The Science School Yard: Plugging Into Environmental Education

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Plugging Into Environmental Education

 I was asked last week about the importance of environmental education and why I spend the effort in my science classes teaching students about the outdoors.  We have an extensive farm to school garden and are recognized as a Green and Healthy School. Environmental lessons are key to helping save our planet.  My answer was simple...

Having nature based activities not only meets many of the new NGSS standards, but it engages both boys and girls in a hands-on way! Here are some other key components to why we need to add environmental education into our school week.
Sustainability Lessons and Activities
1. Connections
Environmental Education connects students to the outdoors and disconnects them from their virtual worlds that this generation of students is living in.

2. Service Learning
Service learning is defined by the National Service Learning Clearinghouse as "a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."

Whether that be a neighborhood clean-up and recycling effort or helping a local wildlife organization with fundraising efforts students can learn the value of the needs in their community outside of their own lives.

3. Stewards of The Earth
Let's admit it...we have done a pretty good job messing up the Earth lately. Landfills are filling...we are using our fossil fuels at a rapidly growing rate...we are going to need the help of this generation to come up with some viable solutions!

Teaching our students about the outdoor world outside of their classroom walls will help to improve their understanding of the world around them. From planting a school garden, to composting...teaching  about renewable resources or taking pond samples to test the alkaline levels...it is our responsibility to help our students learn to use and protect our natural environment through conservation and sustainable lessons and modeling positive behaviors.

Aldo Leapold once said, "We abuse land because we see it as a commondity belonging to us. Wehn we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." 

              Stop back to learn more ways to include environmental education into your Science School Yard!



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