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 2022 we mobilized…
38,000+ Students
580+ Teachers
across 6 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 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:

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!

Registration Open

Civic Science USA: Engaging Students in Community

Location: Virtual
Next Session: January 18, 2024
7 PM- 8 PM ET / 6 PM – 7 PM CT / 4 PM- 5 PM PT

We invite educators of grades 5-12 to join us in networking with fellow sustainability-minded educators, and learning how to engage your students in place-based inquiry and action projects to explore local sustainability and environmental justice challenges.

This program kicked off with our first session on October 12th. Registrants after that date will receive access to the recorded session and info about the resources and opportunities that will be available to you and your students during the upcoming school year.

Funded through the generosity of CELF supporters.

View Flyer

Registration Closed

Civic Science NY: Engaging Students in Climate Action

Location: SLC Center for the Urban River at Beczak, Yonkers, NY
Date: August 16-17, 2023
Time: 10am-3pm ET

During this two-day event, alongside the beautiful banks of the Hudson River, teachers of grades 5-12 will explore how our region is being impacted by climate change, and how CELF’s Inquiry to Action framework can be applied to guide students in place- and project-based inquiry to investigate potential solutions for climate action and community resilience.

Funded through the generosity of CELF supporters

Download Flyer

Registration Closed

Summer Institute Houston: Leveraging Community Resources for Student Projects

Location: Lone Star College, Kingwood, TX
Date: August 1-3, 2023
Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm CT

This three-day Summer Institute presents Education for Sustainability as a lens for learning and explores community resources to enrich student experiences. Educators will create Student Action Projects to address community concerns and will integrate sustainability concepts into teaching practices using CELF’s Big Ideas of Sustainability framework.

Tuition: Free

Download Flyer

Registration Closed

Civic Science: Summer Institute at University of Houston Clear Lake

Location: Unversity of Houston Clear Lake
Date: June 5-7, 2023
Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm CT

UHCL and CELF are collaborating on a STEM4ALL Summer Institute. This three-day Civic Science program is open UHCL’s preservice STEM4ALL students, as well as to inservice teachers from surrounding districts.

Tuition: Free

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


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