Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Call for Proposals Now Open for 2011 NAAEE Conference in Raleigh!

The 40th Annual Conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education is coming to Raleigh in 2011! Join NAAEE and EENC (Environmental Educators of North Carolina) as we host attendees from around the world October 11- 15, 2011 at the LEED Silver certified Raleigh Convention Center. The call for presentations is open now; it closes February 1, 2011. Six strands compliment the conference theme: Rooted in Time: Branching to the Future.

Visit the NAAEE web site to learn more:

2011 NAAEE Conference Strands
• Conservation Education
• Climate Change
• Environmental Issues in EE
• EE Goes to School
• Environmental Justice
• Network and Leadership Development

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teachers gather to learn about outdoor classrooms

Teachers attending a workshop in Research Triangle Park learned that an effective way to improve student achievement and health is to let kids get their hands dirty.

“Heading Out! Discovering Nature’s Classroom” was held Sept. 23-25 at the First Environments Early Learning Center on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences campus near Raleigh.

Photos from the workshop can be viewed on the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs Facebook Album.

The workshop supported the use of outdoor classrooms and schoolyard gardens to improve academic achievement and address issues such as childhood obesity that have become more common due to a lack of outdoor exercise. Educators learned strategies to easily incorporate outdoor experiences, gardening, storytelling and art into their curriculum.

First Environments Early Learning Center is an ideal site for educators because it incorporates outdoor learning into the classroom, on the playground and even in food service. The workshop emphasized hands-on learning, and content and activities were aligned with the N.C. Foundations for Early Learning and the N.C. Standard Course of Study for kindergarten through 5th grade courses in science, social studies, language arts, math and healthy living.

“Heading Out!” was coordinated by the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs. It was made possible by the Environmental Education Fund at no cost to participants, thanks to funding from the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program.

Preference was given to applicants from the 36-county Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program region in northeastern North Carolina. However, teachers from as far west as Polk County will be in attendance.

For more information about First Environments Early Learning Center, visit For more information about the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, visit

EENC Conference October 8-10 in Blowing Rock

Reminder, the Environmental Educators of North Carolina's annual conference "The Blow-out in Blowing Rock" begins Friday!

Find out more on the EENC website.

Maryland Passes Environmental Literacy Requirement

From North American Association for Environmental Education reports...

The Maryland State Board of Education voted unanimously last week to require all Maryland public schools to incorporate environmental education into their curriculum.

Every Maryland public school must now provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education program aligned with the Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum. Each local school system can design its own program, which will be reviewed by Maryland State Board of Education every five years. The requirement does not require an additional course or specific number of environmental education experiences--each local school system can implement its environmental literacy plan based on the resources unique to their system. This decision is expected to provide the opportunity for all public school students to participate in quality, integrated environmental education programs. The state board rejected language that would clarify the provision as a high school graduation requirement.

For more details: