For Educators: Dig Deeper - Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

For Educators: Dig Deeper

The CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action Program What is it?

Inquiry Based Research, Analysis and Civic Engagement

CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is an exciting semester- or year-long program engaging students in project- and place-based STEM learning outside of the classroom. In this program, students will conduct environmental health research in their own communities. With field-expert guidance, they will journey from gathering information as researchers, to applying that information as agents of innovative action. As students work through the skill-building, multi-step framework of Inquiry, Collection, Analysis, Collaboration, Innovation and Action, they will become civic scientists, equipped to confront 21st-century challenges.

CELF’s professional learning workshops will train teachers of grades 5-12 to develop and implement a Civic Science project unit tailored to their schools’ existing grade level scope and sequences. CELF educators provide teachers with onsite support, technology troubleshooting, and project implementation services. The Civic Science framework is adaptable to hybrid classrooms, with both online and in-person learning. 

Through CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action, teachers will incorporate grade level science content related to environmental issues (air quality, water pollution, biodiversity, soil/garden) as well as offer instruction in other relevant subject areas: 

• Data collection, analysis and presentation
• Public speaking
• Concepts of social equity and environmental justice 
• Collaborative project participation 
• Social sensitivity pertaining to community engagement

  Teachers, Students, Field Experts, and Local Leaders 

Teachers will: 

  • Participate in professional learning workshops paired with on-site educator support
  • Implement a project-based STEM  learning experience
  • Train to use monitoring technology supplied by the program, combined with crowd-sourced data-sharing platforms and applications
  • Learn pedagogical principles that apply to a range of civic science subject areas and issues; including air and water quality, biodiversity and soils / garden
  • Engage with local concerns through student-led inquiry
  • Complete and submit a Civic Science Implementation Planner to CELF
  • Prepare students for a culminating (virtual or in-person) symposium with schools across the country

Students will:

  • Learn strategies of scientific data collection and analysis
  • Discover modes of objective observation, making and testing hypotheses
  • Explore the science and math of environmental issues
  • Examine the intersections of Environment, Society and Policy
  • Investigate the relationship between environmental degradation and social issues; such as air pollution and poverty 
  • Collaborate with other students as they compare and assess findings
  • Acquire skills in data presentation, public speaking, Research Poster design
  • Connect with their communities
  • Experience true project- and place-based education in their own neighborhoods

Field Experts will:

  • Provide material and expertise to enhance content knowledge in areas such as air and water quality, urban health, and additional specific environmental issues
  • Provide technology to monitor and measure particular types of pollution – such as the FLOW device from Plume Labs which assesses air quality – and support ongoing use of related apps
  • Support the CELF Civic Science Program

Local Leaders will:

  • Introduce students to the legislative process, and offer insight into how innovative ideas can become policy
  • Engage with students and teachers by attending the culminating Student Symposium

Professional Development 

CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action CELF professional learning workshops will train teachers of grades 5-12 to develop and implement a Civic Science project tailored to their schools’ existing grade level scope and sequences. The Inquiry to Action program will engage students as environmental health researchers who will identify a local environmental problem, collect and analyze data related to that issue, and develop prevention and remediation plans for their communities. CELF educators provide teachers with onsite support, technology troubleshooting, and project implementation services. The Civic Science program framework is adaptable to hybrid classrooms, with both online and in-person learning. 

Click here to learn the latest.

New York City educators only, register with CELF for ASPDP credit

If you are eligible for ASPDP credit, please contact Lisa Mechaley: lisa@celfeducation.org.

Grant and stipend opportunities available now

During the 2021-22 school year, CELF will be offering Civic Science Inquiry to Action in various configurations to educators across the country. An application will be made available in the Fall 2021 to help us match you to the most suitable cohort and to available scholarship/stipend opportunities. Based on your responses, we will notify you of acceptance and program details on a rolling basis as applications come in.


Cost

This is a fee-for-service program with grant-funded opportunities offered throughout the year.

Get in touch!

For questions and information about the program and/or costs, please contact Vicky Garufi, Director of Education: victoria@celfeducation.org.
For school districts in the Houston-area, please contact Lisa Gianukos in our Houston office to learn more: lisagianukos@celfeducation.org.

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