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 environmental and climate justice issues that impact their schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

By navigating the connection between science, society, and policy, young people 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 2023 we mobilized…
20,000+ Students
700+ Educators
across 9 states & 2 countries

Why Civic Science Matters

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action is what every student, teacher, and community needs now. Environmental and social justice 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 STEAM learning beyond 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. Civic Science: Inquiry to Action builds community and empowers students to find their voices to affect change.

Meet Our Partners! CELF’s partners include the Mount Sinai Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, Habitat Map, NYC DOE Department of Health, and CUNY School of Law in New York; and SPLASh, Bayou Preservation Association, Lone Star College -Kingwood, and University of Houston Clear Lake in Texas.

Who benefits? You! Find out more:

Join us this School Year!

CELF’s Civic Science: Inquiry to Action Program for the 2023-24 school year will provide educators with professional development, resources, and a community of practice to support you in guiding your students in community projects, with opportunities for students to present their research findings and share their action plans with community stakeholders and decision-makers.

Participating teachers will have access to:

• Microgrants to support student field trips and/or project resources.
• Digital resources for various pathways of study.
• CELF’s Student Symposium events in Spring 2024
• Teacher stipends upon program completion.

Learn more about our upcoming sessions below, and register today!

Register Today

NY Civic Science Summer Institute: Narrating Our Place in Nature

Location: New York Botanical Garden
Dates: July 9 — July 11, 2024
Time: 8:30 am – 3:00pm ET

At the heart of our Summer Institute lies the power of storytelling. By weaving narratives of our relationship with nature, we not only educate but inspire action. Join us as we explore how storytelling can illuminate the connections between humans and the environment, driving positive change for a sustainable future.

Tuition: Free
Funded through the generosity of CELF supporters

View Flyer

Register Today

TX Civic Science Summer Institute: Integrating Zero-Waste Across School Culture

Location: Lone Star College—Kingwood, TX
Dates: July 9 – July 10, 2024
8:30am – 3:00pm CT

Join us as we delve into practical strategies and creative approaches for integrating zero-waste culture across school communities. We’ll explore how educators and administrators can lead by example and inspire students to become stewards of the environment, reducing waste and adopting sustainable practices.

Tuition: Free
Funded through the generosity of CELF supporters

Register Today

NY Civic Science Summer Institute: Exploring Sustainability through local Farms and Green Spaces

Locations and Dates:
August 6: Hilltop Hanover Farm
August 7: Muscoot Farm
August 8: Lasdon Park
Time: 8:30 am – 3:00pm ET

Join CELF for a 3-day dive into sustainability.
We’ll explore local farms and green spaces to find ways to incorporate place-based experiences into your curriculum. Connect with nature, learn about sustainable farming practices, and reflect on the biodiversity of a botanical garden and arboretum.

Tuition: Free
Funded through the generosity of CELF supporters

Download Flyer

Contact Us

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

For school districts in the Houston-area:
Lisa Gianukos


Join our Zero-Waste Education Summit in Houston on June 12th Learn more and register today!
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