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Songbird Welcome Center

Marion Springs Elementary #348
Baldwin City, KS


Elementary students in Kansas restore songbird habitat at the Marion Springs Environmental Center. High school shop students, biologists, and a local artist help students construct birdbaths, benches, and feeders, and selected soil amendments. A fourth- and fifth-grade recycling program partially funds the project. Success is measured by monitoring use of the plot by birds, students, and community members.

Gorham Town Forest

Gorham High School
Gorham, NH


Gorham High School students work with the town forester and the Appalachian Mountain Club to develop experiences that immerse students in the town forest. These include a freshman orientation, an ecology-based experience for sophomores, a water chemistry experience for juniors, and a support structure for the seniors to do projects based in the Town Forest that promote the forest's preservation.

Mapping McCabe

Great Brook Middle School
Antrim, NH


Fifth graders explore and map the flora and fauna of McCabe Forest. Art activities, field and book research help them create maps that are scientifically accurate and aesthetically beautiful.

River Check

Northstar Academy
Richmond, VA


Students design scientific experiments and take field trips to a local river, water treatment plant, and wastewater treatment plant to learn about local water pollution. They study stormwater runoff, erosion and deposition, nutrient overloading, groundwater, acid rain, and limnology. Students present their findings and suggestions for improvement to the affected counties, the city, and the State Department of Agriculture.

Reading the Forested Landscape

The Compass School
Westminster Station, VT


Eighth graders explore the community and land surrounding their school to uncover clues to human land use over the past 300 years. Students create a series of "Quests," self-guided treasure hunts that take followers on an educational tour of local points of interest. The Quests are published in a student-designed booklet and on the web, so that they can be used by families for years to come.

Reclaiming the Land

Millcreek Elementary
Hemlock, OH


Ohio's Mill Creek School is surrounded by reclaimed mining land, including a 250-acre tree farm and a 2,600-acre wildlife area. Students visit these areas to examine the history and impact of coal mining in their area and environmentally sound options for reclaiming the land. Students document their discoveries in journals and conduct public presentations for the school and community.

Air & Water Quality Program

Bellows Falls Union High School
Westminster, VT


High school students monitor local air and water quality in the Connecticut River Valley to deepen their understanding of the importance of clean air and water. They report their findings back to the community through a student-built website, slide presentations to senior citizens, and production of a television program aired on local television.

Groveton Heritage Project

Groveton Elementary School
Groveton, NH


The Groveton Heritage Project was designed to improve school/community relations and foster student learning through place-based education. Students put together oral history of Groveton. They interview community members, study historical photos, and work with local musicians to compose music to accompany their project.

Sutton History Questing Project

Sutton Central Elementary School
Sutton Mills, NH


Elementary students collaborate with the local historical society to investigate their town's history. Students conduct interviews with selectmen, the chief of police, the town historian, and storytellers, and explore their community's architecture and physical features. The study culminates in an art show and the creation of a "Quest" — a treasure hunt that highlights the town's history.

Air Quality Sleuths

U-32 High School
Montpelier, VT


U-32 Jr/Sr High School relocates its drop-off area for buses. Students concerned with air quality team up with AirNet to survey the air quality at the bus stop. They gatherer chemical data, and identify and map lichens as indicators of air quality. Students are asked to develop recommendations to improve air quality based on their findings, and report their conclusions to the school board and community.

Urban Rangers

The Urban Rangers


The Urban Rangers program uses bicycles to teach that just as a bike can be repaired, a community torn by neglect and violence can also be repaired. Youth work with a professional bike mechanic to refurbish bikes for resale. Participants gain skills in conflict mediation and take part in community service projects such as designing a wildlife habitat garden.

Welcome to Gorham

Gorham Elementary School
Gorham, NH


Third-grade students work with a local author to write a children's book about Gorham's past, present, and future. Local artists coach students on how to make their drawings consistent and effective. They publish the book in full color and distribute it throughout the community.

Florida Habitat Garden

Casselberry Elementary School
Casselberry, FL


Students create outdoor classrooms that focus around habitat for box turtles, lizards, butterflies, and native flowers. The fifth-grade gardening club maintains the outdoor classrooms. They participate in the Monarch Watch program and establish a student-run company to raise and sell monarch chrysalids. They have received hundreds of orders from teachers and students.

