Educating Children, the future generations of this world!

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:42 PM


Environmental Intelligence is not just something for adults to be concerned with or educated in but something that we can and all should be more involved in right from the start and by start I mean birth. This may seem silly at first but after all babies are always open to learning about the big wide world around them, it is natural to them and if given the chance they will soak up all it has to offer like a sponge. It is not as complicated as people or often adults may think, so many things we already do can be a part of how they learn and how we teach them. However we as adults need to be aware of how our choices affect us and the world in which we live and really with all the resources out there we have no excuse not to pursue those resources. What we know or don’t know affects us all and especially the future generations that look to us for guidance and direction. Many things we already do, use, and interact with can be just slightly changed or adjusted to make them environmentally friendly. It is our job to teach the future generations of this world how to learn what “Environmental Intelligence” is and how it affects us all.
Here is some very important reasons why it is so important to promote environmental intelligence in children at such a young age!

Environmental education for children is critically important and should start before school begins. Early environmental education experiences help shape children's values, perspectives, and understanding of the environment and how to interact with it. Yet many children have little or no meaningful exposure to environmental education or opportunities to connect with the natural world because they are involved with activities that isolate them from it.
http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/fewhours/environmental-education.htm

Computers, video games, television, schools' emphasis on homework, a full after-school schedule of extracurricular activities, lack of access to natural areas — all these things and more are isolating children from the natural world and the advantages of environmental education.
In fact, it's been shown that fostering environmental education in children is critical because it:
• helps them develop into adults who understand and care about environmental stewardship
• nurtures their sense of wonder, imagination, and creativity
• provides them with a sense of beauty, calm, and refuge in a sometimes frightening world
• expands their intellectual development; it's been proven to improve test scores, grade-point averages, and problem solving skills
• enhances physical development
• helps them understand the interrelationship of all life
Many of the decisions you make on a daily basis affect the environment; for example, what household products to buy, how much driving to do, what items to recycle, what to buy for dinner, and what products to use on your lawn and garden. Children need to learn from a very early age that the environment has an impact on their lifestyle and quality of life. Similarly, their lifestyle has an impact on the environment.
Today's children will be responsible for making decisions that will shape the health of the environment. To prepare them for such responsibilities, they need a sound environmental education as a foundation from which to make those decisions.
This excerpt not only goes into great detail on how and why this type of education and interaction affect our children but it also lays out many of the “challenges” our children may have in pursuing this kind of interaction with the natural environment in this world. That is why it is so important for adults to become educated and pass this onto our children in this world. We can do this in so many ways but it is up to us all regardless of whther you are a teacher, parent, etc., anyone can make a difference.

You don't need to be a teacher to promote environmental education for children. In the classroom of life, we are all teachers, and we are all students. If you don't have children of your own, offer to help a grandchild, niece, nephew, or a friend or neighbor's child. Here are some ways you can foster environmental education:
• Assign chores to your children that involve environmental issues and talk about the impact their activities have on the environment; for example, make them responsible for recycling items in the house, gathering materials for the compost, filling the feeders for the wildlife, or watering the vegetable garden. Rotate responsibilities among your children, or if there is only one child, change the task periodically so he or she can have different experiences.
• Have an environmental birthday party. Ask the children to bring recyclable items for the recycle bins; activities can include making artwork using recycled objects such as bottle caps, plastic lids and paper mache; or make bird feeders using recyclable plastic bottles.
• Ask the librarian at a local or school library if you and a child can help create an environmental education display in their showcase.
• Create a mini environmental education plot in your backyard, for your children, grandchildren, or neighbors' children. You might include a birdhouse, bird bath, feeding station, rock piles, and logs; also plant flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Encourage the children to nurture the plot and to report on any changes and/or progress (the degree to which this can be done depends on the ages of the children).
• Explore the world of birds, butterflies, beetles, or bats, or any other creature that is easy to observe in your area and that interests your child. All you'll need is binoculars and perhaps a guide book or other nature book. Your child may want to keep a log book of the different types of birds or number of bats observed, when they were seen, etc.
• Lie on your back and look up. You can do this during the day or at night. Ask your child leading questions: What do the clouds look like to you? What types of birds do you see? Why do you think the sky is blue? What pictures do you see in the stars?
• Explore the local environment; for example, your front or back yard, a nearby park, an empty lot, a vegetable garden. Provide your child with a magnifying glass; perhaps a bucket, a small shovel, and some drawing paper and crayons. Let your child explore the environment through the lens of the magnifying glass — observe an ant hill, examine the veins in leaves, dig up some soil and see what's inside, lift up rocks and see what's underneath. Talk to your child's teacher about the class doing a similar activity on school grounds.
• Take children to different environmental experiences; for example, a park, nature center, recycling plant, water treatment plant, an organic farm where you can pick your own vegetables.
• Explore more environmental education activities and ideas for children at the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, Earth 911, and Children of the Earth.

