Earth Education volunteer Ellen Leslie demonstrates the interconnectedness of the environment to a first-grade class at the Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted and Creative.
Earth Education is a volunteer organization based out of the University of Colorado’s Environmental Center. Each semester we have a group of motivated CU undergraduate interns and volunteers who want to build a relationship with a local classroom by teaching environmental education to schools in the greater Boulder area.
Our programs are not only FREE, but they are organized, innovative, active and follow state standards. We believe that building a child’s personal connection to the natural world will help us work toward building a community with a greater awareness. Earth Education is over 15 years old and has successfully matched undergraduate volunteers with local teachers that are interested in implementing environmental and natural science education into their classroom. We have been working with over 20 schools in the Boulder area and want to extend our extremely successful program to your school as well.
Who We Are?
We are CU undergraduate volunteers who study a wide range of disciplines and bring to the classroom our diverse personal and educational experiences. We infuse into the classroom enthusiasm for learning, stemming from our passion for helping children recognize and appreciate their natural environment.
"I believe their perspective bridges a gap in the science curriculum of a regular elementary classroom. They helped to instill the sense of ownership and action in a positive direction of caring for our earth. If you have an opportunity to invite the Earth Education Program into your school or classroom, I encourage you to do so. These young people are an inspiration to our children as well as an educational resource in environmental science."
—Mona Estrada, University Hill Elementary School
The focus of each class varies with the teacher’s current curriculum and special requests. Two or more Earth Education volunteers facilitate a 45-120 minute session (this can be a single visit, weekly visits, monthly visits or whatever works best!!) pertaining to a wide variety of subjects including science, reading and writing, math, social studies, and art. Units of exploration may include endangered species, letter-writing, deforestation, trash-art, pollution, earth day, water, ecosystems, population growth, eco-literature, organic farming, composting and recycling, cultural variance in resource use, papermaking, nature walks and many other opportunities.
Example Curricula and Lesson Plan Links:
For more examples of our lesson plans and curriculum please see teacher information.
While many environmental problems are overwhelming to younger children, our focus is not to scare or overwhelm our students. Rather the goal of our programs is to introduce environmental subjects in a positive light so that our youth become engaged with learning about where they live and can become responsible community members. We are a non-advocacy organization that values environmental education in a way that enlightens students understanding of the natural world.
We understand that students learn in different ways. Our volunteers are trained to accommodate different learning styles and our lesson plans utilize a variety of activities to facilitate a valuable and fun experience. Using these means, we hope to inspire further interest and exploration in the subjects we present to lead to a lifetime of learning and environmental awareness.
"We found your department’s volunteers to be patient with our students, thorough in their coverage and discussion of topics, empathetic to the sensitivities of our students, creative in lesson plans and activities chosen, and responsible for their materials used"
—Kimberly Kollar, Rocky Mountain School