How you can make the most of Planet Ark’s new research into outdoor learning

Read the full story in Planet Ark.

A new report from Planet Ark examines how prepared the next generation is to tackle the biggest future challenges facing humanity. Find out what 200 surveyed teachers said were the top skills kids needed for the future.

The Learning from Trees: Life Lessons for Future Generations report, commissioned by Planet Ark and sponsored by Toyota Australia, is being released in the lead up to National Tree Day (Sunday 30 July 2017). The report examines how prepared the next generation is to tackle the biggest global challenges facing humanity. These challenges have been defined by the United Nations, with climate change the most concerning challenge overall.

DeVos is Questioned About Campaign to Influence Climate Change Education

Read the full story from PBS.

Four Democratic senators are sharply criticizing a conservative think tank’s efforts to bring climate change skepticism into the nation’s public schools as “industry funded” and “possibly fraudulent” and demanding to know whether federal education officials have been in contact with the group.

EPA Announces Student Award Winners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the winners of the 2016 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). The program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. These students demonstrate the initiative, creativity, and applied problem-solving skills needed to tackle environmental problems and find sustainable solutions.

Fifteen projects are being recognized this year, from 13 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

“Today, we are pleased to honor these impressive young leaders, who demonstrate the impact that a few individuals can make to protect our environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These students are empowering their peers, educating their communities, and demonstrating the STEM skills needed for this country to thrive in the global economy.”

Each year the PEYA program honors environmental awareness projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups and youth organizations.

This year’s PEYA winners conducted a wide range of activities, such as:

  • developing a biodegradable plastic using local agricultural waste product;
  • designing an efficient, environmentally friendly mosquito trap using solar power and compost by-product;
  • saving approximately 2,000 tadpoles to raise adult frogs and toads;
  • implementing a hydroponics and aquaculture project in a high school;
  • repurposing over 25,000 books;
  • creating an environmental news YouTube channel;
  • organizing recycling programs to benefit disaster victims and underserved community members;
  • reclaiming and repurposing over 4,000 discarded pencils within their school;
  • promoting food waste reduction;
  • creating a small, portable tool to prevent air strikes of migratory birds;
  • engaging their community in a program to save a threatened bird, the Western Snowy Plover;
  • testing grey water to encourage water conservation;
  • promoting bee health;
  • uniting their schools to address local environmental issues.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.

For information on environmental education at EPA, visit:
https://www.epa.gov/education.

Composting and Waste-Free Lunches at Western Trails Elementary School, Carol Stream, IL

Download the document. Find other Green Lunchroom Challenge publications here.

Western Trails is a public elementary school in Carol Stream, IL, Community Consolidated School District 93, serving 386 students during the 2016-2017 school year. With assistance from the environmental education non-profit SCARCE, Western Trails completed a waste audit in February 2015. The results showed that food scraps comprised 82% of the school’s waste stream. With this statistic in hand, the school decided to begin composting to reduce the amount of food scraps being sent to landfill.

Webinar: Green Cleaning for Improved Health: The Return on Investment of Green Cleaning in Schools

Thu, Jun 22, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1376580143882424579

Registration is Now Open for NEEF’s National Environmental Education Week

Register now for the 13th annual National Environmental Education (EE) Week sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation. EE Week will be held from April 23-29, 2017. Registration provides you with resources for educators, resources for everyone and advance notice of special events and activities during EE Week.

 

Tackling Food Waste In Iowa’s K-12 Schools

Read the full story in Biocycle.

Audits at 17 schools found students generate more food waste at lunch than an initial estimate of 0.1 lbs/student, creating a baseline for prevention and recovery steps.