Bread Baking Oven and Business

Great Brook Middle School
Antrim, NH


Alternative program students construct a traditional, wood-fired Quebecois bread oven on the school grounds. A student-run company bakes bread in the oven and sells it. Working with the fire department chief, local artisans, and business people, students get a full immersion in the challenges of making a living.

Navajo Gardening Project

Navajo Mountain High School
Tonalea, AZ


Students at Navajo Mountain High School construct a greenhouse and plant a garden that emphasizes Navajo cultural history and provides produce to the community's elders. The interdisciplinary project includes a mentoring component between high school and middle school students.

Antrim Center Project

Great Brook Middle School
Antrim, NH


In response to a request from the Antrim Conservation Commission, sixth- and seventh-grade students and teachers take on the responsibility for surveying a 15-acre piece of land. They communicate with adjoining landowners, plan a trail, design trail signs, and work with a graphic artist to design a trail brochure. This previously unused town land now serves as a local park.

Neighborhood Renewal Project

William Hunter Elementary School
Philadelphia, PA


Inner-city elementary students participate in the improvement and renewal of their school and community. Through partnerships with neighborhood organizations, students restore the adjacent school garden and adopted a city block. Field trips to local nature centers and suburban areas allow students to compare different neighborhoods and spark restoration ideas for their own communities.

Field Study Program Design Project

Goodwill-Hinckley Homes for Boys & Girls/L.C. Bates Museum
Hinckley, ME


Middle and high school students at a residential school for at-risk youth work with educators at an on-campus natural history museum to create a three-hour field study program for local schools, senior centers, and community organizations. As a service-learning project, students assist in designing and presenting the program, and collect materials for the museum.

Snowmobile Trail Mapping

Hichborn Middle School
Howland, ME


As a part of their physical education and health classes, middle school students learn how to use GPS units and mapping software to create maps of local snowmobile trails. The old maps were dangerously vague. New maps produced by students include written descriptions, and are distributed for public use.

Technical Science Writing Project

Great Brook Middle School
Antrim, NH


A local hardware store provides unassembled wheelbarrows to a local junior high school science class. The students put the wheelbarrows together, critique the assembly directions, and then write letters to the company indicating how they could make the directions more user-friendly. This synthesis of practical science and writing help the hardware store while improving student skills.

Fellsmere Pond Exhibits

Beebe Environmental and Health Science Magnet School
Malden, MA


Students work with the local metropolitan parks department to design educational interpretive exhibits for an urban park. They develop a walking tour, accompanying brochure, and two Quests that lure local visitors to explore the pond and park. The Quests include artificial rocks crafted through the school's partnership with the local zoo. Students are also doing habitat restoration projects at the park.

"Living Machine" & Wetlands Restoration

EastConn Alternative Design Academy
Hampton, CT


Seventh- and eighth-graders learn how wetlands function through a service-learning project with the Department of Environmental Protection's Wetlands Restoration Unit. Students construct a "living machine," a self-sustaining, integrated, four-chambered ecosystem in which the waste from one chamber becomes the nutrients for the next.

Four Towns History Museum

Great Brook Middle School
Antrim, NH


Seventh-grade students create an in-school museum to tell the stories of Antrim, Bennington, Francestown and Hancock, New Hampshire. Students explore five core geographical concepts at a local scale to prepare them for studying more distant places. The following year, teachers coordinate exhibit development with the historical societies in the four towns.

The Power of Worms

Schoolcraft Learning Community


Students use worm bins to recycle lunchtime food waste into fertile soil. Students write a children's book about the life of a red wriggler, calculate reproduction rates of the worms, and create a play about soil organisms and decomposition. Students visit other elementary schools to share what they had learned, and use the soil to build community gardens.

Xeriscape Gardens

The Children's Kiva Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten
Cortez, CO


Preschool and kindergarten children work with teachers, parents, experts from a local nursery, and peer mentors from a nearby elementary school to landscape their school grounds using xeriscaping. Plans included butterfly gardens, composting, and educating the community about water conservation and wildlife.

