Just for Teachers

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

—Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring

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Other Pages: Classroom Resources | Teens Page | Field Trips to Placer Nature Center

Local Workshops for Professional Development
Other sources of Professional Development
Field Trip Funding, Grants & Scholarships
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Local Workshops for Professional Development

Looking for inspiration and fun activities you can use across the curriculum?
Placer Nature Center offers educator workshops providing interdisciplinary lessons and activities that teachers of all grade levels can use to introduce environmental education and awareness while teaching math, science, history, language arts and social studies. You can use environmental education to enhance and enrich learning for your students in all areas of the curriculum. Each program offers free take-home curricula guides, activities, and books.

Thanks to numerous partners, free workshops are offered for teachers throughout the year (many are applicable to CEU):

For agencies and organizations interested in scheduling a Project Learning Tree, Project WILD/Aquatic and Project WET, please speak with Linda at (530) 878-6053 or email linda@placernaturecenter.org

Discovering Nature with Young Children

Discover Nature with Young ChildrenFree professional development for caregivers and teachers working with children ages 0-5 years! These dynamic two-hour sessions present and demonstrate “nature play” in Early Childhood Education to help build school readiness skills through nature exploration.

After learning all about the benefits, you use hands-on tools and receive inspirational ideas to facilitate nature study both indoors and out. Learn how to weave nature themes into all your activities – support reading, math, science and physical exercise. You can attend all sessions or just your favorite First5 Placertopics.

Held at the Placer County Office of Education Annex, Nobili Room, at 356 Nevada Street in Auburn.

Learn more:
Dates, location, time, topics & free bonus materials!

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Project WET
Worldwide Water Education for Grades K-8

Learn to use Project WET materials in the classroom to integrate watershed education into your daily lesson plans. Activities in the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide and many of its other popular educator guides, including WOW! Wonders of Wetlands and Healthy Water, Healthy People, are provided free to all educators who attend the workshops. See Placer Nature Center's general calendar for upcoming workshops.

FREE 2-Part Project WET Workshop (click here to download flyer):
Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 & Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 from 4PM-7PM
Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. Roseville, CA 95747
Register by calling 916-746-1553

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Project Learning Tree (PLT) For Grades Pre-12

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas to help students learn how to make sound choices about the environment. The PLT classroom curriculum resources help educators teach tomorrow's decision makers how to think, not what to think about the environment. Various curricula and activity guides are offered free for participating educators (not for sale otherwise). See Placer Nature Center's general calendar for upcoming workshops.

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Project WILD & Project WILD Aquatic
for Grades K-12

Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. A national network of State Wildlife Agency Sponsors ensures that Project WILD is available free nationwide --training educators in the many facets of the program. Emphasizing wildlife because of its intrinsic value, Project WILD addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet. In short, Project WILD's mission is to help students learn how to think, not what to think about wildlife and the environment. The Project WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide, Project WILD Aquatic K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide and the Science and Civics: Sustaining Wildlife are offered for free to all participating educators (not for sale otherwise).
See Placer Nature Center's general calendar for upcoming workshops.

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Education and Environment Initiative (EEI)
For Grades K-12

Education and the Environment (EEI) Educators Workshop is a K-12 replacement curriculum that offers a way to teach certain Science and History/Social Science content standards to mastery in an environmental context. The first of its kind in the nation, the California EEI Curriculum is an environment-based curriculum that is formally approved by the State Board of Education for use in classrooms statewide. The K-12th grade curriculum is comprised of 85 units teaching select Science and History-Social Science academic standards. Each EEI Curriculum unit teaches these standards to mastery using a unique set of California Environmental Principles and Concepts.
See Placer Nature Center's general calendar for upcoming workshops.

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Nature Bowl

Nature Bowl is a cooperative team competition for all 3rd through 6th grade students. Questions and activities focus on local and regional environmental science and issues, and correlate with the science content standards.

Nature Bowl serves as a model for teachers to use in their environmental education instruction, introducing students to environmental issues, reinforcing key science concepts, increasing critical thinking skills and encouraging student involvement in community conservation efforts.

