Why I EE…

National EE Week is April 23 – 29 and to celebrate we’d thought we’d take a moment to reflect on our work and celebrate everyone that is part of the EE community.

Traditionally environmental educators have been thought of as non-formal educators that facilitate programs and formal educators that use environmental lessons in their classrooms. These individuals are fantastic environmental educators AND so are the many people that work for the environment in many other ways.  Musicians, artists, journalists, biologists, activists, religious leaders are just a few of the types of people that engage others in developing skills, understanding and passion to address local and global challenges. These people, like non-formal and formal educators, inform, inspire and influence attitudes.

Why do we do EE?

Because people have an incredible impact on the Earth and we are also the only ones with the power to make it a positive one. EE helps develop critical thinking skills, sense of place, problem solving and empowerment.  We do EE because we care. We do EE because we want to help others think beyond themselves and care for future generations of people, plants and animals.

There are so many reasons that EE is critical today and every individual that approaches learning or engagement with the intent to empower, inspire and inform about the environment is an environmental educator.

Why do you EE? Tell us why and be part of the conversation online by using the hashtag #whyiee.

Thank you for all that you do and keep inspiring others!

Happy National EE Week!

 

100 Years in the Making: Wilderness & Education

This past month, the National Park Service celebrated their 100th birthday. This 100th year marks their continued effort to preserve “unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”

In addition to the many programs that the National Park Service offers for preservation projects and community outreach, their education programs have also been widely acclaimed as well. With programs like Every Kid in a Park and others offered for educators such as professional development, field experiences, and distance learning, the opportunities for environmental education is vast.

The National Park Service offers some of the most effective environmental education programs and materials in the county, with many offering the ability for educators to get students into the wilderness and learn not just in a classroom, but in nature itself.

Other programs like Distance Learning provide the opportunity to interact with National Park Service Rangers and learn more about various national parks throughout the country. In addition to all of these options, the park service also offers in-class materials that can be used to strengthen curriculum and offer a variety of options for educators.

With the mission of the Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) being to improve the quality, scope, and effectiveness of environmental education in Arizona, the National Park Service is one of the most helpful and valuable assets, to not only organizations like ours, but educators throughout Arizona.

Which Arizona National Parks have you visited over the last year? How many National Parks have you visited in your lifetime?

To learn more about the National Park Service’s 100th birthday and their educational programs, visit https://www.nps.gov/teachers/index.htm. #FindYourPark