4-H Teen Environmental Impact Survey

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Working together with The Harris Poll, National 4-H Council wanted to better understand how teens feel about the environment. Nationally, we surveyed a diverse group of 1,500 teens from 13-19 years old exploring their concerns about — and commitment to — protecting the environment. Our goal was to represent their unique voice and create a conversation about their evolving relationship with the outdoor world.

Steps to Designing Justice-Focused Assessments in Science

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This resource outlines a nine-step process to help teams develop Framework-aligned assessment tasks in science focused on justice-centered phenomena and scenarios. It builds on the thinking about 3D assessment design from STEM Teaching Tool #29 (from March 2020), but has been significantly revised.

Justice-focused assessments are assessments where students use science knowledge and engineering design practices to solve problems involving matters related to the unequal distribution of consequences (e.g., benefits, harms) to communities that result from human-nature interactions and/or unequal voice of communities in matters affecting their thriving and sustainability. Justice-centered assessments are pertinent when assessing performance expectations that require students to engage in engineering practices, because such practices involve developing and testing solutions that address human needs. In addition, justice-centered assessments engage students with the idea of science as a human endeavor, as called for in the Nature of Science connections of the NGSS.

Smithsonian Science Education Center launches new biodiversity guide for youth

Read the full story from the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership, announces the launch of Biodiversity! How can we balance the needs of people with the needs of other living things? This community research guide for youth ages 11–17 is the newest guide in the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals series. Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to help young people understand the relationship between people and other living things in their community to ensure a more sustainable world.

The other guides in the series are:

Evanston Public Library’s first annual Blueberry Awards highlight nature, sustainability in children’s literature

Read the full story at the Daily Northwestern.

Slimy insects, invasive species and hidden foxes brought home the prize this week as some of the subjects of Evanston Public Library’s inaugural class of Blueberry Award-winning books.

EPL designated 26 awardees, including one winner and six Blueberry Changemaker honorees, for excellence in ecologically-focused children’s literature intended to strengthen young readers’ connection with nature and encourage stewardship of the environment.

How green chemistry helps high school students connect to science lessons: A conversation with teacher Johanna Brown

Read the full post at Beyond Benign.

Johanna Brown is a chemistry teacher at Pullman High School in Washington. A passionate educator with an eye toward the future, Johanna has made green chemistry lessons an essential part of her students’ curricula, and she’s also supported other teachers in their green chemistry education.

We talked to Johanna about her background in education and how green chemistry has made her students more engaged in the classroom. As Earth Day approaches, we’re celebrating the connection between green chemistry principles and our ongoing commitment to being stewards of our environment. As Johanna says, “every day is Earth Day.”

Educational tool highlights COVID-19 and arsenic research

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

A new online educational resource invites high school students to examine ways that humans are exposed to arsenic and how exposure might influence susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. The tool was developed by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

Sense of belonging helps high school students engage with STEM

Read the full story from North Carolina State University.

A new study from North Carolina State University finds that one key to promoting STEM education, and to making students feel capable of working on STEM subjects outside of the classroom, is to find ways to make classrooms feel more inclusive.

Top 10 environment & sustainability books for youth: 2022

Read the full story at Booklist.

Wildlife appreciation is naturally a theme in this year’s Top 10 books on the environment and sustainability for youth, reviewed between March 1, 2021, and February 15, 2022, but the human impact on climate change is just as important to these selections.

This school wasn’t built for the new climate reality. Yours may not be either

Read the full story from NPR.

Almost 1 in 5 U.S. students attended schools in districts that were affected by federally-declared natural disasters from 2017 through 2019. That’s according to the latest available analysis from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Hurricanes in Florida and Texas, wildfires in California and Colorado, floods in North Carolina and Arizona. Across the country, climate change has been driving more severe weather.

As a result, weather and climate disasters are becoming ever more common and more expensive, with 2021 setting a record that was beaten only by 2020, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The most common, and the most costly, of these disasters are floods. The cost to communities has increased by about $100 billion each decade since the 1980s, according to researcher Laura Lightbody, who authored a national report on flooding and schools for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

And that reality is slamming into another reality: aging school buildings that were designed and built in a time of less intense weather.

Webinar: Where to Start: Integrating Sustainability Into Chemistry

Mar 16, 2022, 6 pm CDT
Register here.

From ocean plastic to forest fires, our world need invention, innovation and creativity within chemistry education. Green chemistry, also known as the science of solutions, offers a framework for decreasing hazards within classrooms while promoting sustainability for both human health and the environment. Unpack two lesson plans where sustainable science integrates into traditional lesson and labs. Whether you are new to thinking about sustainability in the classroom, or have already implemented green chemistry lesson plans, we want you to join us.

Join this discussion forum, including a Q and A with 12 teachers all exploring how green chemistry can fit into their classrooms. Together, we will create a community of Green Chemistry educators.