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5 Steps for Effective Environmental Education

5 Steps for Effective Environmental Education

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Published by zerusenay

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Published by: zerusenay on Feb 16, 2011
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05/15/2014

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Supporting community • Developing awareness • Providing skills training
Environmental Education Outreach supports outdoor environmentaleducation and leadership; building capacity with students and community.
Community Outreach & Education Program
Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers
COEP Description
As part of the EHS Core Center Program the NIEHS has fostered community-university partnershipsthrough the integrated Community Outreach & Education Program (COEP). Each EHS Core Center has the option to establish a Community Outreach and Education Core (COEC) to build and sustaina bi-directional bridge between the EHS Core Center and its defined community. COECscommunicate environmental health research findings and concepts to their partners and convey thevoice of the community to researchers within the Core Center. In so doing, COEP increasescommunity awareness of environmental health and provides researchers with the understanding of what environmental health issues are of importance or concern to the community.The COECs are at the forefront of developing communication approaches between researchers andcommunity groups, policy makers, and healthcare professionals. Activities include creation of interactive websites, educational videos, and public service announcements among a variety of printmaterials. COECs implement innovative and culturally appropriate outreach efforts, includingcommunity theater productions, environmental health outreach at local community markets, andmodel healthy homes. Educational outreach through schools has been a primary approach for manyCOECs. They have developed and implemented innovative curricular materials that are being usedin classrooms across the United States. Many of these materials are available on the NIEHS Healthand Education page. Another major strength of COECs is their ability to bring people together toaddress common environmental health issues. Several COECs from across the country mobilizedrapidly in response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike that affected much of the Gulf Coast region.
 
COEP Goals and Expected Outcomes
The goals of the Community Outreach and Education Cores are to:
Develop partnerships with stakeholders to translate and disseminate EHS Core Center science.
Work with community-based organizations, disease advocacy groups and other local, state,or regional partners to enhance the dialogue on environmental health issues in their regions.
Develop and implement appropriate outreach and educational programs to increaseawareness and understanding of environmental health research being conducted at the EHSCore Centers.
Evaluate outreach models, disseminate results at local and national levels, and promotemodels for national implementation.
COEP Target Audiences
Community
Policy-makers
Public Health and/or Health Care Professionals
Contact PEPH
Liam R. O’Fallon
ofallon@niehs.nih.govtel (919) 541-7733
5 Steps for Effective Environmental Education
Learner–Oriented
: Programs support the development of personal meaning through thelearning process, with emphasis on age–appropriateness and ongoing (even life–long)learning
Promotes Wonder 
: Programs incorporate inquiry and discovery–based approaches thatbuild appreciation for the natural and built environment
In Context of Place/Community
: Programs place learning in the context of the local, relatedirectly to the learner’s life and culture, and encourage civic engagement
Action–Oriented
: Programs incorporate approaches that are hands–on, address realproblems, and build confidence and hope
 
Focus on Relationships
: Programs forge connections across and outward from specificareas of study – integrate across issues such as water quality, energy production andeconomic development; cross disciplinary boundaries of academic subjects such as scienceand language arts; connect classroom and out–of–school learning; relate the local to theregional and global.
Source: Jack Chin, “Bay Area Environmental Education: How Do We Know We’re Making aDifference?” Draft Report, Blueprint Research and Design, April 30, 2004.
Environmental Education SuccessProven with Access Database
Organization Name
 
The Adopt A Stream Foundation
Mission Statement
City & State
 
,
 
Washington
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization wasfacing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?
Answer:
Our biggest challenge before we put a technology solution into place wasproving to our funding sources that our door-to-door outreach method is effective.Proving effectiveness is vital to an environmental non-profit, where grant fundsare scarce. Our funding sources kept saying, “Your outreach method is innovative.Prove to us that it is effective. We need numbers.” We could quantify theenvironmental data we gathered, but it was more difficult to quantify socialinteractions. We could not answer simple questions like, “Is our success dependenton a demographic?” We could not ask, “Are positive responses correlated tospecific land use?” The answers to these questions could prove important indetermining how to best direct funding, both for our organization and for fundingsources.
Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to moreeffectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make adifference in your community?

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