As the weather begins to warm, thoughts turn to outdoor activities. Fortunately, there are many ways to take classroom learning outdoors – sometimes in unexpected ways.
Join National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) for Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors, April 14-20, 2013 and explore how technology can enhance environmental learning both inside and outside the classroom. Hosted by the National Environmental Education Foundation, EE Week is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education held each year the week before Earth Day and inspires environmental learning and stewardship.
In 2012, EE Week kicked off a multi-year Greening STEM initiative on the important role the environment plays in engaging students in STEM learning and helping them solve 21st century challenges. The environment provides a gateway to STEM learning through hands-on, real-world projects on topics like energy efficiency and resource conservation that incorporate all four pillars of STEM. For instance, David Munson, Education Director at Project Noah noted that digital tools and other technologies can draw students “into the landscape – into their communities – and can provide an important bridge between the familiarity of the digital world and the discoveries that wait for them in nature.”
Research indicates that 77% of teachers believe using technology in the classroom increases student motivation to learn, while 75% of 1,900 surveyed educators said students who spend regular time outdoors tend to be more creative and better problem-solvers.
Coming up for EE Week
Stay tuned for details about an upcoming EE Week Google+ Hangout which will provide teachers and students from around the country the opportunity to go behind the scenes with meteorologist Dan Satterfield for an interactive presentation on how cutting-edge technologies are being utilized to forecast and understand wild weather. This EE Week offering will be part of a series of biweekly Google+ Hangouts with scientists leading up to Google’s third annual Science Fair.
Educators around the country are encouraged to register free and explore how today’s technology can enhance environmental learning and develop 21st century skills in creativity, innovation, communication and collaboration.