Elementary Activities

Environmental Education from Newport News

Newport News’ social media posts include how to make a bee hotel, how to start a vegetable garden, how to create house plants from scrap veggies, and activities posted from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s annual Photo Contest

Field Journal from Fairfax County

Fairfax County has a new field journal available created by the Watershed Education and Outreach team. The journal is full of ideas for exploring nature through art, writing, and science. The engaging activities are a great way for young people to learn about environmental stewardship while practicing social distancing. Click Here to download your journal

All about Water from Hampton Roads

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District is all about cleaning water! Looking for engaging activities to teach students about water? They’ve got you covered! Check out the HRSD Classroom- a network of information, resources, and games for teachers and students of all ages. Topics include: Aquifers, Pollution, Wastewater and How to “wash” water. 

Water Cycle in a Bag

Create your own Water Cycle In a Bag. This activity is an easy and fun way to see the water cycle in action. All you need are a few supplies you probably already have in your home. Students will draw out the water cycle to understand how water travels in a cycle. Students will identify each stage of the water cycle and observe what happens when the water cycle project is placed in the sun.

Earth Day Bingo

Earth Day Bingo Everyday is Earth Day. Check out this Earth Day Bingo game from kids. Can your student get three in a row? 

Amazing Aquifer

Amazing Aquifer Did you know water is stored underground in aquifers? Explore our amazing aquifer by building an aquifer in a cup! Video here

Air, Water and Land from DEQ

Learn about Virginia's Environment from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. There are free lessons for parents and teachers of all school subjects as well as fun family activities to help protect Virginia's air, water and land. 

James River Association

The James River Association (JRA) connects students to our natural world to develop an understanding of how our actions affect our natural environments. Whether in the classroom, at home, or outside on a nature walk, there are opportunities for learning. JRA’s education programs are designed to build knowledge and awareness of environmental issues and build skills to develop actions we can all take to improve and sustain and protect our environment.

Water Conservation from Spotsylvania

The Spotsylvania, VA Utilities Department has resources and activities for kids to learn about water and water conservationJust download and print.

Environmental Education

The Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission has a variety of environmental education resources on their website. From an animated video about groundwater to lesson plans, puzzles and games, there’s something for all ages.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed covers 64,000 square miles, has 11,684 miles of shoreline, including tidal wetlands and islands. The watershed runs through all of the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter jurisdictions as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. You can explore the Chesapeake Bay online this summer HERE 

US Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy has a wealth of environmental resources for lesson plans, science projects, and other activities for the classroom or at home to excite K-12 students about clean energy.  Check out contests for students at all levels and on a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy topics.  See all of the Department of Energy’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) news and resources on the STEM Rising website and subscribe to the STEM Rising Newsletter to receive the STEM program news for all ages, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Watershed and Stormwater

In response to changing needs from the local school system due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairfax County ecologists transformed one of their in-person labs to an at home version. Watershed Education and Outreach Stormwater Management staff reimagined existing materials and created a version that can be printed and completed at home. This lab allows students to investigate their local streams and explores how we gather information about the health of our stream through scientific investigation. For more information email watersheds@fairfaxcounty.gov, website: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/stormwater/watershed-education-and-outreach

Virginia Living Museum

WATCH AND LEARN! The Virginia Living Museum is committed to connecting students to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.  WATCH their free educational videos about outdoor adventure, science corner, living green, science at home, awesome animal ambassadors and much more! CHECK it out at:


Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree has assembled free activities that you can do at home—both inside and outside. These simple activities keep kids engaged through active participation as they learn about nature and suggest ways to lessen our environmental footprint at home and beyond. Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12, https://www.plt.org/educator-tips/activities-to-do-with-children-at-home. 

Science Museum of Virginia

Bring the Science Museum of Virginia to you with a live, virtual Digital Demo! The virtual lessons are highly interactive and designed to involve students in STEM through inquiry, hands-on activities and demonstrations. These workshops are designed for school audiences and aligned with the Virginia SOLs but are easily adjustable to fit the learning level of any group.  Grant funding is available to make digital demos accessible to all. Click here, https://smv.org/explore/group-visits/digital-demos, for more information.  

Home-Based Environmental Education

The Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) encourages, engages and empowers communities to understand, responsibly use and promote the natural world. Their Resource Library has information and training to support Environmental Literacy and Schoolyard Projects including home-based environmental education resources for teachers, parents and guardians. Check out their website.

Everyday Engineering

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has launched a new video series, Everyday Engineering: STEM@Home. The ASCE has adapted some of the support activities developed for the award-winning documentary, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, to showcase how they can be done at home. Watch these brief videos for hands-on engineering experiments at home. 