These are a just a few ideas and simples one that can easily be added, promoted, and implemented into all the lives of the people in this world. But don‘t stop there, children are ready and willing to do more. It is up to us to be an example, pass on the knowledge, guide and direct them towards the resources, and if possible be partners in continuing this way of life always. Just look at what children can and are willing to do if given the chance!

Below are just a few pictures from a site called Gardening with Children as well as another site called Edible Playgrounds, they are great resources for anyone and both also give the much needed info why these concepts such as gardening and edible playgrounds are so very important in the lives of children and ultimately in the lives of us all. Children get in touch with nature, learn where there food comes form, and learn how to make healthy and sustainable choices within their world and why these choices are so very important.


















This is just the beginning; children all over the world are not only learning but getting involved!



http://www.educatingtomorrow.org/aboutus

Get Your Students Testing Water Quality
Submitted by admin on October 21, 2008 - 19:33.
The time has come for the Bronx River Alliance / GLOBE NY Metro's fall water quality monitoring training with Peter Schmidt. If you are interested in becoming an environmental steward, or if you have an interest in the Bronx River's water quality, spend a day learning the basics of becoming a citizen scientist. Students, teachers, community residents, and any other interested parties, are invited to participate. The agenda is full of hands-on learning:
Be Cool. Recycle at school!

Frustrated by the lack of recycling in New York City schools, we started organizing to bring attention to this irresponsible practice. In 2007, we began holding meetings with teachers and parents, calling for stepped up recycling efforts across NYC. These meetings helped bring about a hearing on June 3, 2008 where our City’s students and teachers spoke out about the need for the Department of Education and Sanitation leadership to support school recycling. We believe recycling is the first step toward greening our City’s schools. We also aim to green our schools in other ways, such as reducing our schools’ waste stream by eliminating the use of Styrofoam trays.

This site below is amazing and teaches us all something but most of all it passes on knowledge, tools, and hands on experience to our children that they can use to build our future all around the world!
http://uiabee.riai.ie/index-en.html



Our Children will Build the Future
The UIA Built Environment network aims to help Architects and Teachers everywhere show young people what makes good Architecture and a Sustainable environment. So that, as adult citizens, users, clients and decision-makers they may take an active part in shaping the world they live in, embracing both heritage and innovation in the creation of communities which provide a healthy and harmonious quality of life for all.

Here is one more great and very informational site for us all but especially the children!





RecycleMe
• Paper Recycling view types of paper
• Metal Recycling view types of metal
• Hazardous Waste Disposal view types of hazardous items
• Plastic Recycling view types of plastic
• Glass Recycling view types of glass
• Electronics Recycling view types of electronics
• Automotive Recycling view types of automotive items
• Household Recycling view types of household items
• Garden Composting and Recycling view gardening items
• Construction Recycling view construction materials


For Students
• Grades K-8
• High School/College
• A Student's Guide to Electronic Waste
• A Students Guide to Water
For Students
Welcome to Earth 911’s student section, which provides information and activities for both students and teachers. Whether you’re looking for a class activity on the three R’s or research on environmental topics, this section will help you get started. Don’t stop here though, the whole site is filled with great information about recycling and more.
Students
Whether you’re in kindergarten or college, it’s never to early to learn about the environment. Get schooled in some of the most talked about environmental topics. Remember, the whole site has much to offer, so get ready to explore! Don’t forget to check out our glossary.
Teachers
Tired of the same old class lectures? Our teachers section will get you on the right track with materials and activities that let your students have fun, while learning about the environment.
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Here are many descriptions and links to various sites parents, teachers, and adults all over can pass onto to our children of this world!
http://www.epa.state.il.us/education.html

This site is a company which creates models used all over within businesses to schools to demonstrate things such as water pollution and as we can see below children get to be interactive with the products which only enhances their ability to learn.
http://www.enviroscapes.com/about-us.html



EnviroScape® in Action
Experiences Shared by EnviroScape® Users. Send us your pictures and stories. Email to info@enviroscapes.com.

"Clearwater uses the EnviroScape [Coastal model] as one of the centerpieces of our Traveling Environmental Festival (TEF) environmental education program. We've presented TEF to over 12,000 elementary school children and many, many more children & adults at youth activities events and our ...."
[click here for rest of story]

ED DLUGOSZ, President, Monmouth County Friends of Clearwater, Eatontown, NJ

These are some sites I found and read over in one afternoon so I know with regular time and devotion towards “Environmental Intelligence” anything is possible. We all can and should be involved in learning about the environment, this is our world after all and we will pass it on to the future generations of this world “Our children.” Don’t we want them to have the resources as well as know how to implement those resources into the choices they make, the earlier we begin the more these choices and behaviors will become second-nature instead of some sort of chore that we dread doing let alone hearing about.

Posted by Nichole Steele

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