Eco-Schools USA E-News: April 2012

Welcome to National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA e-newsletter for educators,
highlighting tools and resources to help you teach in and about the natural environment.
Not yet an Eco-School? Register today for this free, exciting program!


 

Get to Know contest

2012 Get to Know Contest Connect…Create…and Celebrate! Entries due by July 16.


National Environmental Education Week

Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning 
Celebrate National Environmental Education Week 2012—in progress now! See how the environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM (PDF file).


Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species Day
Plan your celebration for May 18, 2012.


Upcoming Events

National Environmental Education Week
April 15-21, 2012

Webinar: Best Practices for Stewardship Education
April 25, 2012

EE Association of Illinois Annual Conference
April 26-28, 2012

Classroom Earth Professional Development Grants
Deadline: April 30, 2012

Yes to Hope School Garden Grants
Deadline: April 30, 2012

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
Deadline: April 30, 2012

Climate Counts i2 Photo Challenge
Deadline: May 1, 2012

School Grants for Healthy Kids Deadline: May 5, 2012

Food Revolution Day
May 19, 2012

Student Climate & Conservation Congress
June 24-29, 2012



   

     
 

Eco-Schools Biodiversity PathwayNew Eco-Schools USA Pathway: Biodiversity

Announcing the newest pathway in the Eco-Schools USA program: Biodiversity. This pathway focuses on our natural world as a complex and interdependent system. Why biodiversity? 

  • Biodiversity provides us with foods, fibers, medicines, and critical ecological services, as well as an endless source of wonder and beauty. 
  • Biodiversity is essential to resilient and functional ecosystems, but is gravely threatened by human activities.
  • Students can study and protect local biodiversity by creating habitat on school grounds and participating in citizen science efforts. 
Visit the new Biodiversity pathway to learn more about the issues and find resources, lessons, sample audits and action plans.
 
     

     
      

Greenflag awardAre You Ready for an Award?

As the end of the school year approaches, we encourage you to take the next step: Apply for an Eco-Schools USA award! If your progress qualifies you for one of the three award levels, submit your application and finish the year with a celebration. Look here for helpful checklists to see if you’ve met the criteria:

 
     

     
 

boy having fun with mudThe Dirt on Dirt

Want to hear a dirty little secret? Playing outside in the dirt makes for healthy and happy kids. From strong immune systems to decreased stress and anxiety, getting dirty benefits kids. Find out more in the latest report from the Be Out There campaign.


     

     
 

Batslive LogoBatsLIVE: A Distance Learning Adventure

Bat Conservation International, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, is holding webinars about bats and bat conservation to celebrate the Year of the Bat. “Bat Education in Your Class and in the Field,” May 3 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST, will present activities, resources and lesson plans to help you teach about bats in the classroom and in the field. Sign up now!

 
     

     
 

May is Garden for Wildlife Month

kids and teacher gardeningTo kick off a month of celebrating gardening with the needs of wildlife in mind, NWF is offering a special “Ask a Landscaper” webinar for educators, May 9th at 7:30 p.m. Professional landscapers will be on hand to answer your school gardening questions. This webinar is not yet open for registration, so keep an eye on www.nwf.org/schoolyardresources for additional announcements. Send your questions about the webinar to educators@nwf.org.

 
     

     
 

Antarctic Expedition

2012 Antarctic ExpeditionLast month, teacher Cate Arnold from Boston Latin School (one of the first Eco-Schools USA Green Flag schools) had an amazing opportunity to join an expedition to Antarctica. She and another teacher, representatives of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, documented their journey in a blog. See photos and read about their adventure!

 

     
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