Education

Environmental Education (EE) is the study of the interaction between the human and natural systems of the world.  EE increases knowledge and appreciation for the environment through hands-on exposure to the natural world, as well as fusing interdisciplinary knowledge of the natural world with core subject areas. This education and awareness strengthens the relationship between individuals and their surrounding environment to generate greater public awareness, concern and action towards environmental issues.  Ultimately, EE programs seek to develop environmental literacy among all citizens by raising awareness of the environment and environmental challenges, connecting people to the natural world that surrounds them, and promoting a more sustainable society.

While there have been tremendous efforts to further engage the public on environmental issues, major gaps remain in environmental literacy.  A number of factors continue to contribute to this reality, such as insufficient attention and funding for environmental education initiatives, a narrowing of the curriculum by the No Child Left Behind Act and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle that is largely disconnected from the natural world.  More Americans than ever before are less informed about the planet that sustains them, even at a time when environmental literacy is more important than ever.  Numerous studies have shown that environmental education can significantly improve economic and educational performance in a variety of settings, including business, government and school communities.

Earth Day Network’s Education program believes that the nation’s future relies on a well-educated public so that we can be wise stewards of the environment that sustains us, our families, our communities and future generations.  In fact, the original Earth Day was billed as “the first national teach-in on the environment.”  Over 20 million Americans, 10,000 K-12 schools and 2,000 colleges participated in the first Earth Day.  Our Education program carries this original message and success into the 21st century.  With every Earth Day Network Education project, lesson plan or event, we seek to create a learning experience for all participants that will eventually lead to meaningful action.

Latest Updates
Apr 9, 2014

Why should students sell candy bars or wrapping paper for school fundraising when they could sell tree saplings instead?

Earth Day Network and ForestNation have teamed up to change school fundraising for the better by encouraging students to sell tree-growing kits. For every tree-growing kit a student sells, ForestNation will match it by planting another tree elsewhere.

Jan 22, 2014

Over the last several months, Earth Day Network Education Director Christine Robertson has been working with the Climate Change Environmental Education POLCA (Project-based Online Learning Community Alliance) to create a set of resources and suggestions for anyone teaching about climate change.

Jan 14, 2014

The US Department of Energy has launched a new initiative aimed to highlight women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

The DOE recognizes the fact that women are underrepresented in these fields. Among college students, men outnumber women in nearly every science and engineering major. According to the Department of Commerce, the disparity is even more glaring in the workforce—less than a quarter of STEM professionals are women.

Dec 6, 2013

Six cities nationwide have begun the process of turning their public schools into more environmentally-friendly institutions. Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Orlando make up the Urban School Food Alliance, a group whose mission is integrating green consumption practices into their public schools’ cafeterias.