Thank you to all of you for welcoming us to join you today. Today we are going to be exploring Greening STEMand how the environment can engage students in STEM learning and prepare them for STEM careers. We’ll also be taking a look at the unique new role that technology can play in enhancing environmental learning, enabling scientific research and equipping students with 21st century skills, including creativity, innovation, communication and collaboration.
Thelma: Mention how NEEF/WHC partnership goes back to beginning ( founding) of CLL Program ( w9l let NEEF describe self– this just puts it into context that they are LONG TIMER PARTNER--- why they are strategic partner for WHC).DOWNLOAD Take your Child outdoors flyer—recently updated…Describe how this hour will be applicable to those who have existing CLL ( neat ideas to enhance existing programs that work with Schools, Scouts, children of employees--- but also applicable to any of you who are just considering beginning program. The ideas we will share today are a great lace to start. This flyer provides ideas that can be used with a group– but are also quite effective if you have a Take Your Child to Work day– or want to start with just one child or a very small group as a trial or pilot in your corporate habitat….Then introduce Jennifer Tabola (or whoever does it) from NEEF)
First: A little background and history about our organization:The National Environmental Education Foundation, or NEEF, was chartered by Congress in 1990 through the National Environmental Education Act with the purpose to advance environmental knowledge among the American public. NEEF is a 501c3 nonprofit that serves as a complementary organization to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extending its ability to foster environmental knowledge in all segments of the American public as well as leveraging private funds and public/private partnerships that EPA, as a federal agency, cannot access. NEEF is the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.
Our organizational strategy for achieving our mission is a social change model that is based upon research that demonstrates that the messenger matters in motivating people to act on information. NEEF works to provide credible, scientific based information about the environment to a network of trusted health professionals, weathercasters, land managers and teachers who in turn influence and educate hundreds of thousands of their patients, viewers, volunteers and students to protect nature and improve public health. Working with this network of professionals across four signature program areas, we create and leverage public-private partnerships to promote daily actions for helping people live well while protecting and enjoying nature.With respect to how the multiplier effect works, for example, with our Weather and the Environment program, Earth Gauge, we have 215 weathercasters in our network with a presence in 117 cities in almost all of the top 50 media markets, who in turn reach 230 million viewers.
National Public Lands Day is the signature event of our Public Lands Everyday Program and is America’s largest single-day volunteer eventto improve and enhance our parks and other public lands. Started in 1994 with three sites.In 2012, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,206 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories. 2012 was the biggest NPLD in the history of the event.NPLD volunteers:- Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants- Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails- Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants- Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places- Contributed an estimated $18 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country- Eight federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands.The 20th NPLD will be held on September 28, 2013.
The Health & Environment Program advances environmental knowledge among health professionals to improve the public's health with a special emphasis on children and underserved populations.Our children increasingly suffer from a variety of chronic health conditions such as obesity and asthma. Research indicates that unstructured outdoor activities may improve children’s health by increasing physical activity, reducing stress, and serving as a support mechanism for attention disorders.
The goal ofEarth Gauge is to increase public knowledge by bringing environmental information directly into American homes through participating broadcast meteorologists around the nation.Because there is a natural link between the weather and the environment, broadcast meteorologists are uniquely poised to educate the public about key environmental topics in their communities. Earth Gauge is helping broadcast meteorologists broaden the scope of the weather forecast byWorking with the American Meteorological Society to change the role of meteorologists to station scientists who can cover a range of science and environmental topics for their stations – especially important because as budget reductions impact the media world, meteorologists have increasingly become the sole staff member with any science background.Provide a free, weekly e-newsletter linking the local 3 day forecast and environmental impacts Provide free online educational materials for broadcast meteorologists to broaden their expertise in the environmental sciencesAlthough meteorologists are experts in the atmosphere sciences, they often have a more limited background in the environmental sciences. NEEF along with its partners has developed a set of free online professional development courses that include: Watersheds, Weather and Health, and Weather and the Built Environment. These interactive courses are designed to help meteorologists provide science-based answers to questions from viewers around climate change and other popular topics andare also available for free to the general public and educators. ** Google+Hangout/Dan Satterfield/Wild Weather April 12
The goal of Classroom Earth is to increase knowledge about the environment among K12 students and provide models for including environmental education across all disciplines. Goal is to identify strategies to support a systems approach to environmental education – not teaching it as a separate subject or topic, but positioning the ecosystem as the basis for a new paradigm of thinking, interpreting, problem-solving and inventing that we know this generation of students will need to embrace if they and the planet are to be successful as they step into lead and participate in careers, community and civic life.We employ a number of strategies to support the integration of environmental learning into schools around the country. These strategies include:online resources for educatorsnational awards to recognize exemplary teaching and environmental efforts in schools support in the way of grants to teachers for professional development opportunities and grants to students to support environmental projects and internshipsand the incubation, through demonstration projects, of new models of k12 environmental learning.
