Why Teach Outside?

Nature helps children’s development–intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically. Studies show that teaching outdoors produces student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math.

Outstanding Educator
Amber Hodges

Amber Hodges is a project associate for the Virginia Cooperative Extension in Roanoke, Virginia, who provides programming to about 1,800 K–12 students per year.

Outstanding Educator
Denise Trufan

Denise Trufan is a science lab facilitator for grades K-5 who launched a recycling program at Indian Land Elementary School, Indian Land, South Carolina.

Outstanding Educator
Pam Wilson

Pam Wilson is a K-8 substitute teacher and facilitator with the Oregon Natural Resources Program in Corvallis who introduces PLT to pre-service teachers.

Outstanding Educator
Elizabeth Burke

Elizabeth Burke is a parent volunteer and master naturalist in Fairfax County, Virginia, who uses PLT to train parents to be classroom docents.

Outstanding Educator
Jim Chandler

Jim Chandler is a consulting teacher in science for the Auburn School Department, Auburn, Maine, and director of the Auburn Land Lab, an environmental center.

Outstanding Educator
Melanie Cornelius

Melanie Cornelius is an elementary science instruction specialist in Frisco Independent School District, Frisco, Texas, who helps teachers in 22 schools deliver science education.

Outstanding Educator
Hazel Scharosch

Hazel Scharosch teaches grades K-6 at Red Creek Elementary School, a one-room schoolhouse in Casper, Wyoming, where she has led many PLT workshops.

Outstanding Educator
Sandy Watson

Sandy Watson teaches second grade at Lakewood Elementary School, Phenix City, Alabama, where she helped create an outdoor classroom, nature trail, and school gardens.