Inspiring people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert. Programming includes learning for all ages.
Apart from hiking and other outdoor activities, many parks have education centers. Check out the family camping, volunteer, and grant opportunities.
Arizona Project WET (APW) develops water stewardship and STEM literacy by providing teacher professional development that evolves instructional practice and deepens content knowledge, direct student outreach that delivers or extends classroom learning, and community engagement.
The Environmental Education Exchange is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established to increase environmental literacy. Since 1991, E3 has developed a wide variety of environmental education (conservation, history, safety) programs and materials. Topics and themes for programs have included water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, renewable energy, biodiversity, endangered species, land use, commercialism and the environment, air quality, Sonoran Desert ecology, mining and minerals, science literacy, pedestrian and bicycle safety, living history, multicultural/border programs, and more. The majority of resulting programs and materials are available free to educators or other intended audiences.
In order to reach Phoenix’s zero waste goal by 2050, the Zero Waste team provides education and community outreach to teach the community about waste diversion. These methods include group tours of the city’s North Gateway Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), educational presentations to schools, neighborhood and community meetings and hosting informational booths at community events.
Now, they are delivering recycling education directly to your homes through their new page Recycle+ created to keep the interest and education on waste diversion ongoing – in your homes, in schools, in the car or wherever there is wifi. The team hopes that Recycle+ motivates you to take the extra step to recycle right and recycle more, so that 40% of Phoenix’s waste material is reused and reimagined as new products.
The Sustainability Alliance is a coalition of non profits operating in the Verde Valley that share an intention of moving this region toward sustainability. Each NGO focuses on different but interrelated parts of the ‘sustainability elephant’: People, Planet, Prosperity. Working together helps us all understand complex inter-dependencies and uncover opportunities to make a bigger difference.
We work with local schools to help them integrate sustainability into their operations and classrooms, in part through an annual Sustainability in Schools Symposium. Our coalition provides community-wide resources to become more sustainable including a Sustainable Business Certification, a Zero Waste Event certification, and recommendations on a wide range of issues and are building a dashboard of community indicators.
Check out the Sustainability in Schools Symposium, which is an annual conference for educators.
The Prescott College Center for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education was established to support and expand training for early childhood educators, pre-service teachers, administrators, and program directors in developmentally appropriate nature and place-based pedagogy. Founded in 2016 with support from the George B. Storer Foundation, the Center is housed in and integrated with Prescott College’s Department of Education and Teacher Preparation.
The Center focuses on designing innovative nature and place focused professional development opportunities and course curricula for undergraduate and graduate programs. It offers residential professional development institutes and outreach workshops that provide training and experiential learning opportunities for early childhood educators across Arizona and beyond, including the Summer Institute for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education. Learn more at: www.prescott.edu/sifece
The Center provides opportunities and support for student research on the effectiveness of nature and place-based early childhood teacher education and outdoor learning activities in order to add to current professional knowledge in the field. The center actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with other higher education institutions, schools, and organizations in implementing nature and place-based teacher training initiatives and related research projects.
Nature Play Learning offers design consultations, professional development, and project management services to help you maximize the potential of nature play landscapes from concept to installation to pedagogy and use. A design consultation with NaturePlayLearning will begin your site’s journey toward a sustainable, safe, and sensory-filled naturescape perfect for connecting any age to nature. As your process of transformation is underway, I offer professional development and front line delivery appropriate for all levels of stakeholders from the kids themselves to the staff to the administrators and funders. Presentations and workshops can include any aspect of nature play design, planning and use. I will work with you to decide what will directly meet your site’s and your audiences’ needs.
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is a non-profit organization that champions the sustainability of the largest urban preserve in North America. More than 30,500 protected acres, known as Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, are enjoyed by 750,000 hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders each year. As stewards, we connect the community to the Preserve through education, research, advocacy, partnerships and respectful access. McDowell Sonoran Conservancy offers programs for grade school, high school, higher education, citizen science and more.
This environmental education program engages K-5th Grade students in hands-on learning activities designed to promote collaboration and critical thinking skills.
Main Goal of “Up in the Air” Education Program
The main goal of “Up in the Air: an Air Pollution Education Program” is to educate elementary students and their families about the importance of clean air. Kids learn simple actions they can take to help improve local air quality so we can all live, work, and play in a healthy environment.
Air Pollution Topics Covered in “Up in the Air”:
- Properties of Air
- Common Air Pollutants
- Sources of Air Pollution
- Monitoring Air Quality
- Health Effects of Air Pollution
- Reducing Air Pollution
Program Materials for K-5th Grade are Available!
The “Up in the Air: an Air Pollution Education Program” provides elementary environmental educators with inquiry-based, hands-on air pollution lessons within two units for K-2nd Grade and 3rd-5th Grade.
Each “Up in the Air” Unit Includes:
- 6 to 8 air quality lesson plans aligned to current Arizona academic standards for science, English/language arts, math, and social studies
- Key vocabulary
- Essential questions to focus student learning
- Detailed instructions for each investigation
- Blackline masters for all lab sheets and assessments
- Websites, videos, and other online tools
- Digital lessons for interactive SMART boards
“Up in the Air” Classroom Investigation Lab Activity Example
This lab instructions tutorial video explains how to model pollution dispersion using water and food dye. This lab activity is taken from the 3rd-5th Grade Unit, Lesson Four of “Up in the Air” Education Program.
Additional “Up in the Air” Resources for Maricopa County Educators:
- Resource kits, containing all materials needed to teach the unit, are available for check-out from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department
- A 45-minute hands-on classroom presentation provided by the Maricopa County Air Quality Dept.
For “Up in the Air” education program resource kits and other air quality learning materials, please contact the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Maricopa County Air Quality Dept.
Environmental Education Video Content Provided by
Jenny Frank, Education Outreach Coordinator for the Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Kids Making Sense™ is a global environmental education program that empowers the next generation of citizen scientists, developed by Sonoma Technology, Inc. Discover how students can use portable air quality sensors to measure particle pollution at their school!
Maricopa County Air Quality Department is bringing this innovative STEM program to schools in Maricopa County at no cost. To learn more, contact JennyFrank@mail.maricopa.gov.
Tucson, AZ 85733
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