a big impact on their future, including when it comes to their role in environmental stewardship.
What Is Middle Education?
Middle school is a unique and transformative time. Rapid physical, social, and emotional changes are experienced between ages 10 to 15. As psychologist Erik Erikson said: “at no other time in the life cycle are the chances of finding one’s self and losing one’s self so closely aligned.”
This month, consider the importance of both educators and parents being actively engaged in the lives of middle school students. Are you helping the young adolescents in your life tap into their full potential? Remember: you are face-to-face with future leaders, scientists, and artists whenever you step into a middle school classroom.
Environmental Education Activities
NEEF has curated an extensive collection of hands-on education resources for middle school teachers and parents alike. The Greening STEM approach makes environmental education more relevant and accessible for educators and learners. These flexible—and fun—activities can be used as stand-alone lessons or together as a cohesive instruction unit.
Below are four standards-based lesson plans to help young adolescents pursue their interest in environmental education in the classroom—or at home.
Have Seeds, Will Travel
What makes a seed successful? Students learn about reproduction in plants and connect science, technology, engineering, and math strategies as they design a seed dispersal and germination method.
An Ocean of Plastics
Plastic became popular in consumer products post-World War II, but it wasn’t until much later that we realized how long it remains in our environment. In this unit, students will gain a deeper understanding about the effect plastic pollution has on marine ecosystems, the food chain, and human health.
Discover Your Urban Forest
More than 70% of the US population lives in urban areas. Discover nature in the city by investigating environmental issues that affect your local community. Learn about the social and psychological effects of trees and make recommendations to help communities be more resilient and sustainable.
Carbon and Climate
What is climate? What role does carbon play in climate? This award-winning curriculum explores these two essential questions. The program is designed as an introduction to climate science and the complexity of the associated social, political, and environmental challenges.
Participate in This Year’s Climate Superstars Challenge
Mark your calendars for October to participate in the next Climate Superstars Challenge, a collaborative educational partnership between NEEF, Samsung, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program. Middle school classrooms that complete a series of energy-themed activities can qualify for a prize drawing.
Visit the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ website for more creative ways to celebrate Middle Education Month. Healthy bodies plus healthy minds equals healthy young adolescents.