Teams of three to seven students represent their school and participate in two divisions: 3rd-4th and 5th-6th grades. Activities at the semifinals include a nature relay, team problems, bell-ringers, a nature game and more! Teams can be coached by a teacher, parent, youth leader, senior citizen, high school seniors, student teachers – anyone who wants to guide young team members through this discovery of nature. Coaches attend an orientation session and in addition to getting inspired, receive an information packet that includes a glossary, Environmental Resource Guide, and a description of events with sample questions.

The extended Coaches Workshop is available at Placer Nature Center.
Read more about Nature Bowl here...

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Upcoming Prescheduled Workshops

Click on workshop below to learn more:

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Local Workshops for Professional Development
Other sources of Professional Development
Field Trip Funding, Grants & Scholarships
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Other SOurces of Professional Development

National Environmental Education logoClassroom Earth and NEEF have created a list of professional development opportunities for teachers interested in developing their knowledge of and skills in STEM and the environment. Some programs might offer continuing education units or even graduate credit.

Classroom EarthProfessional Development Grants - Interested in enhancing your understanding of the living world and learning to teach about wildlife conservation in your subject area?
Classroom Earth is supporting middle and high school teachers around the country who want to make wildlife conservation part of their curriculum. Classroom Earth's 2011 Professional Development Grants will enable applicants to take one six-week online course offered by the Wildlife Conservation Society to create a strong foundation in wildlife conservation. Participating teachers will be better equipped to bring wildlife conservation education into the classroom, facilitate scientific learning and to connect students with their natural surroundings. The Classroom Earth grant opportunity will also support teachers to earn graduate level credit.
Deadline: Annually in February

Leave No Trace logoLeave No Trace - The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. Leave No Trace offers a variety of grant and scholarship opportunities for individuals and organizations seeking Leave No Trace educational materials and/or training. Due to funding, limited grants will be awarded in 2010.
Deadlines: Vary

Wildlife Conservation Society Professional Development
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) offers online teacher training courses along with other on-site programs designed to enhance understanding and revitalize a love for nature and science. Examine the life sciences of zoology, ecology and conservation through topics including predators, marine biology, habitat ecology and climate connections. WCS also offers a series of free webinars.

Intel logoIntel Professional Development Programs - Intel believes high-quality education depends upon excellent teachers. That’s why Intel invests in free professional development for teachers in countries around the world. Current Programs include multiple resources, online communities and online courses.

The Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) is a multi-day (FREE!!) residence workshop held at 4 northern California locations. The goal of FIT is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices. The program brings together natural resource specialists and teachers from rural and urban settings for one week, working side by side to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate interrelationship of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources. The environment becomes the basis for integrating the learning of many subject areas, including environmental science, physical science, social science, biology, forestry, and history. Each institute can accommodate 30 to 45 participants. All meals and lodging are free. Teachers are provided with extensive classroom and curriculum materials, and a $200 stipend on completion and implementation of a forest related curriculum unit or project conducted in their classrooms. Visit their website...

Classroom Earth logoClassroom Earth maintains a list of current opportunities on their website. Subjects vary from astronomy to conservation to managing natural resources. Professional Development is a great way to build skills and to learn about the most current information. Some programs listed might offer continuing education units or even graduate credit.

Local Workshops for Professional Development
Other sources of Professional Development
Field Trip Funding, Grants & Scholarships
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Field Trip Funding, Grants & Scholarships

Field trips funding for watershed programs! Field trip funding is available for watershed programs at Placer Nature Center, thanks to support from Placer County Water Agency.

Check out the watershed learning programs!

DonorsChoose.orgDonorsChoose.org an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org Requests range from pencils, to violins, to microscope slide or your field trip to Placer Nature Center! Teachers, read more about getting started here at Teachers FAQs. For field trips to the Placer Nature Center, make sure you submit your request three months in advance to allow time to generate the funds, schedule the trip, and get the payments processed.

ilve schools logoSchool supply drives are great during the back-to-school season, but educators need help year round. That's where we fit in... iLoveSchools.com is a nonprofit online donation center that connects new, used and in-kind resources with our nation’s schools all year long. Classrooms succeed through community partnership. iLoveSchools.com strengthens that partnership by giving donors and teachers the tools they need to make gift giving and fundraising fast, fun and easy.

