Partners Provide Grants for Environment Savvy Education
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) in partnership with The Weather Channel® announced on Oct. 2 the 26 winners of the Classroom Earth High School Challenge.
Beginning in April, the Challenge asked high school teachers from around the country to submit their most innovative plans for ways to include environmental themes into a single course or in multiple subject areas, such as math, English, and even art history, and awarded professional development grants to teachers new to the environmental education field.
"Our commitment is to support the efforts of teachers and educators everywhere in better understanding weather, climate, and the environment," said Lynn Brindell, executive vice president of strategic marketing at The Weather Channel.
The Classroom Earth High School Challenge is the first component of a larger program, Classroom Earth, www.neefusa.org/programs/classroom_earth, designed to increase the environmental literacy of high school students. "If we want students to be ready to take on the environmental challenges our world is facing, we've got to provide our teachers with the resources they need to engage students now," said Diane Wood, president, National Environmental Education Foundation. "And that is exactly what Classroom Earth is all about."
The program will launch two Web sites later this year – one exclusively for teachers and the other geared to students. Both sites will provide cutting-edge resources and technology to help students and teachers make environmental education fun, hip, and relevant to high school curricula. Classroomearth.org will launch in the early part of November.
Submissions to the Classroom Earth High School Challenge varied from habitat restoration to energy conservation. In Washington state, for instance, a science teacher has plans to create a habitat garden at her school designed to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and songbirds, so that field trips for ecosystem studies can happen on campus. A teacher in New York state will use an infrared camera to identify heat leaks in the homes of elderly community members, adding a service learning component to classroom study of energy conservation. Check out www.neefusa.org/programs/classroom_earth to browse the full list of winners and their submissions.