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Pillar Three:  Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education

Pillar Three focuses on effective environmental and sustainability education, which includes:

  • Interdisciplinary learning about the key relationships between dynamic environmental, energy and human systems;
  • Use of the environment and sustainability to develop STEM content knowledge and thinking skills; and
  • Development and application of civic engagement knowledge and skills.

School districts can provide opportunities for teachers and students to engage in "awareness to action" discussions and learning programs. As schools implement sustainable practices, teachers need necessary tools to involve students in understanding the reason behind the changes and how they impact the natural and social world in which they live.

Resources are available to help meet the challenges facing schools, teachers, and students are available through this web site. The goal is to make sure good programs can be shared and lessons learned can help move experiences in the right direction.

The Environment and Ecology Standards are grounded in the complexity of the world we live in and its sustainability. Through the five major standard categories of environment and ecology, a systems approach has been taken along with opportunities for hands-on, place-based learning to occur. The Environment and Ecology Standards include the study of watersheds, sustainable systems and practices, ecosystems and their interactions, agriculture and society and humans and the environment. Allowing students to understand, through a sound academic content, how their everyday lives revolve around the use of the natural resources, the resources it provides, and the laws that influence it. 

EPA Resources for Schools

Food, Land and People educates students, teachers and citizens about the interrelationships between food, resources and people.

iConserve Pennsylvania - Conservation tips, ideas and information to help children and adults understand how they can help protect our natural resources. 

Keystone Aquatic Resource Education, a resource provided by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, offers specific resources and materials, along with workshops to assist educators in teaching content areas in environment and ecology education.

Pennsylvania State Parks provide programs, to teacher workshops, to hands-on outdoor discoveries, our state parks system is full of learning opportunities for teachers and students.

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

Project WET is dedicated to bringing water education to children, parents, educators and communities.

Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school.

School of Rock - Explore Pennsylvania's rich natural history, abundant mineral resources, and varied landscape in an awesome geoscience classroom.

Sustaining Penn's Woods is a Pennsylvania-specific curriculum designed to improve knowledge of forests and land use. It focuses on environmental issues, the wood products industry, harvesting and other related topics.

US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

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