Guest Blog: NEEF Info-graphic Connects STEM Learning & the Environment for EE Week 2012
This is a post in the STEMConnector™ Guest Blog Series, featuring Sarah Kozicki, Education Program Coordinator of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). NEEF will be observing National Environmental Education Week this year from April 15th to 21st.
“Increasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for students is a national priority. A projected 2 million STEM-related jobs will be created by 2014, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Jobs relating to the environment are among those expected to see the fastest growth this decade. The National Environmental Education Foundation recently developed an infographic entitled STEM & Our Planet that illustrates some of this compelling data.
Recognizing the role of the environment as an impetus for STEM learning, National Environmental Education Week’s 2012 theme is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. EE Week takes place the week before Earth Day—this year from April 15-21.
The environment is an engaging context for teaching and learning about STEM, providing real-world challenges and hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. Environmental projects such as designing a rain garden to reduce stormwater runoff or using math to conduct and analyze energy efficiency can inspire students to learn firsthand how STEM skills are key to developing innovative solutions to local needs.
EE Week, the nation’s largest environmental education event, offers educators environmental resources for K-12 students’ understanding of the environment. EE Week will be producing a set of Planning Toolkits for educators with STEM activities and resources around environmental topic areas. EE Week will also be facilitating two educator webinars. The first, Technology Goes Wild: New Tools for Connecting Classrooms with Nature, will be held March 14 at 7:00 p.m. EDT in partnership with National Geographic Education and Project Noah. The second, Field Investigations and STEM, will be held March 28 at 7:00 p.m. EDT in partnership with the Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Pacific Education Institute (PEI).