K-12

Proposed Texas Textbooks Teach Climate-Change Doubt

Read the full story in the National Journal.

Texas Board of Education member David Bradley wants to set the record straight on global warming.

“Whether global warming is a myth or whether it’s actually happening, that’s very much up for debate,” Bradley said. “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.”

Bradley is not a climate scientist, but he’s about to make big decisions governing what Texas students learn about climate change.

In November, Bradley and the rest of the state’s 15-member board will vote to adopt new social-studies textbooks for public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. When he does, he says that part of his mission will be to shield Lone Star schoolchildren from green propaganda.

Instead, Bradley plans to push for textbooks that teach climate-science doubt—presenting the link between greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity and global warming as an unsubstantiated and controversial theory.

National Library of Medicine Resource Update: Environmental Health Student Portal adds “Mercury and Our Health” animation

The National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Student Portal has added “Mercury and Our Health,” an animation about the uses of mercury and how exposure can impact human health.

The animation introduces children to mercury and its basic properties, discusses mercury exposure routes, outlines health impacts of mercury, describes mercury containing products, discusses mercury contamination in the environment, outlines the proper disposal of mercury containing products, discusses bioaccumulation and mercury contamination of fish, and describes additional sources that children could use to find credible health information on mercury.

The Environmental Health Student Portal connects middle school students and science teachers with free, reliable, and engaging environmental health education resources. The Student Portal offers a diverse array of engaging educational materials such as videos, games and activities, lesson plans, experiments and projects, fun challenges, as well as additional resources for further reading.

You can also view the video on the NLMNIH YouTube Channel.

Curricula on marine debris from NOAA

Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

This set of lesson plans and background information introduces educators, students and researchers to the topic of marine debris. The interdisciplinary education guide is designed to provide maximum flexibility in the classroom: it can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool or to supplement work in other subject areas.

Appropriate for grades 1-12.

The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

This guide is designed for educators in both formal and informal education situations. It is a regional introduction to three main categories of marine debris: litter; derelict or abandoned boats; and lost or abandoned commercial and recreational fishing gear.

Appropriate for grades 5-8.

Download Marine Debris Activities and Puzzles
Puzzles, coloring books brainteasers, and hands-on activities for children.

An Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

Designed as a standalone teaching tool, or to supplement lessons for educators in both formal and informal settings.
Appropriate for students grades K-12, with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) objectives.

 

 

 

National Biodiversity Teach-in: By Students. . .For Students

Elgin High School Environmental Science asks you to participate in the National Biodiversity Teach-In during the week of September 22-26, 2014. The event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity while acknowledging the somber anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.

Students have organized a series of Webinars that highlight the work of scientists, activists and grassroots organizations. The Webinars are open to everyone, but the students are especially interested in attracting classroom teachers and students. Registration is free and easy, but links are limited so register as soon as possible.

To register for the webinars, rollover the “Events” tab at the top of the page. Click on “Meet our Webinar Presenters”. Once you are on this page you will find a registration link under the bio of each presenter. Open the link and submit the requested information.

Facebook: Miss Martha The Passenger Pigeon and Elgin High School Environmental Science
Twitter: @MissMartha1914

Captain Planet Foundation Grants

The Captain Planet Foundation funds and supports hands-on environmental projects for students. Its objective is to encourage innovative programs that empower students around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their local communities. Grant amounts range from $250 to $2,500. Deadlines for submitting grant applications are September 30 and January 31.

White House Council on Environmental Quality and EPA Honor Student Leaders and Exceptional Teachers with Environmental Education Awards

Today, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced the winners of the annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and President’s Environmental Youth Award, (PEYA) recognizing outstanding student leaders in environmental stewardship and K-12 teachers employing innovative approaches to environmental education in their schools. In a ceremony at the White House, 17 teachers and 60 students from across the nation are being honored for their contributions to environmental education and stewardship.

“These awards recognize the outstanding contributions of student leaders and exceptional teachers on some of the most pressing issues facing our nation, including combating climate change and instituting sustainability practices,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Environmental education encourages academic achievement, especially in the sciences, and develops the next generation of leaders in environmental stewardship.”‎

This year, students are receiving awards for projects including activities such as creating a novel water purification method, assessing apples as a sustainable fuel source, and reducing the carbon footprint of a school to help combat climate change.  Teachers being honored this year have employed interactive, hands-on learning projects such as opening a marine science station, designing a solar powered garden irrigation system, building a nature trail, and connecting students to their natural surroundings through field studies. These students and teachers creatively utilize their local ecosystems, environment, community and culture as a context for learning.

“To deal with immense challenges like climate change, we need a generation of leaders who don’t back away from complex environmental problems, and who have the skills to solve them,” said Mike Boots, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Across the country, environmental education is helping develop that generation of leaders, and the students and teachers being recognized today are remarkable examples of this kind of education at its best.”

The PIAEE and PEYA awardees demonstrate the creativity, innovation, leadership and passion for community engagement needed to face difficult environmental challenges. Teachers and students attending the ceremony will also be participating in a workshop led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to discuss climate and best practices in the field of climate education.

And today, NOAA, the US Global Change Research Program, and collaborators from both the National Climate Assessment network of stakeholders (NCAnet) and the CLEAN Network are releasing a series of guides for educators focused on each of the regions covered in the U.S. National Climate Assessment released by the Obama Administration in May 2014. The guides, which are being deployed on climate.gov, aim to help unpack regional findings and scientific messages, provide links to key resources, and connect educators with the climate-relevant information they need.

Additionally, the National Environmental Education Foundation and EPA announced the winner of the 2014 Bartlett Award. This additional recognition is given each year to an exceptionally outstanding PIAEE award winner, who can serve as an inspiration and model to others.

PEYA winners ‎include students from 9 states, including Washington, Iowa, Oklahoma, North Carolina and New Hampshire. PIAEE winners and honorable mentions include teachers from 23 states and territories, including Vermont, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Teaching kids about climate change? Read them a classic story

Read the full story at Grist. See the Environmental Novels LibGuide for fiction for grade schoolers through adults.

A professor of environmental science at Chicago’s DePaul University, [Liam] Heneghan recently started teaching a seminar called the Ecology of Childhood. Working from a list of the 100 most popular children’s books, including classics like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?, Heneghan explains that although they weren’t written with ecology in mind, the books are goldmines for environmental meanderings. More, they offer “the most gentle and loving way” to teach kids about the havoc humans are wreaking on nature.