When it comes to the field of environmental education, the Environmental Volunteers is a leader in providing high-quality, hands-on curriculum for schools. The EV’s Educate for Depth program for elementary schools now has extensive quantitative evidence demonstrating its positive impact on student science learning. External evaluation of our recent Educate for Depth collaboration with the Mountain View Whisman School District found that student science test scores increased to a significant degree when compared with a ‘control’ school district that did not receive the program. That’s great news! Improving Science Knowledge, But… However, there is always a “but”. While the evaluation findings revealed that the EV was successfully educating for depth in science knowledge, the findings did not show that the program was having a significant impact on our students’ sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. Given these findings, we decided to do something about it! Thanks to a generous grant from the Satterberg Foundation, we have a rare opportunity to conduct an evaluation of our school programs. This evaluation is great for the EV for many reasons – it is a unique opportunity for a small non-profit. Now, we can observe how students are responding to the curriculum, and then we can look at how we can improve that curriculum to make sure that we are inspiring a lifelong love of nature through our programs.
Educate for ActionThis is a part of our Educate for Action initiative. Educate for Action involves reviewing our curriculum to meet three key measures:
- Increasing stewardship education within our programs
- Adapting curriculum to support the Next Generation Science Standards
- Improve connection and efficacy of our curriculum for students who are English Language Learners