Environmental Art Sculptures

Charles Wright Academy
Tacoma, WA


Middle school students bring together art, culture, and science to create ceramic sculptures depicting current environmental issues. Students research environmental problems, interview local businesses and community leaders, and then devise plans to symbolize their ideas. These symbols are used to create environmental art sculptures modeled after the totems of the Northwest American Indians.

Backyard Sanctuaries

Souhegan High School
Amherst, NH


Students research, design, and build "backyard sanctuaries" on school property, including bat and birdhouses and a butterfly garden. Students plan and finance the project after soliciting donations from local businesses. They produce brochures for self-guided tours of the garden, and present their work at an Earth Day symposium. Students collect wildlife monitoring data and send it to agencies such as Bat Conservation International New Hampshire Audubon Society and Monarch Watch.

Wilderness Arts & Literacy

The Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC) at Balboa High School
San Francisco, CA


Students in the Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative participate in academic courses that use outdoor experiences as the integrating framework. Hiking and camping trips expose inner city, low-income students to wilderness areas they may never have visited otherwise. They connect these experiences back to students' city lives through projects such as habitat restoration at a neighborhood park, a school recycling program, and environmental education presentations to other classes.

School Yard Design Project

Monticello High School
Abernarle, VA


Students work with community organizations to create a master plan for their school grounds. They start with trail enhancement, parking lot bio-filter revitalization, outdoor classroom construction, and wetland system investigation. They create a vision for the property that integrate the interests of school and community

Footprints in the Desert

Oak Tree Elementary
Gilbert, AZ


Sixth grade students gather data on local flora and fauna, post their findings on the World Wide Biome Project website, and create digital field guides to be post on a class website. Students also study how the growth of the Phoenix metropolitan area has affected the Sonoran desert. They examine their personal water use, and how to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives.

Urban Ecology Project

PS 101
New York, NY


Students are involved in all stages of design, construction, study, and maintenance of planter boxes, birdhouses and feeders, a weather station, and a vermiculture station for their urban school. Inmates at Riker's Island prison constructed planters. Staff from the Horticultural Society of New York's Apple Seed Program help design curriculum.

Cross-Rivendell Trail

Rivendell Interstate School District
Orford, NH


Through the CO-SEED Summer Institute, an interest emerges to create a 40-mile long trail that links the four towns comprising this school district. An advisory council is formed to plan the trail and integrate it into the school curriculum. The project attracts funding from both the states of Vermont and New Hampshire. The land is close to being secured for the trail, and multiple classroom initiatives have been implemented.

Salamander Mark and Recapture Study

Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center
Purchase Knob, NC


This study looks at longevity, growth, and dispersal of five species of salamander. Volunteer high school and college interns live capture salamanders in the study area. Salamanders of a certain size are marked with an injected marking devise, weighed, and measured. Interns work with visiting middle school and high school groups to catch and study salamanders.

Fungi Map


Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC


Volunteers make observations of 50 easily identifiable species of fungi during their hikes in the park. Park staff use visitor reports to better understand where and when these species of fungi can be found in the park. These programs focus on involving volunteers in hands-on learning while providing valuable data for actual park research projects

Yellowstone Adventure

Crowheart School
Crowheart, WY


Students from a one-room elementary school on the Wind River Indian Reservation visit Yellowstone National Park. Trip organizers hope to build an understanding of, and appreciation for, environmental preservation, and bridge the gap between the students and the tourists who travel through the students' community on their way to the park each year.

Urban Garden

Lackawanna Middle/High School
Lackawanna, NY


Students in Lackawanna, New York design and plant a school garden. Educators hope the experience of creating and caring for a garden counters the negative forces of substance abuse, violence, and truancy. Teachers integrate the project into math, science, language, and fine arts curriculum. A four-week summer program extends the project and provides a safe alternative activity for youth.

James River Study

Roncalli High School
Aberdeen, SD


Students from six high schools in a South Dakota watershed conduct water quality tests along the James River and electronically share data with each other, university students, and with local and state agencies. University students post questions for students to research. Students conduct a fish survey, study the Native American heritage of the river, and learn water resources issues.

