Developing a Sense of Place

prairie grasses

What is a “Sense of Place”? A “sense of place” refers to a child’s connection with their community and natural environment. A sense of place is developed with a place-based education approach that fosters those connections. Place-based education immerses children in their local community, landscapes, heritage, and experiences. It is using the local natural and … Read more

Celebrate Iowa’s Catfish

channel catfish

Celebrate National Catfish Day (annually on June 25) by learning more about Iowa’s most abundant and widely distributed sport fish. Catfish are opportunistic bottom feeders that are active at night. They eat all types of living or dead animal and plant material and are most often attracted to odoriferous or “smelly” morsels of food. They … Read more

Great American Backyard Campout

tent

On June 24, 2017 all across the country families will be camping out in their backyards as part of the Great American Backyard Campout. Explore the wonderful world of camping with young children either as a family, in your classroom, or as part of summer day camp! For families: Join the Great American Backyard Campout … Read more

Wildlife is Everywhere

owl pellets

Wildlife is everywhere – on land, in soil, in water, and in the air. Wildlife scientists study wildlife to learn how they live and interact with the environment. These scientists may focus on one wildlife species or a group of species during their studies. They record observations made with their senses and other tools. Help … Read more

Endangered Species Day

barn owl

Celebrate Endangered Species Day (19 May 2017) by learning more about Iowa endangered and threatened animals and plants. Find more information about Iowa’s Wildlife Resource Base here and scroll down to “Current Status of Wildlife in Iowa.” Iowa’s wildlife has changed tremendously since Euro-American settlement (160 years ago). Many species have been extirpated. Others’ populations … Read more

Nature Poetry

mayapples

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate with a study of nature poetry! Start by reading nature poems. Depending on the age and level of students make a study of the mechanics of poetry and how to write different kinds of poetry. Check out the list of books tagged ‘environmental writers‘ in our book database to … Read more

National Environmental Education Week

macroinvertebrates

April 23-29, 2017, registration begins March 15, 2017. National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education. With support from national sponsor, Samsung, EE Week continues its multi-year focus on connecting the environment with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning. This year marks the 13th year of celebrating “EE … Read more

Classroom Field Investigations

testing o2 levels

Field investigations create an essential link between classroom activities and what students see and experience outside the school settings. They can provide students with examples of how the science concepts they learn in class are used in everyday life. Field investigations encourage students to ask questions, explore, observe, and investigate their local environment. Direct observation … Read more

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

zebra mussels

Learn more about Iowa invasive species as we celebrate National Invasive Species Awareness Week February 27 to March 3, 2017. What are invasive species? Invasive species are species of organism that are not native to an ecosystem and which cause harm. Invasive species generally grow and reproduce quickly, and spread aggressively with the potential to … Read more