Underserved audiences

Want to build a nature play space, but don’t have loads of money, staff, or space? Learn from North Carolina! We’ll share success stories, tips, and resources from several facilities. We’ll also cover some basics for inclusive design, so everyone can come out and play!

The Eastern Washington Forestry Internship program is a partnership between Eastern Washington Workforce Development Council and Stevens County Conservation District to delliver quality FieldSTEM programming to youth at risk. FieldSTEM refers to the process of using STEM principles in environmental science as developed by Dr. Margaret Tudor of Pacific Education Institute. FieldSTEM insists that STEM is possible if not better outdoors because of the connections to the community and opportunities for place based learning that are relevant to the learner. In the case of these internships, many students don't choose college and get stuck in poverty simply because they don't want to leave the area, their families, their community. Creating internships shows these youth the possibilities within forestry and natural resources and provides pathways for them to choose a career with a living wage.

Citizen science is a valuable and innovative tool to engage NPA visitors in in situ scientific data collection while at the same time contributes to long-term spatial and temporal scale species monitoring. As part of a National Science Foundation funded project, Para la Naturaleza (PLN) a unit of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico developed a new environmental education model to engage citizens to become stewards of nature. Historically, PLN trained environment educators to provide a tour within the NPA that is included information about the cultural, history and conservation value of the place. In recent years, however, PLN made a bold move to provide visitors with citizen science experiences to collect scientific data on biodiversity and state of the environment within the NPA. Here we document the adaptation and the role of environmental educators in providing research collaborators and visitors with relevant logistical and field support.

This professional development workshop nurtures liberating creativities, introducing environmental educational (EE) researchers to arts-based educational research. Together we explore justice and empathy, surface and value diversity through multiple ways of knowing, and engage with arts-informed ways of researching. Affirmations, motivations, theoretical lenses, approaches, research examples, and practices are shared to inspire hands-on, interactive infusions and collaborative inquiry. Motivations for this work involve building inclusion and multiple ways of knowing, developing a critical lens, leveraging creativity to build capacity for handling complexity (from the Tbilisi Declaration), and creating brave spaces for research and program design. Theories explored include environmental justice, feminist materialism, Gaian lens, and intersectionality, as well as the approaches of just sustainability arts, socially conscious/engaged art, STEAM, and art as a spiritual practice.

Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies & Prescott College

Imagine a future in which land and place increasingly serve as co-researchers or principal investigators in environmental and sustainability education research. Land-based pedagogy, critical place inquiry, indigenous knowledge systems and indigenous ways of knowing, feminist materialisms, bioculturally responsive curriculum development, nature as teacher, terrapsychology, living systems ethical research considerations, and Gaian methods converge. These slides and briefing paper help explore questions of consent, data-gathering, authorship, and ethics through experiential, collaborative dialogue with examples, paradigms, and methods. Participants walk away with knowledge of effective practice and a resource bibliography to continue to innovate away from anthropocentric assumptions in environmental and sustainability education and towards more inclusive paradigms, methodologies, lenses, and frames for higher quality research.

Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies & Prescott College

The Wildlife Immersion and Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) Program provides paid employment for culturally- and economically-diverse teens from under-supported communities in Jacksonville, Florida. Hear from the staff of this award-winning program to find ways to create nature connection, leadership development, and opportunities to promote diversity in EE in your own community.

Imagine a world where children actually asked to go play outside. And where they can connect with the environment by discovering the magic and wisdom of nature. This symposium guides participants through the journey of creating a nature playscape, highlighting theoretical considerations, community partnerships in design and implementation, and outcomes.

FAU, Pine Jog Environmental Edcuation Center

After years of ineffective recruitment of Hispanic youth at an ecology summer camp in rural Florida, a partnership with an employer started a customized camp for the children of the employees. Learn the story of why the partnership worked and what we’ve learned after three summers.

An urban school builds a tiny home to help solve the homeless crisis. Students learn more than carpentry as they focus on social justice and environmental awareness. We will discuss the benefits and obstacles of the project. Furthermore, we will uncover student achievement academically and increased understanding of environmental justice.

Science Strikes Back kicked off with a mission to broaden participation in science and in our community. With political discourse more polarizing than ever, and the role of science in decision-making under attack, this community-oriented science fair put a youth voice first while upending who it is that does science. Science Strikes Back! is for you – Enter today https://www.sciencestrikesback.com/ We love science at Escuela Verde, and we want to share this love with you! Popular culture often views science as difficult to understand, boring and something that only doctors do. Science Strikes Back! is a community science fair dedicated to shift this vibe by cultivating a community excited to show that everyone can be a scientist - and that science is really fun!

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