1. Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum
The National Estuarine Research Reserves has released the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum, a multi-media online science curriculum offering students virtual field trips to estuaries around the country. The curriculum provides interactive learning tools that teach fundamental concepts in science and develop scientific thinking skills, while helping students discover and virtually explore our nation’s biologically rich estuaries. The curriculum offers videos, access to user friendly real-time water quality and weather data, teacher activity downloads, and interactive maps to help students better visualize the inner workings of an estuary.
Topics include Human Impact, Natural Resources, Research & Monitoring, Abundance of Life, and Dynamic Ecosystems. Many of the activities also have climate extensions. Teachers can download a Curriculum Overview to get started. Check this out, and while on the website, be sure to check out the many other resources available for estuary education.
2. Carbon Cycle Collection
NOAA’s Education Resources website offers an updated section on climate with a Carbon Cycle Collection. The website offers multimedia, lessons and activities, real world data, background information, and more.
3. Conservation Education Toolkit
The Conservation Education Toolkit from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies offers links to publications that help K-12 teachers connect conservation education programs to science and social studies standards. Resources include Benchmarks for Conservation Literacy, Outdoor Skills Education Handbook, and much more.
4. EarthCache Educator’s Guide
EarthCache combines global positioning system technology with outdoor field experiences. Teachers can learn how to create an EarthCache, direct students to create one, or use existing EarthCaches in the classroom. The website offers lesson plans and links to additional EarthCache sites for teachers.
5. Kids to Conservation
The National Park Service, together with partners at University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Public Lands Institute, supports this website as a toolkit that uses recreation as the basis for engaging kids, and gets youth involved in the planning process so that they can make a meaningful difference in their communities. Kids to Conservation identifies six learning objectives — education, leadership development, service, exposure to conservation careers, recreation, and recognition — as the foundations for engagement. The website also provides information for adults about finding youth to involve in a project, finding the right age youth to work with, funding opportunities, appropriate activities for each age, and case studies (see Puyallup School District).
6. OBIS Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies
Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS) from the Lawrence Hall of Science is an outdoor program that offers young people opportunities to investigate ecological relationships in their local environment. The activities, which can be used together or individually, take youngsters outdoors to investigate biology in order to increase their environmental awareness. Examples of the activities are categorized by Experiments, Biodiversity, and Schoolyard, and can be accessed from the website.