Living on Earth Radio

Contoocook Valley Regional High School
Peterborough, NH


High School students research local environmental issues and produce radio programs to be broadcast on National Public Radio's "Living on Earth" show. Students interview local officials, experts, and citizens, and are trained to translate scientific evidence into "newsworthy stories" that inform the general public about local and global environmental issues.

Chimney Swift Homes

Linworth Alternative Program
Worthington, OH


High school students plan and construct a nesting tower for chimney swifts that frequent a communal roost in the school's chimney. Students study the natural history of chimney swifts through direct observation, research, and communication with experts around the world. After construction, students monitor nesting activity and contribute data to the North American Chimney Swift Nest Site Research Project.

Birds on the Move: Migration Studies

Pine Cobble School
Williamstown, MA


Fifth- and sixth-grade students learn to identify birds, map their school grounds, and landscape the schoolyard to encourage migrants to nest, rest, and feed on the school campus. Students study the cultures and economic situations in countries where neotropical migrant birds overwinter, and the reasons for habitat loss. They then communicate with a Guatemalan organization working to conserve bird habitat.

Gesu Community Green

Gesu Catholic School
Detroit, MI


After the State of Michigan condemns the playground at Gesu School, the school, parish and neighborhood organization in Northwest Detroit collaborate to transform the asphalt schoolyard into an area of gardens, grass, and trees, complete with safe play structures, drinking fountains, benches, and a labyrinth for meditation.

Closing the Loop on Proctor's Food Cycle

Proctor Academy
Andover, NH


Proctor Academy is working to close the loop on their food production/food waste system by expanding a fledgling organic garden and composting food scraps and napkins from the school kitchen. The project provides fresh vegetables and reduces the school's wastes, and serves as an educational model for small scale, low-input sustainable agriculture. Students, teachers, kitchen staff, and the maintenance department are involved in various parts of the cycle.

Bird Banding Internships

Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center
Purchase Knob, NC


High school and college interns help to run a bird-banding station in the Great Smokies National Park. At sunrise, students open nets and catch birds for six hours. They measure, identify, band, and release the birds unharmed in an effort to better understand the population dynamics of species using the high elevation habitats found at Purchase Knob.

Malden Recycles

Beebe Environmental and Health Science Magnet School
Malden, MA


Under a challenge from the Mayor of Malden, Massachusetts, a student leadership group is working on plans to implement a school-wide recycling program. The City of Malden presently has no citywide recycling program. The Mayor is looking to the students to create first a school-wide program that can then be used as a model for other schools and businesses. Students start by surveying the school to understand the waste sources, and will then create a plan for how the recycling will occur.

The Greening of Henniker Goes On

Henniker Community School
Henniker, NH


For a Leadership Grant project, students at Henniker Community School create an environmental learning center for the school and community. They had two main goals: to increase the Town of Henniker's recycling rate and to lower energy costs for the town and school buildings by reducing oil and electricity consumption. The center trains seventh- and eighth-grade students to be leaders for younger students.

Danville: A Show of Hands

Danville
Danville, Vermont


A community celebration artist worked with the K-12 students to create community art. Students interviewed community members about the social history of their community. They created 800 clay "handprints" of their neighbors. The handprints were hung from an old maple tree on the village green, creating a local landmark and a visual chronicle of interconnectedness and change.

Students, Art, and Amphibians!

East Montpelier Elelmentary
East Montpelier, Vermont


A local nature center worked with art, science, music, and English teachers at an elementary school to develop an interdisciplinary unit on vernal pools and migrating amphibians. Students learned about vernal pools and the diversity of animals who live in them, with a particular focus on breeding amphibians. Students visited vernal pools, scooped for critters, and made murals of the habitat. They made posters of amphibians crossing a road that were used by the nature center staff to advertise a series of trainings for community members. Community members learned about amphibian migration and how to help the crittesr out during migration.

Tunbridge Students Create Community Documentary


Tunbridge, VT


Eighth graders at the Tunbridge Central School are working with the Tunbridge Historical Society on an oral history project in which they will interview and photograph elders in the community to document the history of Tunbridge. For the final project, students will produce a documentary video in which they will talk about the Tunbridge resident that they interviewed, show photographs of the individual, and utilize sound clips from the interview. This video will be shown to the community at a public celebration.

