Experts predict a gap in STEM workers prepared to deal with complex environmental issues. It’s critical that informal learning centers increase capacity to work with schools. Riverbend’s Philadelphia Children Access Nature program is a catalyst for change, using a comprehensive supports and aquaponics in the classroom.

Connecting place, people and story, through the design of inclusive outdoor spaces for schools, communities, and parks. Designing with the 8 senses and the Autism Design Guidelines to allow for collaboration and connections with nature in an educationally intentional way. Discuss types of outdoor space that afford learning for all age groups, nimble spaces with inter-related programming. All of course from the perspective of a landscape architect.

Biological field stations are intrinsically valuable for E-STEM learning because they are located in environmentally and scientifically interesting places. This poster will share an emerging conceptual framework, centered on place-based learning, that establishes field stations as key sites for fostering environmental literacy and advancing informal E-STEM learning.

Whether we throw it, recycle it, or flush it AWAY, how do we inspire people to think about solid waste? In this hands-on workshop, we will connect participants to proven techniques in teaching about solid waste issues and the importance of saving our natural resources.

This session discusses “Science Strikes Back” (SSB), an annual, all-ages community science fair held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. SSB increases access to environmental education for diverse students in urban settings through place-based, community-oriented programming. The session will highlight SSB’s successes and suggestions for best practices in environmental education.

This poster session was about Digital Observation Technology Skills (DOTS) program, an environmental education approach that engages K-12 students across Wisconsin in water quality monitoring activities. The session highlighted successes and learning opportunities from year one of the project based on evaluation results and discussed their significance for best EE practice.

Calling all Urban Engineers: You are the director of this Anthropo(s)cene! Our citizens need your help designing their future. Your objective is to take ancient wisdom and combine it with cutting-edge ideas to create resilient and adaptable cities! Using tools like systems thinking, causal maps, story chips and hands-on models, your team will define the big ideas, design for a specific geography & climate, test the resiliency of your design and ultimately tell your city story. Our future depends on how we decide to shape it!

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that develops sustainable design solutions by studying and applying functional strategies and patterns exhibited in nature. At a time when many students have a fractured relationship to nature, biomimicry-based learning offers a profound shift in how we view and value the natural world and an exciting context for teaching STEM and environmental literacy. This Bright Spot session featured the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (YDC), a free project-based learning program hosted by the Biomimicry Institute and pilot tested in spring 2018. The YDC challenges student teams to create biomimetic solutions to a climate change problem. Teachers are provided with a biomimicry design curriculum (co-authored with EcoRise) and a variety of other supports. Visit to register and learn more.

We’ll introduce the NSF-funded Comp Hydro project and demonstrate activities that develop hydrologic and computational knowledge as well as practice through NGSS-aligned instruction. Using the East Helena Superfund Site as a context, students become groundwater scientists, through connected experiences with phenomena, data, and modeling, then develop a plan for remediation of groundwater contamination.


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