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) for the webinar premiere of their Online Watershed Learning (OWL) program! Experience how CBF brings environmental education to life for students in the newly launched series, beginning October 28.  Click here for more information.

Bat Week Activities 

Bat Week is Oct 24-Oct 31! Use this annual celebration timed with Halloween to teach kids about the important role bats play in nature. As insect eaters, pollinators, and seed spreaders, bats provide critical services for our ecosystem.  Click here to share fun facts about bats with your students as well as activities, arts and crafts, writing ideas and other projects for children to learn about bats and bat conservation during Bat Week.

Hot or Cold: Chemical Reactions 

Download the free "Hot or Cold: Chemical Reactions" Activity from 4-H for a fun and educational STEM lesson! In this activity, kids will use common kitchen ingredients to create and observe two different chemical reactions. 4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Click here to download the free activity now.  

Flood Education Resources

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) invites you to explore their K -12 Flood Education Resources.  The ASFPM evaluated and cataloged these resources from local, state and national levels that are high quality flood education programs for kids all around the country.   

Project Plant It!

Project Plant It! is an award-winning environmental education program that’s been helping students of all ages learn about the importance of trees and the essential role of pollinators.  Project Plant It! is a partnership between Dominion Energy and the Arbor Day Foundation. Free redbud tree seedlings AND free wildflower seed packets for pollinators are offered in areas where Dominion Energy conducts business. Click here for information.

Marine Debris Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and it's partners offer free education and outreach materials for people of all ages to learn about marine debris.

Download an assortment of puzzles, brain-teasers, coloring activities and formal curricula for Grades 1-12.

STEM at West Virginia University

The West Virginia University (WVU) Center for Excellence in STEM Education offers cutting-edge programs, platforms and partnerships to enhance STEM education in West Virginia at all education levels, K-20. 

Click here to learn what WVU has to offer to enhance STEM education.

Water Education Today

Project WET: Water Education Today offers DISTANCE LEARNING RESOURCES to ensure that water education continues for people of all ages.  They created a suite of free and discounted resources that educators, parents and children can use to learn about water while meeting standards in math, language arts, science and even fine arts. Click here for information about Project WET. Their mission is Advancing water education to understand global challenges and inspire local solutions.

Green Learning Guide from Ask HRGreen

Have you downloaded your student a copy of the FREE Green Learning Guide from askHRgreen.org? A team of regional public works and public utilities departments created these guides for elementary and middle school students according to Virginia SOLs. Green Learning Guides connect students to their environment by combining educational information with fun age-appropriate activities such as colorful maps, engaging infographics, and puzzles. Click herefor information. AskHRgreen is a public awareness program of the 17 cities and counties of Hampton Roads, Virginia administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.  

4-H Resources

Last month, National 4-H Council CEO Jennifer Sirangelo spoke about the 4-H program across the country that is supporting youth education, both on and off-line.  A vast network of 4-H educators create hands-on learning activities and kits that teach skills like engineering, nutrition, and leadership. 4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension through America’s land grant university system.  Extension offices are located in every county in America.  Click here for information about 4-H and click here to watch the interview with CEO Jennifer Sirangelo about 4-H at-home learning programs for students.

Water Education Resources

Project WET: Water Education Today offers DISTANCE LEARNING RESOURCES to ensure that water education continues for people of all ages.  They created a suite of free and discounted resources that educators, parents and children can use to learn about water while meeting standards in math, language arts, science and even fine arts. Click here for information about Project WET. Their mission is Advancing water education to understand global challenges and inspire local solutions.


Winter’s not over yet! These bald eagles have weathered ice, snow, and frigid temperatures at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia incubating their eggs. Biologists believe the 2 eggs were laid February 11 & 14. Bald eagles, our national symbol, incubate their eggs about 35 days so you might see them hatch any day now. Watch the live eagle cam here. EagleCam is a partnership between the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Outdoor Channel, and the National Conservation Training Center. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

National Geographic Virtual Field Trips
National Geographic Society and take your students on a Virtual Field Trip on a variety of topics! Register here to tune in 

Crayola Activities on Trees, Nature and Climate
Join Crayola Education, Science Rendezvous and children’s author of The Boreal Forest, L.E. Carmichael for fun resources and activities that families and teachers can do to spark children’s curiosity in trees, nature, and the climate! Just head to Crayola Education's Facebook page here    

Outer Space

DO YOU NEED A LITTLE SPACE? The Museum of Science, Boston has a FREE collection of downloadable educational resources all about SPACE! These fun, family-oriented resources bring space-related content into your home or home school. With something for learners of every age, this resource kit features cut-out constellations, solar-system-themed games, videos from NASA—even an interview with an astronaut. To sign up, click here. The Museum of Science, Boston mission is to invite, engage, excite, and empower the next generation of critical thinkers to ask questions, imagine what’s possible, and design solutions to shape the future.