Village Questing

Flood Brook School


Students in the 7th and 8th grade at Flood Brook School are working with the Peru, Landgrove, Londonderry, and Weston Historical Societies on a week-long history institute. During the institute, students will learn about the history of the different communities through hands-on research that is guided by both the classroom teachers and historical society members. By the end of the week, each student will create a village quest that other community members can follow to learn about the history of their town.

High School Students Partner with Land Trust

Vermont Commons School
South Burlington, VT


Students in mixed-age (grades 7–12) service learning class at the Vermont Commons School are working with the South Burlington Land Trust on a project documenting changes to South Burlington.

Belmont Barns

Mount Holly School
Blemong, VT


As part of the Vermont Reads program sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council, third and fourth graders, their parents, and other community members in Belmont, VT read "As Long As There Are Mountains" by Vermont author Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. Students met with local elders, toured historic barns and productive farms in the community, and met with state wildlife biologists to learn about local habitat. They also met with members of the Mount Holly Community Guild the Select Board, The Planning Commission, and The Barn Preservation Association to discuss the book. Students created educational posters showing how a barn is raised, a quilt representing different barn styles for display in the community, and posters with drawings and descriptions of plants referenced in the book.

PLACE: Junior High Students Investigate Rivershore Park

Camel's Hump Middle School
Richmond, VT


Camel

Louisiana Voices: Middle School History Club Takes to the Streets

Oak Middle School
Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana


For middle school social studies teacher Greg English, weekends are for student trips into the heart of Louisiana. Once he became involved in Louisiana Voices, a professional development program designed to engage students in authentic experiences in their region and their heritage, he knew he could not be confined to the regular school day. His well-organized and well-attended field trips bring students into New Orleans and out to neighboring parishes, where they sample local foods and music, visit historic plantations, churches, and even haunted houses. Students interview elders, take field notes, create artwork related to their research, and share their work with others at http://www.geocities.com/parish_photogy/cubbyholes.htm.

STAR Students Research Native Seeds and Plant Traditional Gardens

STAR School


As part of an independent science project, a student at STAR school, a charter school just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona studied seed corn. He compared traditional indigenous seeds with with commercial seeds. He discovered that the heirloom seeds had better germination rates and contained more nutrients. He went on to win a regional science fair contest. As part of the daily academic curriculum, he and his fellow Navajo students continuously explore the region, and research traditional and experimental techniques for sustainable gardening. http://www.starschool.org.

AP Class Releases Oral Histories of Lummi Elders

Winidward High School


Freshmen and sophomore students at Windward High School in Washington State don

Students Interview Community Educators

Twinfield Union School
Plainfield, Vermont


Fourth grade students were asked "Who are teachers in our community? What do teachers in our community teach and what can we learn from them? How are we teachers in our community? What do we want to share with others? What do we dream for the future of our towns?" To answer these questions, students interviewed parents, grandparents, the local hardware store owner, a fireman, daycare teacher, musicians, and others. They used what they learned to create a slideshow, a mural of the community, and house sculptures that honored the community members. They will also be editing audio recordings of their interviews. This project emphasized to students that community members taught them many things: how to hunt and fish, play music, cook, sports, learn academic subjects, and possible career opportunities. This and similar projects can be found at the Vermont Folklife Center website.

Dane County Cultural Tour 2002

Randall Elementary School
Madison, Wisconsin


Fourth and fifth grade students spent a year studying the cultural history of Dane County, Wisconsin. The student-driven project culminated in a four day, 370 mile road trip of the county. They visited a cheese factory, a Cambodian Buddhist temple, three farms, and a fiddle maker. They also interviewed folk artists, musicians, and community historians. An impressive collection of projects like this, including student work and curricula, can be found at the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture website.

Hmong Cultural Tours

Randall Elementary School
Madison, WI


There

Louisiana Voices: Local Food the Louisiana Way


Elementary students in Louisiana interview family members about their food traditions. Aunts and uncles, and grandmas and grandpas, share how they make everyday fare and foods for special occasions. Students compile recipes and produce a community cookbook, preserving their family

Louisiana Voices: Students Share their Experiences of Katrina Using Kamishibai


Students in Louisiana used "Kamishibai", a Japanese storytelling tradition, to share with their classmates their personal experiences of Katrina. They drew illustrative pictures on several large pieces of cardstock. Upon completion, each student used the cards to tell their story to their classmates. The project was healing for students, and helped to unify classrooms of displaced children. Go to www.louisianavoices.org for hundreds of ideas for place-based curricula.

