Funding opp: Using Educational Networks to Increase Schools’ Adoption of Integrated Pest Management

Proposals due August 10, 2015
Download the full RFP.

The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is soliciting proposals from eligible parties for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cooperative agreement to provide financial assistance to an eligible organization to provide education, training, resources, and technical assistance to increase Integrated Pest Management (IPM) implementation in kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) public and tribal schools nationwide.

Three energy videos from It’s Okay to Be Smart

From It’s Okay to Be Smart. The playlist consists of three videos.

Will We Ever Run Out of Oil?

We’ve heard news of “peak oil” and “the end of the oil age” for years now, but we keep coming up with ways to find and pump more of it to the surface. Rising CO2 levels and the changing climate that results from burning fossil fuels mean that we should probably stop using oil sooner rather than later, though.

Let’s take a look at history and see how we’ve used different fuels, so that we might figure out when and how to make oil a thing of the past.

The Essentials of Energy

The world of energy is a confusing place. What’s better, nuclear or solar? What’s the difference between fluorescent bulbs and LEDs? What’s the difference between energy and power? And what the heck is a kilowatt-hour?! In this video, we give you a tour of the essential principles behind the energy machine that puts fuel in our tanks and brings electricity to our homes. To be a good energy citizen, you need to speak the language.

The Surprising Places We Waste Energy

We use a LOT of energy, but we waste a lot too. Where that waste happens might surprise, you though. We don’t just waste energy when we leave the lights on or the thermostat cranked down too low. It happens at the dinner table and the water faucet as too!

Learn more:
Special thanks to Sheril Kirshenbaum and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin for their help with this series. Check out their awesome online course “Energy 101” to learn about energy and energy policy from A to Z. And to find out what people think about energy, check out the UT Energy Poll

Why Are The Bees Dying? [video]

Video created by It’s Okay to Be Smart.

Bees, wild and domesticated, are in big trouble. Bee colonies are dying off at alarming rates, and the cause isn’t clear. Pesticides, habitat loss, disease… there’s a laundry list of likely culprits. We rely on these tiny pollinators for a majority of our fruits, veggies, and nuts… if they disappear, could we be next?

Links/Sources

Puesta del Sol School Food Waste Program w/ EPA [video]

Principal Jonathan Shearer of the Puesta del Sol School in Bellevue, Washington describes how they partnered with EPA to avoid food waste. Students collect unwanted, uneaten lunchtime food and dairy for donation to the local food bank.

Field Museum Online Field Guides

The Field Museum of Natural History has developed a comprehensive collection of field guides to species from over 30 countries. Visitors can browse the guides by geographical regions and subject (plants, animals, fungi and lichens, and algae), as well as alphabetically by title.

They also include a step-by-step guide to creating your own field guide and uploading it to their collection, a form for requesting that they make a specific guide for you, and links to other identification tools.

Public education’s climate change learning curve

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

School standards and graduation requirements vary throughout the United States. Each state determines its own standards. While most states establish statewide curriculum standards, but in some states individual school districts make curriculum decisions.

As concern grew about the United States falling behind in the sciences, some education and scientists created some recommended national science curriculum standards to prepare students to compete in the global job marketplace.

Dolphin Deaths: A Case Study in Environmental Toxicology

Download the case study science lesson.

This case study examines a variety of biological factors that may have been involved in the 2013 dolphin “unusual mortality event” (UME) on the East Coast of the United States. The story follows a news reporter and four different scientists who are preparing their notes for speaking at a public hearing about the dolphin die-off event. After reading the story, students assume the roles of these scientists and use the jigsaw method to gather, analyze, and share information.  Due to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental toxicology, this case study exposes students to four main topics: ecology of ecosystems, endocrine system/chemical messaging, immune system function, and virus biology. The case also emphasizes the importance of considering an issue from multiple viewpoints since even scientists can sometimes be biased to their field of interest when proposing explanatory hypotheses. This case was originally designed for an undergraduate introductory biology or environmental science course. With some adaptation it may also be suitable for an advanced high school biology class.