World Oceans Day

The ocean covers over 70% of planet Earth and produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. Oceans support humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. It is home to most of earth’s biodiversity. Celebrate World Oceans Day and commit to protect and preserve the oceans and all it sustains. Click here for activities, videos, coloring pages and more from World Oceans Day. 

Cicadas Brood X

The cicadas are coming to our region, emerging in May and June after living underground for 17 years. Learn about this wonder of nature that is useful in teaching biology, mathematics, history, and art. Click here for activities and free handouts. Join Cicada Safari to help map the 2021 emergence of the periodical cicada Brood X.  Download the free app from the Apple app store or Google play, then go on a safari to find periodical cicadas.  Photograph and submit the periodical cicadas to Cicada Safari, after the photos are verified they will be posted to the live map. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers resources on how to approach cicada season. Read more about these seasonal creatures here.

Marine Science Day

Did you miss Marine Science Day last week? No problem! Recordings of the day’s programs will be accessible on the platform until June 11th, 2021. From seafood cooking demonstrations and marine life drawing lessons to presentations and Q&As with our scientists, there will be something for everyone. Children will enjoy DIY crafts, and learn about careers in marine science. What a fun, educational, and engaging day of exploration! Register here.  

Marine Debris Resources

It’s time to head back to school, and finding marine debris resources is easier than ever with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program. Their updated one-stop-shop for teaching marine debris at any level has lesson plans, videos, and upcycling crafts, everything you need to inspire and engage your students. Learn more here.   

Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation Grants

Know a nonprofit or school with environmental improvement project ideas? The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation will award up to $1.5 million through a competitive Environmental Education and Stewardship grants program. Eligible organizations include nonprofit 501(c)(3) and public and private K-12 schools in communities served by Dominion Energy companies. Grant requests are considered for up to $50,000 that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment, and K-12 requests up to $5,000. The Application period is now open and closes September 30Click here for details.

4-H Virtual Farm

Imagine you were given some land and had to grow all of your own food. What fruits and vegetables would you plant? How would you grow them? Try this 4-H at home activity where your kids can design their own virtual farm using the information in the activity guide about plants, seasons, and animals. For grades 3-5, estimated time 1 hour. Click here for details. 

WWF Dolphin Toolkit

Did you know dolphins are humans’ closest aquatic relatives, for both species are warm-blooded, breathe air, and nurse their young? The World Wildlife Foundation freshwater dolphin toolkit contains learning materials about the importance of protecting these fascinating animals and conserving freshwater resources around the world. Click here for the toolkit that gives at-home activities and interactive classroom presentations for students of all ages. 

Mattel PlayBack Toy Program

Looking for a summer project with your children that will take fun full circle by keeping outgrown, unusable and worn-out toys out of the landfill?  Mattel PlayBack is your chance. Send your Mattel brand toys to them (at no charge to you), and the material will be reused in new toys and in new ways. Materials that can’t be used for future toys will be downcycled to make other plastic products that could range from products you see around the house to park benches. Mattel PlayBack is currently available in the United States and Canada. For details click here.

NASA TechRise Student Challenge

Teachers, are you ready to get hands-on with a NASA project next school year? The NASA TechRise Student Challenge will start accepting entries August 18 and teachers can pre-register now. YOUR CHALLENGE: DESIGN AN EXPERIMENT TO TEST ON A SUBORBITAL ROCKET OR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOON. Winning schools will be awarded $1500 to develop the proposed experiment. Join NASA in its mission to advance space exploration and enhance our knowledge of Earth. Workshops are held July 28 or August 11 to help you prepare for the Student Challenge. Learn the basics of electronics, coding, and designing for flight. 

Click here to sign up today. 

Summer Activities

School’s Out! Check out these fun activities from WHRO Public Media to help the kiddos have fun at home while also learning. Explore your neighborhood’s plants, animals, weather and more with over 150 unique missions in their downloadable app. There are activities for both indoors and outdoors—so no reason to be bored this summer! See their hundreds of tips to help your family talk about nature and science here

How are Animals Being Affected by Climate Change

School’s Out! Check out these fun activities froJoin the World Wildlife Fund and see how species all over the world are being affected by changes in weather and climate. Learn what is causing these changes; how animals like one-horned rhinos, African penguins and tigers are impacted; and what WWF is doing to protect these species. Register now. 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Celebrate #STEMtember and introduce your students to the non-stop innovation at our national labs with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) K-12 virtual resources. Learn about their offerings, including a virtual story time every Tuesday, click here. The NREL focuses on creative answers to today's energy challenges. From breakthroughs in fundamental science to new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives, NREL researchers are transforming the way the nation and the world use energy.


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