Louisiana Voices: Naming Traditions


What do first and last names tell us about ourselves and our neighbors? How do parents and cultures name their children? After the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, thousands of children found themselves in new schools. Classrooms that may have been primarily one ethnicity were now a mix of cultures. Educators used activities that focused on the students and their heritage to develop a cohesive classroom culture. Louisiana Voices offered numerous curriculum materials and resources to educators, including an activity in which students researched how they were named, what their name means, and the names of their family members. Students shared their stories with one another, developing a greater understanding of each other. This is a project of the Louisiana Voices Folklife in Education Project.

Local Games Lab


Madison, WI


Dozens of middle-school classrooms in Wisconsin study local places in the Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds project. Using handheld computers (triggered by GPS devices), students walk in natural and cultural communities, taking on real-life roles and encountering authentic challenges. They interview virtual people and access virtual photos, statistics, and other documents that

Here at Home: A Wisconsin Cultural Tour for K-12 Teachers


Madison, Wisconsin


Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, in cooperation with the UW-Madison's Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and the Wisconsin Arts Board, hosts educational tours for educators. The interdisciplinary,immersive eight-day tours take teachers around the state in an exploration of the diversity of Wisconsin's local cultures, their expressions, and the environmental and human forces that shape them. Sample highlights of the tours include visits with blacksmiths at the nation's only Hmong blacksmith shop in LaCrosse, an exploration of Wisconsin's Belgian and Czech settlement area, learning about Wisconsin's timber industry through interviewing and observing a contract logger and National Forest Service personnel at work in the Chequamegon National Forest, and hearing the Queens of Harmony performing a cappella gospel at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum in Milwaukee. For more information about the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, and to explore curriculum developed by participating educators, go to http://csumc.wisc.edu/WTLC/index.htm.

Outdoorsmen Tell Tales of the Woods

L.P Quinn
Tupper Lake, New York


Inspired by the Northern Forest Center's Ways of the Woods traveling exhibit, students in the extracurricular Team Quest program from L.P. Quinn School in Tupper Lake, New York, got excited to explore their own community. The students, with their teachers and an educator from the Adirondack Museum, learned how to use a digital video camera, conduct interviews and edit the material. On a beautiful day in June, Jim and Butch, Adirondack outdoorsmen with decades of experience on hunting, fishing and building boats, paddled to a local park to spend the morning with the students, answering questions about their experiences, and how equipment and the landscape have changed over the years. The students and their adult mentors edited the document into a video for public use.

VT FEED: On the Trail of the Potato Puff

Waitsfield School
Waitsfield, Vermont


In an effort to purchase local food for the cafeteria, connect school children with community members and the local landscape, and enrich the curriculum with hands-on activities, Waitsfield School joined forces with Vermont FEED. Students used hands-on activities and field trips to a local mine and quarry to learn how geologic forces shaped the mountainous landscape and fertile valleys. These same forces played a key role in shaping the Mad River Valley

VT FEED: Alburg's Bread and Butter

Alburg Elementary School
Alburg, Vermont


Alburg, Vermont is a rural town in the Lake Champlain islands. Thanks to Vermont FEED, an innovative farm to school education program, parent volunteers, and a staff of talented teachers, the school has a rich farm-based educational curriculum. Kindergarten students spend part of their first year of school learning about their local community and how to make healthy food choices. The class visits a dairy farm, makes cheese, grinds wheat berries, and helps a local bakery make bread and letter pizzas. The students wrote cookbooks and involved their families in their eating adventures. They wrote a culminating play with songs, invited their families and served healthy student made foods. For a full outline of this curriculum, and other by VT FEED educators, go to www.vtfeed.org.

