EarthGen’s programs equip teachers and students with essential knowledge and skills, and gives them meaningful opportunities to improve their communities.
EarthGen offers professional development opportunities for teachers; customizable environmental science programs for students from kindergarten through high school, and resources for schools and districts to take action for sustainability and justice.
EarthGen’s programs include professional development that enriches educators’ scientific knowledge and supports them to integrate local environmental problems – and solutions – into their classrooms. EarthGen offers resources that help school communities become greener and healthier, such as by improving food systems or conserving resources on campus.
EarthGen’s ClimEd program trains teachers in the science of climate change, its local impacts, and potential solutions, and equips them with resources to bring climate science into their classrooms. Through participating in student activities, teachers learn how to engage their students and address academic standards. Trainings feature university scientists and local experts who emphasize locally relevant topics such as wildfires, agriculture, and coastal hazards.
EarthGen’s school certification program provides a framework for students to investigate environmental issues and apply their learning to make a meaningful, lasting change at school or home. Projects include activities like establishing recycling programs, cultivating food gardens, or switching to green cleaners. To be recognized as an EarthGen Certified School, schools complete projects in at least one of seven environmental categories every two years. School communities achieve higher levels of certification when they complete additional projects.
Sustainable School Food
Sustainable School Food is a program that supports school districts’ efforts to reduce the climate impacts of their food system, while providing healthy, fresh food for kids. School leaders receive guidance from EarthGen to set goals and implement proven successful strategies, including share tables, Meatless Mondays, Farm-to-School, culturally-relevant menus, and food recovery programs.
Environmental Science Units
EarthGen educational programs engage students, educators, and school communities in science-based, hands-on environmental learning projects. Programs align with Next Generation Science Standards, are tailored to meet participants’ unique needs, and culminate in student-led action projects in the local community.
Breathing Easier is an environmental justice program that introduces upper elementary school students to the impact of local air quality issues on families and communities. While investigating air pollution in their neighborhoods, students learn the causes of air pollution and why some communities are more impacted than others. Students lead their own action project to improve community health.
Zombie Guacamole teaches upper elementary school students about the science of decomposition; energy cycling in ecosystems; and how to reduce waste at home and school. Featuring a hands-on “Race to Decomposition,” Zombie Guacamole’s lessons about food cycles can complement garden-based learning programs in schools. Zombie Guacamole is available in Spanish and has been implemented with Latinx/Hispanic students across the state.
Energy Matters is a middle school science unit that explores energy use; energy sources and their impacts; and the connection between climate change and energy. As a capstone activity, students complete energy audits and take action to reduce energy use at home or school. Connections with local energy professionals enhance the learning and introduce students to careers in energy fields.
Stormwater Stewards is a program for middle and high school students to learn about watersheds and how to reduce the impact of stormwater. Students investigate their local watersheds, and then design and implement green stormwater infrastructure projects to improve water quality in their community. EarthGen facilitates connections to stormwater professionals who introduce students to pathways into environmental careers.