Advancing STEM education is one of President Obama’s top priorities. In order to prepare students for life in the 21st Century, it is important to consider the pressing issues that leaders and citizens will face and the ways that STEM are likely to contribute solutions. Due to the challenges of climate change and the resource demands of an ever-growing population, in some respect, all jobs will be green jobs. Young people are highly concerned about the environment. The interest coincides with growth in jobs for such careers as environmental engineers. Even students in non-environmental degree programs are increasingly seeking environmental content relevant to their career path and selecting environmental minors. While young people are concerned about the environment, however, they feel increasingly disconnected from it. Hands-on environmental education projects enrich STEM learning and offer an exciting opportunity to engage more students in STEM. Environmental learning leads to more enthusiastic learners and boosts critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. When presented with opportunities to learn in an environmental context, students are more likely to choose STEM fields as careers. In 2012, NEEF kicked-off a multi-year focus on Greening STEM for its educational programming, with which we highlight the connections between the environment and STEM and the learning opportunities for teachers and students.
Hosted by NEEF, National Environmental Education Week, or EE Week for short, is the nation's largest celebration of environmental education held each year the week before Earth Day and inspires environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students. We reach educators across the United States with resources for teaching about the environment.Last year, we kicked off our Greening STEM initiative with the theme, Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. This year, as part of our Greening STEM initiative, the EE Week theme is Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors. We’ll highlight the unique new role that technology can play as a bridge to engaging students in meaningful and hands-on STEM learning outdoors. By meeting them where they are in terms of interest, comfort and ease of use, tech tools like smartphones can help young people “plug into nature” by empowering them to observe and document the world around them. Our Top 10 Apps for Taking Technology Outdoors graphic, pictured here, provides examples of free, educational apps that educators and mentors can use to engage their students or mentees in the application of STEM skills to environmental learning outdoors.
Did you know? 75% of 1,900 surveyed educators said students who spend regular time outdoors tend to be more creative & better problem-solvers, while 77% of teachers believe using tech in the classroom increases student motivation to learn.These and other statistics are presented in NEEF’s new infographic, Tech & Our Planet, which demonstrates how tapping into student interest in technology and the environment can lead to a greener, more prosperous future. The infographic takes us through the prevalent use of technology by young and the benefits access to technology and the environment can have on students to the environmental and STEM opportunities in college and career and how ultimately, environmentally literate and STEM savvy students can lead to economic success. These statistics were gathered from various sources. Additional statistics and their sources can be found in the Tech & Our Planet infographic at eeweek.org
JT: This Spring NEEF was honored to work with the U.S. Department of Education to engage Secretary Arne Duncan in producing a national PSA in celebration of National Environmental Education Week to promote how environmental learning and efforts to green America’s schools can play a powerful role in strengthening the health, academic success and workforce readiness of today’s students.*back-up photo of arnieduncan/green schools conference GRS logo?http://www.ednewscolorado.org/news/education-news/duncan-talks-achievement-gaps-reform-in-dps-visit
There are many ways to Take Technology Outdoors with kids. NEEF worked with WHC to compile a list of activities for engaging young people in outdoor activities on corporate landscapes using tech tools. Some of these include going on a scavenger hunt, installing a bird box and keeping track of its inhabitants and keeping a nature journal to document the wildlife and changing seasons on corporate lands.Many of these are applicable to educators who can engage students in the same types of activities to help meet academic outcomes. Mobile devices, with access to Internet, a phone and a GPS, make it easy to gather, organize and submit data from observations. There are lots of great apps available that engage students and the general public in citizen science projects, like identifying wildlife or monitoring a local water body. As part of EE Week 2013, we’ve compiled a series of case studies from educators and organizations around the country who are successfully engaging students in environmental learning using tech tools. One of our case studies provides an introduction to QR codes and how to engage children and the general public in learning about the wildlife in nearby nature. This would also be a great activity for engagement with corporate landscapes. QR codes are fairly easy to make and can be place on signs throughout the landscape. Visitors can scan the QR codes with their smartphones for access to a website or other types of media to learn more about that particular species or habitat. It’s also great for use in a community, school or public garden.
