Civic Science: Inquiry to Action - Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action

Spark Curiosity, Inspire Change

CELF’s Civic Science: Inquiry to Action program engages students in hands-on learning to identify, analyze, and solve real-world environmental issues that impact their schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

By navigating the connection between science, society, and policy, children are empowered to make a positive impact on our world. Led by classroom teachers trained and supported by CELF, students are transformed into vital global citizens, ready to face tomorrow’s challenges head-on.

In 2021 we mobilized…
18,800+ Students
500+ Teachers
in 4 states
…all during a global pandemic!

Why Civic Science Matters

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is what every student, teacher, and community needs now. Environmental issues affect everyone—whether we live in big cities or small towns.  It’s vital for students to understand the impact of environmental degradation and the importance of clean air, soil, waterways, parks, and playgrounds. As biodiversity loss threatens human survival, future generations are critical stewards of the globe.

Student-led Research Examines…

The impact of idling buses, indoor cleaning products, and expressways on air quality

How precipitation affects pollution

What air quality does to wetlands

Expired school air filters and what they mean for indoor quality

How the community benefits from school gardens

Issues of equity, environmental justice, and more!

How It Works

CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is an exciting semester- or year-long program that engages students in project- and place-based STEM learning outside the classroom. Students will conduct environmental research in their communities with field-expert guidance. They’ll collect, analyze, share their data, and collaborate to determine causes and design solutions. Finally, students will present their findings to an audience of peers and policymakers, inspiring innovation, and action! 

Finding Solutions, Together

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action connects students and teachers with local leaders, community partners, and experts to identify and solve our communities’ environmental challenges. CELF partners with top healthcare facilities, higher-education, and government agencies to bring expertise to student-led projects. Civil Science: Inquiry to Action builds community and empowers students to find their voices to affect change.

Meet Our Partners! CELF’s New York partners include the Mount Sinai Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, Habitat Map, NYC DOE Department of Health, and CUNY School of Law.

Who benefits? You! Find out more:

Let’s Make it Happen!

CELF’s Civic Science: Inquiry to Action Program is in Los Angeles, Houston, New York City, and throughout the Lower Hudson Valley. Reach out to CELF now, and let’s bring this program to your school, too! Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is offered both as a blended professional learning program and a fully virtual professional learning course. Formats include a spring program, school- or district-based PD, and a summer institute. All programs lead to an authentic Student Symposium with local decision-makers.

Registration Open

Civic Science: Air Quality & Environmental Justice Training

Location: 44-36 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, NY
Dates: October 12, 2022
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm ET

This event is hosted by CELF and the NYC-DOE Office of Sustainability. It is open only to New York City Public School educators.

Using civic science and place-based learning, 5th-9th grade NYC DOE teachers will learn how to use air quality monitors to lead students in collecting and analyzing data to determine the causes of and design solutions for historical environmental injustices in their communities.

You will gain hands-on experience with portable Flow air quality monitors that you can take back to your school.

This training is eligible for six hours of CTLE credit. It is also optionally eligible for 15 hours of ASPDP credit upon completion of supplemental online assignments and payment of a $100 fee.

Tuition: Free (or $100 with ASPDP credit)

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Registration Coming Soon

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action
Virtual Learning Course

Registration for the Spring 2023 Civic Science Virtual Program is not open yet. More information coming soon.

Contact Us

For New York educators, program costs, and info:
Vicky Garufi, Director of Education

For school districts in the Houston-area:
Lisa Gianukos


Get Outside with After-School PD for Educators in NY & CTRegister today!
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