VT FEED: Grains: Grow, Process, Utilize

Hardwick Elementary
Hardwick, Vermont


How do grains of wheat, rye, corn, oats and rice nourish us? How do you grind flour and use it to bake bread? How did the Abenaki people who were indigenous to Hardwick, Vermont use the grains they grew? How do grains fit into a healthy diet? To answer these questions, first grade students visited a nearby farm to see how grain was grown, ground their own corn and make "hoe" cakes, and learned about life cycles of local farms and woodlands. Students presented food and recipes to their families as a culminating activity. For a full description of this curriculum and to learn more about Vermont FEED go to www.vermontfeed.org.

VT FEED: Cycles of Life in Starksboro

Robinson Elementary
Starksboro, Vermont


Life cycles in the community become the framework for a first grade class in Starksboro, Vermont. Students investigate the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, and compare the caterpillar and the butterfly

Students discover link between wood burning and poor air quality

Darrington High School
Darrington, WA


High school science club students teamed up with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to monitor local air quality. Two students utilized computer generated data to monitor the site, and through the analysis process identified a correlation between wood burning and air pollution in the region. Students outlined the issue using informative PowerPoint slideshows that they presented to high school classes and local community groups. They went on to present their findings at the 2006 EPA air quality conference in San Antonio, TX.

Students use lichens to monitor pollution

Shelton High School
Shelton, WA


As part of the grade 11–12 "Ecology of the Northwest" course, students conducted a study of lichens in the region, comparing the diversity and health of lichens by a road side with those deeper into the woods. As part of the region

Students discover link between high asthma rates and illegal burning

Wilson Creek High School
Wilson Creek, WA


In conjunction with the Youth Network for Healthy Communities, high school students researched the cause of high asthma rates in this small, rural community. They discovered a possible link between asthma and the rural community

Mean Green Team discovery cleans up poor air quality

CALS Early College High School
Los Angeles, CA


With assistance from the Earth Day Network, the high school

Montana's Forest for Every Classroom


Helena, Montana


A Place-Based Professional Development Workshop Series “Public lands have tremendous potential to contribute to education and quality of life in our communities. If we can get young people thinking about not only the future of their parks and forests but also the future of their local communities, that’s the beginning of lifelong learning, and it is also cultivating stewardship.” Nora Mitchell, Director, Conservation Study Institute. A Common Vision Today’s students will become responsible citizens if they understand the places in which they live, and if they have educational opportunities based on real life issues that encourage them to be stewards of their own communities. Inspired by a common vision of students learning from and caring for public lands, the Helena National Forest, Montana Discovery Foundation, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and the Elkhorns Working Group have joined efforts to create A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC). FFEC is a professional development program for educators focused on place-based education. Teachers who participate in FFEC develop curriculum that foster student understanding of and appreciation for the public lands in their communities. The teacher-developed curricula integate hands-on natural and cultural exlplorations that address concepts in ecology, sense of place, stewards, and civics. At the heart of the FFEC program is the belief that students who are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of “place” are more eager to learn and be involved in the stewardhip of their communities and public lands.

New Hampshire Forest for Every Classroom


New Hampshire Forest for Every Classroom A Forest for Every Classroom (FFEC) is a year-long professional development series for middle and high school educators, aimed at providing the inspiration, knowledge and skills required to transform classroom teaching into effective and exciting place-based education. Teachers develop their own units to increase student literacy skills and foster student understanding of—and appreciation for—the forested lands in their communities. These units integrate hands-on study of the natural and cultural resources of the local community, addressing concepts in ecology, sense of place, civics, and forest land management and stewardship. At the heart of FFEC is the belief that students who are immersed in the study of their own “place” are more eager to learn about and be involved in the stewardship of their communities and public lands. Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in science, mathematics, social studies and other subjects across the curriculum. This approach is proven to increase academic achievement while helping students develop stronger ties to their community, build appreciation for the natural world and a heightened commitment to becoming active citizens. The FFEC program provides 11 days of professional development over the course of four seasons, including a five-day residential summer session. Most sessions are based at the world-class Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in central NH. NH FFEC is cosponsored by NH Project Learning Tree, the Forest Service's State and Private Forestry, Northeastern Area, Northern Research Station, and the White Mountain National Forest. For more information see our NEW FFEC brochure NH_FFEC_brochure-2012B.pdf