Georgia is experiencing growth in STEM fields. A recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, reports that STEM jobs in Georgia will represent 4 percent of all jobs in the state (close to 200,000) by the year 2018, and the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that jobs requiring science, engineering, and technology training will increase 34 percent between 2008 and 2018. However, many businesses across Georgia and the country continue to voice concerns over the availability of qualified STEM workers.
State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER) defines Environment-based Education (EBE) as a framework for instruction that focuses on standards-based educational results by using the environment and related issues as a context for instruction. EBE has at its core three major goals: helping students achieve success with academic content standards; developing their understanding of interactions between natural and human social systems; and preparing students to be active members of a civil society with the skills they need to identify and resolve environmental issues.
The success of the STEM and EBE programs lies in the fact that they engage the students in the process and have the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to real world applications. The outcome is that students better remember what they’ve learned when they are engaged in the process, and not passive by-standers. This tie-in to real work environments, and to future employment possibilities, make STEM programs a natural for partnerships with community colleges and universities, as well as nearby corporations. All have more than a vested interest in local schools, education, and what students know, or need to know.
The School of the Future Design Competition offers an opportunity to illustrate the kind of creativity that students bring to the planning and design process. The annual competition, open to middle school students, challenges student teams to design their schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community.
STEM Georgia provides information on the opportunities for STEM education in the state of Georgia. Site includes resources, competitions and grants.
The NEED Project conducts student and teacher training programs, provides evaluation tools, and recognizes outstanding student and teacher achievement for grades K-12. The resources are teacher-tested to ensure success in the classroom and are correlated to the National Science Education Content Standards, Common Core Standards, and state science standards.
The Center for Green Schools has resources on the different aspects of environmental education including Educating for Sustainability, Whole-School Sustainability, how to develop a behavior-based energy management plan and a guide to green colleges. The site also includes other research materials on the importance of green schools.
Georgia Power and Dr. E want to partner with teachers to deliver "Learning Power" energy efficiency lessons which meet Georgia performance standards and focus on science, technology, engineering and math subjects. Site includes resources for Teachers, Students and Parents.
Energy Star for Kids is an interactive website that explains why energy efficient products are important and what actions students can take.
EPA IAQ Tools for Schools website provides information on Six Key Drivers and Six Technical Solutions to promote good IAQ management approaches and strategies to assist with the environmental health in schools.
Clean Air Campaign has K-12 Teacher Resource Guides with background information, resources, lesson plans and activities – all of which are designed to be completed in a 1 week unit or can be done individually. The site also has over 50 lesson plans all aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards, as well as the National Standards.
The EIC Model™ is an integrated system of education on the environment through instructional practices developed by SEER. Learning based on the EIC Model™ is about using a school's surroundings and community as a framework within which students can construct their own learning, guided by teachers and administrators using proven educational practices.
Environmental Ed Alliance of GA has lesson plans, trainings (including Project Wet and Project Learning Tree), events, resources, etc. The EE Alliance also sponsors the Council of Outdoor Learning (COOL) that works with teachers, parents and administrators to integrate the outdoors with student learning.
Green Education Foundation has standards-based lessons that can be sorted by grade and subject. Curriculum is designed for K-12. Lessons have been aligned with the McREL (Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory) Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks. Not only do lessons list standards addressed, learning objectives, estimated times for lessons and the necessary materials, they also have adaptations and extensions for more remedial and higher achieving students for the same subject matter. The site allows educators to search for lessons by grade level, lesson type, environmental area, or other keywords.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides 36 hands-on projects and curriculum around renewable energy and energy efficient technologies for grades K-12 that are tied to National Science Standards and Benchmarks.
The JASON Project is a non-profit organization that connects students, in the classroom and out, to real science and exploration to inspire and motivate them to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Live webcasts connect students with inspirational STEM role models. Student materials include reading selections with read-to-me functionality, inquiry-based labs, videos, and online games. For teachers and informal educators, lesson plans, assessments, and comprehensive professional development programs are provided.
