Environmental Education Resources

ee resources

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

 

 

Stem and Green Careers

Discover Inspiring Women in Science 

We all know Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for pioneering research on radioactivity. But there are many more women scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have made incredible advances in their fields. Beyond Curie is a celebration of 40 of these amazing women in STEM fields, including 16 Nobel Peace Prize winners. Each one overcame countless challenges in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and impact. Use these posters to share their stories and inspire your students to consider careers in STEM.

(pair posters of these amazing women with PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 3—Peppermint Beatle (Linda Buck), Activity 35—Loving it Too Much and Activity 36—Pollution Search (Rachel Carson), Activity 44—Have Seeds, Will Travel (Barbara McClintock) and for PLT’s secondary module Southeastern Forests & Climate Change: Activity 7—Carbon on the Move and Activity 12—The Carbon Puzzle (Mildred Dresselhaus))

 

Natural Resource Conservation Careers

Conservation Connect is an online video series developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center designed to encourage students, ages 8-16, to spend time outdoors, observe wildlife in their local habitat, and learn more about natural resource conservation careers. Topics include endangered species such as Bats and the Monarch Butterfly as well as green careers, such as conservation law enforcement. Watch the educator’s introductory video to learn how the series can be used to supplement existing environmental education curriculum, citizen science projects, and STEM content (science, technology, engineering, and math). The overview highlights the recovery of the American Bald Eagle, one of conservation’s biggest success stories.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 9—Planet Diversity, Activity 10—Charting Diversity, Activity 71—Watch on Wetlands and PLT’s secondary module Biodiversity: Activity 1—Global Invaders and Activity 2—Protected Areas: Issues and Analysis.)

 

Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive 

According to the most recent National Parks Service survey, more than 70 percent of those who visit or work in federal parks are white. Moreover, the outdoors industry workforce lacks representation from African Americans, the Latinx community, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Discover ways to help make our outdoor spaces, state and national parks more inclusive with these five ideas and action steps from outdoors experts and activists. Consider discussing diversity in the outdoors with your middle and high school students and ways to make changes using these five ideas.

 (resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 18—Tale of the Sun, Activity 19—Viewpoints on the Line, Activity 54—I’d Like To Visit a Place Where, Activity 60—Publicize It!, Activity 91—In the Good Old Days, and for PLT’s secondary module Places We Live: Activity 6—A Vision for the Future and Activity 7— Far-Reaching Decisions)

 

Tools to Explore Climate Change

Tree Rings Simulation

The science of tree rings is called dendrochronology. Tree rings help scientists learn about past climates by decoding tree ring patterns. Climate scientists use clues from ice cores, layered sediment deposits in lakes and seas, the structure of coral reefs, as well as tree ring sequences to learn about paleoclimates. The use of tree ring records to decode Earth’s climate history is called dendroclimatology. Use this interactive Tree Rings Simulation by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Center for Science Education to learn what tree ring patterns can tell us about climate conditions in the past.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 12—Invasive Species, Activity 27—Every Tree for Itself, Activity 33—Forest Consequences, Activity 61—The Closer You Look, Activity 76—Tree Cookies, and Activity 79—Tree Lifecycle)

 

How Much Hotter is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?

This Interactive Climate Change Model, developed by the New York Times, asks: How much hotter is your hometown than when you were born? Global temperatures continue to rise each year and in many parts of the world temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will become more frequent. Discover how much warmer your hometown is now than when you were born and investigate future projections.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 40­—Then and Now and Activity 84—The Global Climate, and for PLT’s secondary modules Places We Live: Activity 3—Mapping Your Community Through Time, Focus on Forests: Activity 8—Climate Change and Forests and Southeastern Forests & Climate Change: Activity 1—Stepping Through Climate Change)

 

Citizen Science

NestWatch

NestWatch is a nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and funded by the National Science Foundation. Sign up with your classroom to become a certified NestWatcher and help track the status and trends in reproductive biology of birds including nesting, eggs laid, eggs hatched, and hatching survival. Record your observations on the NestWatch App. Data collected through this citizen science project is intended to study bird populations and how they may be changing as a result of climate change, habitat loss, and the introduction of invasive species. You can even create your own nest box trails to monitor birds more closely. NestWatch’s new free resource for middle school educators, called Thinking Outside the (Nest) Box, can help educators anywhere in the country create nest box trails for birds on school grounds in order to provide habitat and project-based learning.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 25—Birds and Worms, Activity 47—Are Vacant Lots Vacant?, Activity 46—Schoolyard Safari, Activity 49—Tropical Treehouse, and PLT’s GreenSchools School Site Investigation)

 

Learning About Soil 

Dirt with Sid the Science Kid 

Dirt on Dirt, an episode of Sid the Science Kid produced by PBS Kids, explores what makes dirt, dirt! In this episode, Sid and his friends learn about the different types of soil. Paired with a Dirt on Dirt Activity, students ages PreK-2 can follow Sid’s adventure and investigate the dirt and soil on their school grounds.

(resource for PLT’s Early Childhood Guide: Activity 11—Three Cheers for Trees, for PLT’s PreK-8 Guide: Activity 8—The Forest of the S.T. Shrew, Activity 24—Natures Recyclers, Activity 70—Soil Stories and for PLT’s Treemendous Science! E-Unit: Activity B3—Every Tree for Itself and Activity C3—Trees as Habitats)

 

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