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

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action


We have designed CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action as a blended-learning program with both in-person and online components. We can customize the program to your school’s needs and scheduling requirements. We are currently recruiting for Winter/ Spring 2021. Click here to learn more.

What is CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action?  

CELF Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is a semester- or year-long program that engages educators and students in project-based STEAM learning outside of the classroom. Tailored to each school and community location, we offer professional learning workshops for teachers paired with on-site support to implement a project-based learning module that  connects students to real-world challenges in their own neighbourhoods. The program combines the development of 21st century skills with the motivation and creativity generated by solving a problem in one’s own community. 

Participants in the program will:

  • Implement a project-based STEAM learning unit.
  • Participate in two professional learning workshops paired with on-site educator support.
  • Collect data with AirBeam monitoring technology combined with HabitatMap crowd-sourced data sharing platform.
  • Focus on air-quality while learning pedagogical principles that apply to a range of civic science learning opportunities.
  • Engage with local concerns through student-led inquiry.

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action Difference:

What it IsWhat it Is Not
Teacher Training ProgramStudent Workshop
Semester/year Long ImplementationA One-day Event
Integrated CurriculumPackaged Curriculum
Teacher-developed CurriculumA Field Trip
Long TermShort Term
Multiple Apps, Tools & ResourcesAn App
Live, Crowd-sourced DataStatic, Stored Database
P3 Design Framework Applicable to Any Other Citizen Science ProjectOne Topic (Monarchs, Bird Migration, etc.)
Teachers/Students Drive the StudyResearchers Drive the Study

The Program: Research, Analysis and Civic Engagement

As environmental health researchers, students (grades 5-12) collect and analyze air quality data in their communities using AirBeam technology.  Using this data, students identify sources of air pollution, understand connections to human behaviors, develop prevention and remediation plans for their communities, and share their findings with peers and policy makers.  

Our framework engages in 21st century skill-building by leading students through a multi-step process: 

  • Inquiry
  • Collection
  • Analysis
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Action

Program Highlights

Enhance understanding of project-based learning and place-based education pedagogical principles and practices within the context of the school community.

Program participation includes technology and training on apps to support an in-depth exploration of the impact of pollution on health.

Seamless connection to Next Gen Science Standards while students identify causes and solutions for different types of pollution. Opportunities for interdisciplinary crossover with Language and Literature, Social Studies, Math, and even Art! 

Science and policy intersect as students learn about modes of change and legislative processes while developing action plans to share with community leaders.

For the professional learning workshops, we partner with field experts to enhance content knowledge. Community partners also attend the culminating symposium offering students the opportunity to engage directly with policy makers. 

This “Team Science” program provides a unique opportunity for middle school teachers and students to work with field expert partners from:



This is a fee-for-service program. Is financing an issue? Get in touch.

Get in touch!

For questions and information about the program in general, please contact Vicky Garufi, Director of Education:

For school districts in the Houston-area, this is a grant-funded program. Please contact Lisa Gianukos in our Houston office to learn more:

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