Junior Energy
Junior Energy's mission is to work in classrooms and schools helping children discover how they can positively impact the planet by engaging their parents, family, friends and neighbors in small, simple actions.They offer curricula, an engaging video, and a fantastic website geared toward kids in order to support their compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) fundraiser, which gives 100 percent of funds raised back to schools for environmental programs.
Deadline: Ongoing

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge
Students and Teachers are inviting to Address Environmental Issues Students and teachers in grades K-8 will be awarded grants and publicity for their solutions to classroom environmental issues.
Deadline: Various

Green Schools logo
PLT GreenSchools Grants

Project Learning Tree’s GreenSchools Initiative provides training and funding for students and teachers to investigate environmental issues at their school and engage with their community in service-learning projects that create green and healthy learning environments.
Deadline: Ongoing

NEA Foundation logoNEA Foundation Grants & Grantee Resources
The NEA continues to offer grants for both Learning & Leadership and Student Achievement. In addition, NEA lists a number of other resources for grants opportunities.
Deadline: See the NEA website for details.

Chefs Move to School logoThe Chefs Move to Schools program, run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will pair chefs with interested schools in their communities so together they can create healthy meals that meet the schools’ dietary guidelines and budgets, while teaching young people about nutrition and making balanced and healthy choices. Join the Chefs Move to Schools Program, visit the school sign-up form here. Teachers can find more information on the HealthierUS School Challenge resources on the special USDA website.

Lexus Eco Challenge, a program designed to inspire and empower middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. This fall, students are invited to participate in the fourth annual Eco Challenge for a chance to win part of $500,000 in grants and scholarships. The Lexus Eco Challenge is a life-changing opportunity for teens across the nation to make a difference in the environmental health of our planet, one community at a time.

National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) NEEF provides multiple grants to encourage and reward teacher's efforts. From Professional Development grants to Everyday Grants, multiple opportunities are available throughout the year. Grants recognize innovative, sustainable and replicable greening initiatives and programs in a public schools.
Deadline: Various

Intel logoIntel Schools of Distinction Awards - Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools demonstrating excellence in math and science education through innovative teaching and learning environments. To be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks put forth by national mathematics and science content standards. Up to three schools at each level—elementary, middle, and high school—will be named as finalists in the math and science categories. These 18 schools will receive a cash grant of USD 5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a four-member team from their school and district. Six winners will be selected from the finalists and receive a USD 10,000 cash grant. One of these winners will be selected as the "Star Innovator" and will receive a USD 25,000 grant. All five winning schools and the Star Innovator will also receive products and services from program sponsors. Also, be sure to review Intel's other educational opportunities, curricula, and programs.
Deadline: Annually in February

Planet ConnectPlanet Connect - Announces the 2011 Get Green video contest. In partnership with the Leaders of Environmental Action Films (L.E.A.F.), the Get Green Video Contest is asking U.S. high school students to Show Us Your Ocean Connection. We want you to make a 30sec-120sec video and show us how your everyday actions impact the ocean, whether you live on the coast or 1,000 miles from the sea. Get your video camera ready and be creative to win cash or other great prizes from Samsung, including the Galaxy Tab and an HD Camcorder.
Entries accepted between December and February.

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge - The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, and the National Science Teachers Association have announced the launch of the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a program designed to educate, empower, and engage students and teachers across the United States to become "Agents of Change" in identifying and solving environmental problems. Now expanded to include high school students, the third year of the challenge encourages all students, from kindergarten through grade 12, to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their schools (grades K to five), community (grades six to eight), and world (grades nine to twelve).
Deadline: Annually in March

The Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award - "Positive solutions to achieve a sustainable planet begin in the classroom with teachers...who are true leaders in education." --Richard C. Bartlett The Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award is awarded annually to an outstanding educator who has successfully integrated environmental education into his or her daily education programs. The award is given to an educator who can serve as an inspiration and model for others. A $5,000 cash award is provided for the recipient to continue their work in environmental education.
Deadline: Annually in May.

Youth Changing the World
Multiple grants year-round all focused on youth-led service projects.

Local Workshops for Professional Development
Other sources of Professional Development
Field Trip Funding, Grants & Scholarships
Return to Top

About anything on this page, call us!
Linda Desai, Education Director, at (530) 878-6053