Resources and Research
The Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) team at OSPI works closely with national and statewide partners and is dedicated to providing guidance for development and implementation of ESE. On this page, you will be able to view competitions, resources, and guidance.
Schools and school districts are eligible to apply for grants of $35,000 or less to:
- Implement outdoor learning on or near school grounds
- Attend outdoor school for the 2022-23 school year
Funds may be used to purchase rain gear, outdoor science lab materials, professional learning, transportation, support curriculum development, develop partnerships between school districts and community-based organizations, outdoor learning stations (e.g. seating, tables, dry-erase boards, gardening equipment, gloves, trees, tools).
We will host Virtual Office Hours, with your questions and ideas until all funds are distributed, every Monday from 3:30-5:00 p.m. (No office hours on December 26 and January 2)
On their Guidance and Policies page, from the North American Association for Environmental Education, “When taking an inventory of usable space for learning, school districts should consider all of the available outdoor space that can be used for outdoor classrooms. Evidence increasingly suggests that the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is significantly lower in outdoor settings when appropriate measures are taken,” (Page 4). From the American Academy of Pediatrics, “For every age group from PreK-secondary school, the AAP recommends that schools “Utilize outdoor spaces when possible,” as a high priority strategy for returning students to schools with physical distancing measures in place. This guidance also applies to meals.”
Finally, their “Media Coverage Related to Outdoor Learning” page includes several helpful articles, including this one, “Fauci: Schools Should be Outdoors As Much as Possible.”
Posting Your Events & Workshops
We receive many requests for student and teacher opportunities. Due to the large volume, we are unable to advertise. However, we would like to call your attention to a few different ways that you can reach teachers with your professional development and other teacher and student opportunities. We encourage you to check out organizations that provide event calendars and/or newsletters:
Organizations & Resources
- A Field Guide to Sustainability, Washington State Department of Ecology - This booklet explains sustainability and why it is important to Washington state.
- Children and Nature Network
- ClimeTime is a legislative proviso designed to provide educator professional learning and support implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.
- E3washington - E3 Washington integrates three systems - education, environment, and economy - and asks, "How can education help achieve a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for all?"
- EarthGen - (formerly Washington Green Schools) EarthGen offers professional learning and classroom resources including the Washington Green Schools Program, a voluntary, web-based program schools can use to reduce their environmental footprint.
- EPA Region 10 Environmental Education - Environmental education funding information and resources from and for Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Native Tribes).
- Pacific Education Institute (PEI) - The Pacific Education's FieldSTEM (c) provides resources to help educators and administrators provide career connected, locally relevant, integrated, field-based education experiences to all Washington students.
- North American Association of Environmental Education - NAAEE is the professional association for environmental education.
- Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators - NAME brings together environmental educators around the world of salty and fresh water, and shares lessons, information, and experiences.
- Solar Energy and Photosynthesis - LGCY Power presents knowledge guides surrounding solar energy.
- WA State School and Community Gardens Google Map - OSPI created this Google map of school and community gardens in the state of Washington. There is also a link to a short survey to add additional school and community gardens to the map.
- Washington State Tracking Network (WTN) - A Washington State Department of Health program focused on making public health data more accessible. WTN's mission is to provide health and environmental data and tools, develop partnerships, and inform data-driven policy and programmatic decisions, with the goal of improving health and health equity in Washington.
- Inslee, Bill Nye Promote Outdoor COVID Vaccines at Mount St. Helens (KOIN 6, July 2021)
- Washington Becomes First in the Nation to License Outdoor, Nature-Based Child Care (Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families, May 2021)
- Students are key to solutions facing the economy and the environment (Seattle Times, July 2010)
- Education for Sustainability in Washington State: A Whole Systems Approach (Journal of Sustainability Education, May 2010)
- Children and Nature Network Research Library
- Environmental and Sustainability Education Teacher Survey Results
- EES - A Vision for the Future
- Environmental Education Report - Empirical Evidence, Exemplary Models, and Recommendations on the Impact of Environmental Education on K-12 Students. In the 2006 legislative session, EHB 2910 was passed, requiring OSPI to conduct an environmental education study. HB 2910 specifies that the study is to be prepared in partnership with public and private entities invested in strategies to reach every student, family, and community with quality environmental education experiences.
- ESE Standards Report - The development of the K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards began with a review of existing state, national, and international environmental and sustainability education standards.