Project Noah is a website and an app that allows people to explore and document wildlife and harnesses the power of citizen scientists everywhere. By snapping photos and uploading them to a mission – a collection of spottings within a certain thematic or geographical context – people add to a global database of wildlife information, contributing to scientific discovery and expanding their knowledge of their local environment. It’s a free, easy-to-use app and provides parents, educators, students, volunteers and citizen scientists to contribute to our knowledge of the diversity of life. It’s on our list of top 10 recommended apps for taking technology outdoors and is a great tool for all kinds of different activities that can be done on your corporate lands for learning and nature in your community.
In addition to the learning opportunities and opportunities to engage in science, technology, engineering & math that exist in nature, it’s important to underscore the health benefits of being outdoors. Here are some amazing statistics:Exposure to nature can reduce stress levels in children by as much as 28% Even a 20 minute walk in nature can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, concentrate better.Children living within 2/3 a mile of a park with a playground can be 5 times more likely to have a healthy weight. Corporate landscapes can provides great outdoor spaces for active and healthy play and discovery as well as real-life laboratories for using tech and other tools to explore STEM and become citizen scientists, perhaps one day pursuing a career in the green economy. These infographics are all available at neefusa.org
There are many offerings available to you and your education partners as part of EE Week 2013. We encourage you to visit eeweek.org to learn about them all. SK: I would make notes to highlight what they can find it the general toolkit that can help them work with educators who come to their lands to help reinforce STEM learning and to highlight this resource as distinct from the Video Toolkit
Plug In to Your Corporate Habitat: TechTools for Connecting Kids to NatureJennifer Tabola & Sarah Kozicki,Senior Director of Education & Education Program Coordinator,National Environmental Education FoundationwithThelma Redick,Director of Conservation Education & Outreach, The Wildlife Habitat CouncilApril 9, 1 p.m. EDT
Overview• Introduction to NEEF/WHC partnership and connection toWildlife Habitat Council programs• Overview to NEEF• EE Week, Greening STEM & Focus on Tech• Activities and resources for Taking Technology OutdoorsJennifer TabolaSenior Director ofEducation, NationalEnvironmentalEducationFoundationSarah KozickiEducation ProgramCoordinator, NationalEnvironmental EducationFoundationThelma Redick,Director ofConservationEducation, WildlifeHabitat Council
Learning Goals of the Course•An overview of our partnership with the NationalEnvironmental Education Foundation, andexplanation of how that may be used as a resourcefor on-the-ground WHC programs.•Ideas and resources for the latest technical toolsto be applied in your corporate habitat.To provide participants with
Introduction to NEEFWe provide knowledge to trustedprofessionals who, with theircredibility, amplify messages to nationalaudiences to solve everyday environmentalproblems. Together, we generate lastingpositive change.
Greening STEM• Solutions to 21st centuryenvironmental challenges oftenresult from STEM knowledge andskills.• Hands-on environmental educationprojects enrich STEM learning andoffer an exciting opportunity toengage more students in STEM.• 78% of businesses & organizationsbelieve that the value of acandidate’s environmentalknowledge will increase inimportance as a hiring factor
Greening STEM• 75% of 1,900 surveyededucators said students whospend regular time outdoorstend to be more creative &better problem-solvers• 77% of teachers believeusing tech in the classroomincreases student motivationto learn.• Children who experience thenatural world & haveopportunities to play & learnwithin it are more likely tochoose science or relatedfields as careersAvailable at: www.eeweek.org
Greening STEM“We know so many of the jobs of the future arein the STEM fields, and there are so many greatties between STEM education and environmentaleducation. If we really want to keep those goodjobs in this country, if we want our studentsprepared, I think there’s no better way to start toget at that, whether it’s in 2nd grade or in 11th or12th grade, than to get kids out in the outdoorswith environmental education.”
Ways to Take Tech OutdoorsPut QR Codes on plantlabels and outdoorsigns to link tochangeable onlineinformation includingvideos, text, imagesand sound.Use smartphonesand apps to create ascavenger hunt oncorporatelandscapes.
Ways to Take Tech Outdoors“By incorporating technology and taking my kidsout into the field, they’re so much more engaged.They don’t see the writing and revision and editingand drafting as a chore when they know thatthere’s a real purpose.” – Patty Crawford, ScienceTeacher, Islesboro Central School“If I can help kids be excited about beingoutdoors, have positive experiencesoutdoors, especially when they’re young, it turnstechnology from a distraction and from somethingthat’s pulling them away from what’s important in lifeinto something that’s directing them towards andhelping them learn about the things that are reallyimportant in life.” – Aaron Maguire, Director, IslesboroIsland Land Trust