The Office of Environmental Education (OEE) in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) seeks to cultivate and support environmental citizenship: the awareness, understanding and appreciation of Florida's environment; and the capacity to think critically and participate constructively in its protection. The OEE’s core program includes outdoor experiential environmental education for middle school students, the annual Florida Green School Awards Program, and summer teacher professional development workshops.
The OEE under contract with Florida Charter Schools Program Office is providing free professional development opportunities to Florida charter Schools. These workshops provide teachers with interdisciplinary activities correlated to state/common core standards and can also be used to enhance their STEM programming.
DEP is also accepting direct requests for workshops from Principals or Directors of Florida’s charter schools that are willing to host a PD course on their campus.
Are you interested in FREE Professional Development Trainings for your teachers?
To schedule a workshop for your charter school, please contact:
Jackie Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-245-2145)
Office of Environmental Education/Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The free nationally-validated courses that DEP can offer to interested charter schools include:
- GLOBE: (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide hands-on, science education program for elementary and middle schools. GLOBE's vision promotes and supports students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth system working in close partnership with NASA and NSF Earth System Science Projects in study and research about the dynamics of Earth's environment. Announced in 1994, GLOBE began operations on Earth Day 1995. Today, the international GLOBE network has grown to include representatives from 111 participating countries coordinating GLOBE activities that are integrated into their local and regional communities. Due to their efforts, there are more than 50,000 GLOBE-trained teachers representing over 23,000 schools around the world. GLOBE students have contributed more than 20 million measurements to the GLOBE database for use in their inquiry-based science projects. GLOBE brings together students, teachers and scientists through the GLOBE Schools Network in support of student learning and research. Parents, scientists and GLOBE alumni also support students' engagement in GLOBE. The GLOBE website is located at: http://www.globe.gov/
- Coordinating STEM Partnerships with Informal Science Education Institutions: This course brings non-formal educators from local, state, and federal agencies as well as non-profit organizations together to learn about the host district’s local science education needs and priorities. The course allows District Science Coordinators and/or charter school leaders to systematically coordinate community resources (e.g., non-formal science educators, instructional material, field-laboratories, STEM programs, online/real-time data, technical experts, funding, service learning, and teacher professional development) with the science education needs of charter schools. One of the most overlooked aspects of collaborative efforts between non-formal educators and schools is an understanding of the needs and priorities of teachers. Systematic needs assessment can help ensure that educational efforts of those in a particular region truly match the needs of local K-20 science educators. Instead of proposing collaborative programs based on proximity or personal affinity, partnerships are established that match specific needs with specific resources. Similarly, by bringing together non-formal educators to provide an overview of their local and regional resources, district science coordinators are better equipped to choose those that meet their needs.
- Project WET: (Water Education for Teachers) activities assist in teaching Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and Sunshine State Standards. Florida Project WET engages students in inquiry-based activities that relate to the water resources students know: the bath, the ocean, the creek behind their house. It then educates while it entertains, carrying a message of water resource education and reinforcing classroom concepts being taught. Project WET activities exist for every subject at every grade level and can be integrated into the existing curricula of a school, museum, university preservice class or community organization. The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide, for preK-12th grade, is a collection of 96 innovative, water-related activities that are hands-on, easy to use and fun. Project WET activities incorporate a variety of formats, such as large- and small-group learning, whole-body activities, laboratory investigations, discussion of local and global topics, and involvement in community service projects. Since 1984, Project WET, an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has dedicated itself to the mission of reaching children, parents, teachers and community members of the world with water education. http://www.projectwet.org/. Project WET includes two affiliated programs: 1) Healthy Water Healthy People: http://www.projectwet.org/water-resources-education/water-quality-education/ ; and 2) Wonders of Wetlands (WOW!): http://www.projectwet.org/water-resources-education/wetland-education/
- Project Learning Tree (PLT): is an award-winning, interdisciplinary, environmental education program for students in pre-K-12th grades. PLT uses trees and forests as the context to help young people gain an awareness and knowledge of natural and built environments. PLT stimulates students' critical and creative thinking; develop students' ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues; and instills a commitment of responsible action on behalf of the environment. During the workshops, participants receive the PLT PreK - 8 Activity Guide or Secondary Module and experience first-hand the fun, hands-on, easy-to-use activities. Participants may receive additional PLT materials depending on the theme of the workshop. PLT can be used in both rural and urban environments, whether there is a forest or a single tree, is correlated to the Sunshine State Standards, teaches students how to think, not what to think about our complex environment, provides a balanced approach to environmental issues, uses the forest as a "window" on the world to increase students' understanding of our environment; develop students' ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues; and instill in students the commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. The Project Learning Tree website is located at: http://www.plt.org/
- Project WILD: is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program emphasizing wildlife. The program is designed for educators of K- 12th grade students. Project WILD capitalizes on the natural interest that children and adults have in wildlife by providing hands-on activities that enhance student learning in all subject and skill areas. Participants get hands-on experience in at least five activities and receive the appropriate Project WILD activity guide. The basic materials include two activity guides for K-12th grade educators: the Project WILD K-12 Activity Guide focuses on wildlife and habitat, and the Project WILD Aquatic Education Activity Guide emphasizes aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecosystems (http://myfwc.com/education/educators/project-wild/). Project WILD includes two affiliated programs: 1) Schoolyard Activities and Ecology/Schoolyard Ecosystems: http://myfwc.com/education/educators/schoolyard-wildlife/ ; and 2) Growing Up WILD: http://projectwild.org/growingupwild/GuideResources.htm
- Green Schools: This course will introduce teachers to green school initiatives and resources at the local, state, and national level. Special emphasis will be placed on assisting Florida’s charter schools to address the criteria and process for submitting a comprehensive application for a Florida Green School Award and the National Green Ribbon School recognition. The workshop will introduce teachers to the Florida Green School Guide and how it can be used to start a comprehensive green school program. Emphasis will be placed on ways to integrated activities that support green school into the core subject areas. The Green Schools website is located at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/schools/about.htm
- LIFE Program Professional Development: (Learning In Florida’s Environment) is a model for science-based environmental education on public conservation lands. Each program represents a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and a school district to bring students outdoors to learn science. The goal of each LIFE Program site is increased student achievement and teacher professional development in science education. The LIFE Program is not a curriculum, but a process for reinforcing and enriching the existing curriculum through hands-on, field labs facilitated by educators, scientists, and land/resource managers. The LIFE program website is located at: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/ed/lifeprogram.htm
- SENSE IT: (Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology) is an educational outreach program which integrates fundamental science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) principles while introducing students to constructing and deploying sensors and sensor networks in the context of assessing water quality. Developing a sensor network for water quality monitoring creates a broad technology project which provides a motivating context for learning and using a variety of STEM skills. SENSE IT gives students an opportunity to build, calibrate and test a set of sensors and circuits to measure water quality parameters (temperature, conductivity, turbidity and depth). To build and understand their sensors, students use a wide range of core knowledge of mathematics and physical science, and learn practical hands-on technology skills such as soldering and debugging circuits. Students construct their sensors from scratch using standard off-the-shelf electronics components. Students are led through the physics principles, circuitry and mathematical analysis required to build each sensor, with the aim of demystifying the “black box” effect associated with using commercially available probes in classrooms. Once built, students interface their sensors with small computers which they program to gather and log data, and use wireless communication protocols between multiple computers to create their own wireless distributed sensor network. The SENSE IT website is located at: http://www.senseit.org