Project Learning Tree is a program for teachers who have been trained on the curriculum. Topics range from forests, wildlife, and water, to community planning, waste management and energy. Hands on activities are aligned with the GPS, cross-curricular, and cover pre-K through 12th grade.
Project WILD is a program for teachers who have been trained on the curriculum. Training is given at workshops by the state coordinator. The curriculum includes K-12 lessons, activity guide and service learning for grades 9-12. Growing up WILD is curriculum and activities for early childhood education. The curriculum has correlations to National Science Standards and linked to Georgia standards.
National Park Service/Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offers free in school field trips for Pre-K through high school that are integrated into the curriculum and tied to Georgia Performance Standards. Topics include animal life cycles, environmental stewardship, regions of Georgia, and pioneers of the Chattahoochee. They also offer hands-on field study programming at the recreation areas on topics such as water power, aquatic macro invertebrate and wildlife habitat for various age groups.
Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Floating Classroom is operated in partnership with UCR and Elachee Nature Science Center and is the only floating classroom in Georgia. Elementary grades through high school learn about water quality and lake ecology through hands-on activities aboard a 40-foot catamaran. On shore, students look at the Chattahoochee River watershed and learn some of the challenges it faces. All Elachee programs are correlated to Georgia’s Performance Standards.
Home Energy Conservation for Kids includes background information on the importance of home conservation as well as a list of links to other resources. These activities are all kid oriented and recommended by students from...
The mission of the Alliance for Climate Education is to educate high school students about the science behind climate change and as a result urge them on to positive action. They do this through a free multi-media assembly and follow with leadership opportunities. The website is interactive with video and blogs. The site includes links to lesson plans through CLEAN Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network which is supported by the National Science Foundation.
Earth Day Network has information, resources and lesson plans for K-12. Lesson plans link environmental topics to cover a variety academic disciplines, including economics, civics, fine arts, geography, health, language arts, math, performing arts, science, social studies, and technology. A message board for educators to ask questions and share ideas is also provided.
Zoo Atlanta - Cases for Conservation are boxes filled with curriculum, biofacts and other unique Zoo-related materials that can be checked out from the Zoo for a two-week period and utilized in the classroom setting. Each Case is correlated with the Georgia Performance and Core Curriculum Standards for Pre-K through 7th grade.
Environmental Protection Agency – Students for the Environment is a collection of links websites and documents related to environmental topics. It includes topic area, description of resource and grade level of materials, as well as a blog of environmental issues.
US Fish and Wildlife includes activities and lesson plans related to the environment. The site also has details on the Schoolyard Habitat program and guidelines to consider when planning a trip outdoors.
Johns Creek Environmental Campus School Programs educates on the wastewater treatment that the County chose, a state-of-the art membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology in conjunction with biological processes. JCEC is one of the first plants of its size using this MBR technology in the United States for the treatment of wastewater. The JCEC is available for tours by appointment only.
The Center for Ecoliteracy is a philosophical think tank for education based in California. The site contains essays about place-based learning, case studies on schools that have implemented sustainable curriculum, and literature about school food, school gardens and strategies for change.
Watershed Outreach includes the programs of Rivers Alive (statewide river cleanups), Adopt-A-Stream (voluntary water quality monitoring), Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), and River of Words (Environmental Poetry and Art Project.
Learning to Give is a database of lesson plans related to philanthropy and includes activities on environmental issues.
The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 established the National Environmental Education Foundation as a complementary organization to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extending its ability to foster environmental knowledge in all segments of the American public by leveraging private support for the agency’s mission.
Hands on the Land (HOL) is a national network of field classrooms and agency resources to connect students, teachers, families, and volunteers with public lands and waterways.
Earth Force has a six-step process for engaging students in the development of service-learning projects.
Water Conservation at Home is part of Improvenet.com and shares information on home improvements. The Water Conservation information includes the why and how information as well as additional activities. This resource was contributed by Mary, 3rd Grade.
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