Friday, October 15, 2021

DEP Teaching Green: Will Education Standards Still Eliminate EE? Radon Poster Contest, Education Grants, Success Stories

The latest
Teaching Green environmental education newsletter from the Department of Environmental Protection features these articles and more--

Education Standards

During the public comment period over 1,400 comments were received addressing the proposed revision of the PA Science, Technology, Environment and Ecology Standards. The majority of comments were on the Standards for the Environment and Ecology.

The Academic Standards/Chapter 4 Committee met in September to review comments and discuss the revision process next steps involving the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Science Standards Content and Steering Committees. 

PDE has been directed to re-engage the Science Standards Content and Steering Committees, as designated by the Board in May 2020, to develop recommendations for the Committee’s consideration that address concerns raised by stakeholders during the public comment period specific to the newly proposed standards: 

-- Pennsylvania Standards for Science, Environment, Ecology, Technology, and Engineering (Grades K – 5)

-- Pennsylvania Integrated Standards for Science, Environment, and Ecology (Grades 6 –12)

-- Pennsylvania Technology and Engineering Standards (Grades 6 – 12)

[For more on this issue--

-- Board Of Education Posts Education Standards Eliminating Environment, Ecology & Agriculture K-12 Academic Standards For Comment; Environmental Educators Oppose

-- DCNR: Having Strong Environment & Ecology Education Standards Critical To Developing Career Opportunities & Good Stewards Of PA’s Environment, Natural Resources

-- Guest Essay: Why Environmental Literacy Should Be Part Of Pennsylvania’s Education Standards]

Radon Student Poster Contest

DEP's Radon Program is now accepting entries to its annual Radon Student Poster Contest from participating schools for students ages 9 to 14.  The deadline for entries is November 1.

Students are encouraged to combine science and art by creating an educational poster that shows the physical aspects of radon, the harmful effects of indoor radon gas, or the importance of testing for radon in the home.

Please submit only the top three radon posters from your school. A panel of DEP staff will select the top three posters submitted from across the state on November 20. 

DEP will feature the winning posters throughout the year in educational outreach about radon. 

The first-place winner will also be entered into the 2022 National Radon Poster Contest, sponsored by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors.

Click Here for more information.  Questions should be directed to Jamie Ruminski

At 717-787-4936 or send email to

EE Grants

DEP's Environmental Education Grants Program is now accepting applications for innovative formal and nonformal education projects that address water, climate change, and/or Environmental Justice. The application deadline is December 10.

Click Here for more information.

Snyder & Juniata County Enviro Camp

The Snyder County Conservation District used their $1,425 Environmental Education mini-grant to co-host a Kid’s Enviro Camp with the Juniata County Conservation District for first to fourth graders August 9–13. 

The camp was chock full of hands-on activities, including stream investigations, fishing demonstrations, tree ID walks, and a wildlife scavenger hunt. 

Camp concluded with Family Night, which included planting trees, playing conservation trivia game, and doing a streamside cleanup. 

Juniata County Conservation District, awarded a $2,150 mini-grant, will co-host a Kid’s Enviro Camp in spring 2022.  

Lancaster–Lebanon Watershed Education Institute

Lancaster–Lebanon IU 13 used their $20,000 general grant to host a five-day summer institute held this past July at Millersville University’s Field Station Cabin (WETI Creek Lodge) for teachers called GET WaTeR (Guiding Educators Through Watershed Teaching Resources), in partnership with Millersville University and the Pennsylvania Environmental Literacy Capacity Building Leadership Team.

Teachers developed curriculum-aligned units that use both the Environmental Literacy Model (ELM) and Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs) framework. Monthly office hours will occur over the course of the school year to help participants as they refine and deliver their MWEEs. 

Their final ELM and MWEE units will be posted on the PA Department of Education Standards Align System (SAS) for educators statewide to access. 

For more information visit

Professional Development

-- October 21 & 28: MWEE - Empower Your Students Virtual Workshop

-- October 27: Tips, Tricks, Recommendations for Successful Environmental & Sustainability Education

-- November 4: Growing Up WILD With A MWEE Flair Virtual Educator Workshop

-- November 10: MWEE Workshop for School Administrators

Click Here to read the entire DEP Teaching Green newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.

For more environmental ed resources, visit DEP’s Environmental Education webpage.  Questions should be directed to Bert Myers, DEP Environmental Education and Information Center, call 717-772-1828 or send email to:    Click Here to sign up for the DEP Teaching Green newsletter.

[Posted: October 15, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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