National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education. Continuing EE Week’s multi-year focus on connecting the environment with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning, the 2014 EE Week theme is Greening STEM: Engineering a Sustainable World. In 2014, EE Week will explore how engineering plays an important part in the way we think about and solve some of today’s biggest environmental problems, leading to sustainable solutions for a healthier planet and healthier people. Increasing STEM knowledge and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for students is a national priority. Student achievement in STEM is key to fostering a new wave of innovators who can creatively address complex 21st-centery challenges. Environmental education can provide students with opportunities to engage in meaningful and exciting engineering projects that can spark their interest in STEM and empower them to take part in solutions to local environmental challenges. Studies show that environmental education (EE) increases student achievement in many ways. By engaging students in real-world problem solving, EE builds critical thinking skills. Many educators have found that incorporating environmental themes into the curriculum results in improved performance on standardized tests and other assessments. EE has also been shown to reduce student apathy and increase motivation.
5 Great Ways to Participate in EE Week
1. Investigate and plan a green energy engineering project at your school.
2. Use examples of biomimicry to design solutions to everyday problems.
3. Construct a wildlife habitat, schoolyard garden or outdoor classroom on your campus.
4. Organize a clean-up, water quality monitoring, or school recycling event.
5. Take a virtual or in-person field trip to a local aquarium or zoo
EE Week participants have access to:
• Free educator webinars and toolkits offering resources and ideas for green engineering.
• Examples of other teachers who have developed and used engineering lessons to enhance environmental learning.
• Discounts, giveaways and special offers.
• Opportunities to promote your school or organization’s programs and projects.
• Monthly e-mail newsletters with classroom activities, funding resources and professional development opportunities.