Secondary Activities (Middle and High School)
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.
American Society of Civil Engineers
Are you a teacher or engineer looking to inspire the next generation of civil engineers? Are you a student who wants to find out why civil engineering is loads of fun? The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) can help! They are compiling and highlighting materials from a variety of ASCE-supported sources to support parents and teachers experience hands-on engineering at home. Check back frequently as the resource list grows: CLICK HERE
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.
Environmental Education Resources
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.
U.S. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, website: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/stormwater/watershed-education-and-outreach
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.
Environmental Literacy and Schoolyard Projects
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.
America Society of Civil Engineers
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.
WORLDWILDLIFE.ORG inspires generations to learn about biodiversity, why biodiversity and nature matter, and what they can do to help our planet. Their new Biodiversity Toolkit provides students with an understanding of the importance of nature and how all living things are connected through activities and lesson plans.
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.
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.
Innovative Water Treatment Program in Eastern Virginia
The SWIFT Virtual Tour is LIVE!! Here's your chance to see the incredible work the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) is doing to replenish the Potomac Aquifer with drinking water and reduce water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay! SWIFT (Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow) is an innovative water treatment project in eastern Virginia designed to further protect the region’s environment, enhance the sustainability of the region’s long-term groundwater supply and help address environmental pressures such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. SWIFT takes highly treated water that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James or York rivers and puts it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking water quality standards. The SWIFT Water is then added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia. Click here to enter the virtual tour.
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 here for 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.
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.
Winter Salt Watch
It's that time of year... winter months bringing snow and ice requiring road salt to keep us safe on roads and sidewalks. As snow melts or rain falls, road salt gets washed into storm drains, and streams. The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) staff launched Winter Salt Watch to encourage high school students or community groups to monitor local creeks and streams over the winter months. Groups can request a free Salt Watch test kit here. This data provides real-time information on chloride levels in local waterways and creates awareness about water quality. The IWLA mission is to conserve, restore, and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.
Virtual Journey to Africa by the Mariner's Museum
Take a virtual journey to Africa! Come along for enchanting virtual journeys with The Mariners' Museum and Park this month in celebration of Black History Month. Discover ancient kingdoms and waterways that populated the African continent. This month two new program series will illustrate how Africa and its people helped shape the world, and the different waters that have influenced African and world culture. Discover more about these exciting series for all ages, which will also be offered throughout the year. All virtual programs are FREE. Pre-registration is required. View the full series here. The Mariners’ Museum and Park connects people to the world’s waters, because through the waters—through our shared maritime heritage—we are connected to one another.
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.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shares the origins of Women's History Month where you can explore exhibits, access audio and visual collections and resources for educators in this website: https://womenshistorymonth.gov/
Kids in Parks TRACK Trail Program
The Kids in Parks TRACK Trail program is a network of kid friendly self-guided trails that run along the Blue Ridge mountain ranges. Each TRACK Trail features self-guided brochures and signs that turn your visit into a fun and exciting outdoors experience. Their website also has resources for teachers and parents that can be used outside anywhere. The Kids in Parks program engages kids and families in outdoor recreation to foster lifelong wellness and meaningful connections to public lands. Click here for more information.
Farmer's Almanac Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day
Typically, Earth Day is assigned a different theme or area of focus each year; 2021's theme is “Restore Our Earth.” The Farmer’s Almanac shares some ideas to inspire you this year, click here for a list of activities and projects that you can do to improve your local environment.
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.
NASA Seeks University Students' BIG Ideas for Exploring Robots
The 2022 BIG Idea Challenge invites students to submit ideas for innovative, cost-effective robots with new mobility solutions, capable of exploring extreme terrain. University students’ robotics designs may hop, slither, crawl, balloon, tumble, levitate, or leap to victory, displaying alternative rover motion techniques. This NASA-funded challenge provides development awards of up to $180,000 to up to eight selected teams to bring concept designs to life and share the results of their research and testing at the culminating forum in November 2022. Submit a proposal by January 18 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 30. Click here for details.
Exploring Deep Sea Canyons
Deep Sea Treasures of the Mid-Atlantic: Norfolk, Hudson, and Baltimore Canyons is a fascinating story map exploring three of the largest deep-sea canyons in the Mid-Atlantic and is a follow up to the story map focused on tow cam surveys of eight lesser-known canyons. See Story Map produced by Nick Meade, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.
Free Online Coding Workshops
Start your journey into the field of coding with a free online workshop on Wednesday, October 27, 6:30 – 7:30 PM EDTby Old Dominion University Digital Skills Bootcamps. Speak with experts to discuss the evolution of web-development, today's in-demand programming languages and the job market for coding professionals. Coding and software development are part of a full STEM education and has applications in the Public Works profession. Click here for details.
Virtual Tour of Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is offering a free and exclusive opportunity for the public to virtually tour the lab during a live online event at 6:30 p.m. Geared for middle to high school students and their families, the event features technical areas at Jefferson Lab that have never before been accessible to the public. Advance registration is not required. Additional educational activities related to STEM topics will be available after the event. Visit Jefferson Lab's Fall for Science page and watch a sneak peek.