Wednesday, December 29, 2010

N.C. Environmental Education Centers Featured in STEM Education Column

N.C. Environmental Education Centers and the role environmental education can play in enhancing and instructing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects were featured in a recent article in Local Tech Wire's STEM News section.

STEM News is a new feature on Local Tech Wire through a collaborative effort with the NC STEM Community Collaborative, MCNC, and the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Center (SMT Center). Local Tech Wire is Capitol Broadcasting Company's regional online technology journal.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Moving Outdoors in Nature Act Introduced in House

Congressman Ron Kind (D–WI) introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in November. This bill would support federal, state and local efforts that encourage children to get outdoors and active. The bill would provide funding to state and local governments and agencies, schools, colleges and universities and nonprofits for a variety of programs and projects, including outdoor classrooms, trails and greenways, educational programs, health initiatives and more. The bill would also provide funding for the development of state "Moving Outdoors in Nature Strategies."

Click this link for the complete bill text. The "Section 2, Findings" is quite interesting and notes much of the current research on on the benefits of outdoor play and learning.

The National Wildlife Federation also has information at .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 North Carolina Outdoor Classroom Symposium


2011 North Carolina Outdoor Classroom Symposium
Green and Growing!
April 8, 2011*
North Carolina Botanical Garden

* Main symposium activities will take place on Friday, April 8. Optional workshops and outdoor classroom site visits will occur on Thursday, April 7 and Saturday, April 9.

Announcing Call for Presentations!!

Presentations should focus on an aspect of creating or using an outdoor classroom area at a school and should relate to at least one of the five Symposium Themes:
- Getting Started! Creating new spaces – How to start from scratch.
- Raking in the Dough! How to find money to make your great ideas a reality.
- Expanding and Improving Spaces! Ways to make your existing outdoor classroom even better.
- Emerging Gardens! Everything you need to know about gardens for young learners.
- Naturally Connected! Connecting schoolyards to curriculum - Dazzle your school administrators with all kinds of curriculum connections to improve student performance.
Click here to submit a proposal. ( Proposal submissions must be received no later than 5pm on Friday, January 21, 2011.

Due to the hands-on nature of this symposium, we highly encourage you to be creative with your presentations! Proposals will be reviewed for originality, quality and alignment with chosen symposium theme(s). Preference will be given to presentations that actively engage all audience members and are experiential in nature. Additional presentation details and requirements can be found on the submission form in the link above. The NC Outdoor Classroom Symposium is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, with support provided by the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and the Environmental Education Fund.

More information regarding symposium details will be available on the website in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
For any questions, please contact Sarah Yelton at 919-715-4453 or

TV "Teacher of the Week" Uses N.C. River Basin Resources!

The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs got a pleasant little suprise in the video of a recent "Teacher of the Week" story from WRAL in Raleigh. Like many teachers across the state, featured teacher Jonita Lee, an eighth-grade science and math teacher at Crossroads Middle School in Benson, uses the North Carolina River Basins materials in her classroom. While these materials are designed for general public education and are used in a variety of ways, many teachers have found them a invaluable resource in meeting the N.C. Standard Course of Study. Watch the clip and you'll see the N.C. River Basins poster, and Lee is teaching about watersheds, wetlands, rivers and river basins; all of which are part of the 8th Grade Standard Course of Study. River Basin materials are also used extensively by Earth and Environmental Science Teachers and in other subject areas.

Learn more about the Discover N.C. River Basins education materials at this link.