Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EE Week 2012 Greening STEM Planning Toolkits Available

EE Week is coming soon! National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the nation's largest environmental education event held each year the week before Earth Day. EE Week inspires environmental learning and stewardship among students by connecting educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students' understanding of the environment. EE Week is a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation.

EE Week's 2012 theme is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as it provides educators with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas.

EE Week "toolkits" lay out a set of activities and resources in five popular environmental topic areas that incorporate elements of STEM. Some activities and resources also include project-based learning, service-learning and citizen science components.

See the EE Week website for the toolkits and complete details. Be sure to register your organization or school for EE Week as well!

Friday, March 23, 2012

N.C. Environmental Literacy Plan Available for Public Input

The comment period has closed. The N.C. Office of Environmental Educationa and Public Affairs and the ELP Working Group are currently reviewing the public comments and feedback.

A copy of the most recent draft is available at

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and numerous partners have developed this plan for North Carolina to enhance environmental literacy among public school students. It will serve as a guiding document in integrating environmental education as a method of enhancing instruction across the curriculum. It addresses educational standards and measuring environmental literacy, teacher professional development opportunities and the importance of buildings and grounds as part of an effective learning experience. For more details on the history of the plan, see

The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs would like to thank members of the Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group for their time and energy in developing this plan and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for their partnership and support.

N.C. Environmental Education Centers Dominate Top 30 N.C. Attractions List. Again!

Not just a pretty face--Grandfather Mountain also provides a multitude of environmental education programs to the public, as do many of the other top 30 N.C. Attractions.

Each year, Carolina Publishing Associates, the Matthews-based publisher of the Carolina Heritage Guide, Carolina Field Trips Magazine and the African American Heritage and Visitor's Guide, releases its much-anticipated list of top North Carolina museums and historic attractions. Facilities that are also designated as North Carolina Environmental Education Centers have long dominated the list, and this year is no exception with 17 out of the top 30. These facilities are considered environmental education centers because they offer educational exhibits and programming about nature or other aspects of the environment. Learn more about N.C. Environmental Education Centers.

Facilities listed as N.C. Environmental Education Centers noted in bold.
Read the full story in PR Newswire

The Triangle Business Journal has a beautiful photo gallery of the attractions as well!

(Just a little side note--though not listed as an EE Center, Biltmore has a long history of fostering forestry education! Read more on the Biltmore Estate Forestry page.)
1. Biltmore, Asheville, 1,101,413.
2. Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, 757,700.
3. Discovery Place, Charlotte, 745,060.
4. NC Museum Of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, 712,313.
5. North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, 694,929.
6. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach, 601,366.
7. Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, 546,799.

8. Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, 485,622.
9. Museum of Life and Science, Durham, 446,874.
10. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, 411,487.
11. North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, 381,948.
12. North Carolina Arboretum, 367,083.
13. North Carolina Museum of Art, 363,246. (The Art Park trails and grounds)
14. Natural Science Center of Greensboro, 319,076.

15. North Carolina Museum of History, 292,789.
16. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, 283,478.
17. North Carolina Maritime Museum, 292,789.
18. North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island, 256,186.
19. Grandfather Mountain, 245,000.

20. NASCAR Hall of Fame, 216,630.
21. Battleship North Carolina, 199,498.
22. Tryon Palace, 175,853.
23. Chimney Rock State Park, 170,994.
24. Linville Caverns, 169,830.
25. Cherokee Cultural District, 166,747.
26. The Billy Graham Library, 163,919.
27. The Mint Museum, 149,000.
28. Airborne and Special Operations Museum, 144,289.
29. Catawba Science Center, 141,969.
30. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, 140,000.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Several New Grants Posted!

Several new grants have just been posted to the EE Grants page! There are a wide variety currently listed, including many that are related to school gardens, food programs and general outdoor learning environments.

PLT GreenSchools! Grant, one of many currently listed on our website.