Environmental Education Consultant in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Research Fellow, NewKnowledge
Brian Plankis is an environmental education consultant who works with under-served K-6 schools in Indianapolis to develop after-school science programs. He conducts Project Learning Tree workshops for the teachers, mentors them in using PLT activities to fit their specific situations and guides them on service-learning projects to improve the quality of their students’ environment. In the past seven years, over 250 students have created zero waste school cafeterias; established school gardens to alleviate food deserts that are prevalent in the students’ communities; removed invasive species; and planted pollinator gardens, native prairie grasses and trees. Some projects also include community awareness efforts to educate local residents about the importance of caring for the new habitat for wildlife.
A former preservice professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Brian would introduce PLT’s curriculum and teaching methods to students training to become teachers. Currently on Indiana’s STEM Task Force, Brian champions environmental education and the inclusion of environmental science and natural resources as STEM careers.
Brian was a 2019 nominee for National PLT’s Leadership in Education Award.