Environmental Education Resources

ee resources

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that support and enhance Project Learning Tree’s lessons.


Professional Development

Embracing STEM Virtual Conference 

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is hosting a virtual conference Embracing STEM on Saturday, December 1. Teachers can join this virtual conference to learn more about how to help their students embrace STEM and future STEM careers. The complete program is four-hours and will include breakout sessions for elementary, middle, and high school teachers as well as administration. If you register, you’ll also have access to recordings after the webinar.


Funding Opportunity 

Kids to Parks Day

Supported by the National Park Trust (NPT), Kids to Parks Day is a national event to help educators engage students with their local parks. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join the national contest’s opportunity for funding. Collaborate with your students to research and write a funding proposal to host a local Kids Park Day near you! Grants up to $1000 are available for Title I schools in the US (Pre-K through 12). Design your proposal around a PLT Activity, contact your PLT State Coordinator. Applications are due, February 14, 2019.


Recognition Opportunities 

President’s Environmental Youth Award 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). PEYA is an annual award administered by the Office of Environmental Education at EPA. The PEYA program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. EPA will select up to two winners in each of EPA’s 10 Regions – one regional winner for Grades K-5 and one regional winner for Grades 6-12. Winners will be invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in mid-2019. The application and eligibility information are available at: https://www.epa.gov/education/presidents-environmental-youth-award. Applications are due February 1, 2019.

FAO International Day of Forests Teacher’s Contest

In honor of the 2019 International Day of Forests theme, ‘Forests and Education,’ the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations invites teachers and non-teachers to submit a short video that shows how they provide children with a foundation to better understand the importance of forests and trees for our planet’s future. This could be a video of a traditional class, a fieldtrip into the forest, an art or music lesson or even a yoga class. 

Contributions will be posted on FAO’s website and the winner of the contest will travel to FAO headquarters in Rome to help celebrate the International Day of Forests on March 21, 2019 and to demonstrate how children and youth are taught about the importance of forests. For full application details, please visit the FAO website: http://www.fao.org/international-day-of-forests/teachers-contest. The application deadline is January 31, 2019. 


Apps and Online Tools 

The Power of Trees

For a quick estimate of how trees in your area offset carbon emissions, reduce flood risks, and improve air quality, check out this Power of Trees tool developed by Climate Central. Choose your city from the dropdown menu to quantify the benefits of trees in terms of number of tons of CO2 equivalent removed; number of gallons of storm runoff avoided; and number of pounds of air pollution absorbed. The Power of Trees tool utilizes i-Tree software, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, that measures the impact of trees on many scales. PLT recently developed an accompanying Teaching with i-Tree unit for middle and high school students to discover and analyze the many ecosystem services that trees provide. Students input data they collect in their neighborhood to calculate the dollar value of the benefits provided by a tree, or a set of trees. Educators can download this Teaching with i-Tree unit for free.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 36—Pollution Search, Activity 72—Air We Breathe, Activity 84—The Global Climate, and Activity 86—Our Changing World,  and for PLT’s secondary module Southeastern Forests &  Climate Change: Activity 7—Carbon on the Move) 

Photo Stuff With Ruff

Based on the PBS animated digital series The Ruff Ruffman Show, this app helps students discover the “stuff ” their world is made of. The Photo Stuff with Ruff app can be used in the classroom as part of lessons exploring materials science. In this camera-based experience, students will learn about science by exploring their surroundings and taking pictures of different materials to complete silly scenes. Play it together and record and share your observations in fun, creative ways!

(resource for PLT’s Early Childhood Guide: Activity 1—The Shape of Things and Activity 3—Get in Touch with Trees, and for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 6—Picture This! and Activity 8—The Forest of S.T. Shrew)



Generate: The Game of Energy Choices

Generate: The Game of Energy Choices is a board game from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that teaches students about the costs and benefits of the energy choices we make; what happens if the mix of energy sources changes in the future; and what energy choices mean for our climate, air, water, and overall environmental quality. Teachers can download a printable version of the game and accompanying materials.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 14—Renewable or Not?, Activity 39—Energy Sleuths, Activity 52—A Look at Aluminum, Activity 82—Resource Go Around, and for PLT’s secondary module Places We Live: Activity 1—Personal Places and Activity 2—Community Character)

Ag Across America

Ag Across America is an online geography game for grades 3-5. With this game, students will learn more about how farms provide our food, fiber, and energy.  The game guides students through a series of video and trivia questions about farms across the U.S. When you answer correctly, players collect items to have on their own virtual farm. Find more games and resources for young learners at My American Farm, and professional development opportunities for educators through On the Farm STEM.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 15—Pass the Plants, Please, Activity 24—Nature’s Recyclers, Activity 25—Birds and Worms, Activity 41—How Plants Grow, Activity 43—Have Seeds, Will Travel and Activity 70—Soil Stories)



Imagine If:

Imagine If is a podcast on climate resilience. Developed by the National Association for Environmental Education and National Geographic, Imagine If interviews change makers effecting positive change on the world. Imagine If features high school students designing solutions to environmental issues in their communities. Listen with your students and inspire them to become change makers in their community!

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 53—On The Move, Activity 55—Planning the Ideal Community, Activity 57—Democracy in Action, Activity 58—There Ought to Be a Law, and Activity 60—Publicize It!, and for PLT’s GreenSchools Investigations)



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