EarthGen is a statewide nonprofit organization that equips youth, educators, and school communities to become changemakers for a healthy environment. Through science-based, action-oriented programs, EarthGen engages several hundred teachers each year in climate science professional development grounded in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and culturally sustaining pedagogy. EarthGen’s workshops feature climate scientists, focus on local issues, and highlight action and solutions. EarthGen provides teachers with data, resources, and instructional strategies to make climate change and its impacts relevant for students.

Through teaching strategies they can use with their own students, educators learn how climate change affects Washington’s communities with impacts that include wildfires, droughts, food waste, and snowpack. EarthGen weaves climate and environmental justice issues through the workshops and features expert instructors from communities on the frontline of climate change. Beyond learning about the causes and impacts of climate change and climate injustice, teachers explore emotions brought up by climate change and how they can support their students in taking action.

Teacher Professional Development

STEM Seminars

Based on a model developed with ESD 112, EarthGen’s STEM Seminars blend science content and social impacts with effective NGSS teaching strategies. These seminars engage hundreds of teachers each year in learning how climate change affects communities across Washington and in examining solutions. STEM Seminars anchor learning to local, relevant climate change impacts, such as increased heat waves, climate emotions, and flooding and erosion from coastal hazards.

Teachers analyze data with scientists from the University of Washington who share their first-hand experience conducting climate research. Their global expertise is complemented by local specialists who share regional perspectives on climate issues and present approaches to address climate change here in Washington state. For example, at a training on Climate Change and Shellfish, an elder from the Swinomish Tribe relayed the importance of shellfish to native culture and the local economy, framing the global issue of climate change in a community centered context. In each STEM Seminar, teachers benefit from structured planning time, which helps them prepare activities with their students based on their own learning.

Climate Justice League

EarthGen facilitates professional learning communities for teachers to deepen their understanding of complex topics, such as navigating challenging conversations in the classroom; building community; and receiving advice and feedback from colleagues. The Climate Justice League, developed in partnership with ESD 112, focuses on the intersection of climate change and social injustice. New in 23-24, EarthGen in continued partnership with ESD 112, provides support for alumni of the Climate Justice League. Educators will engage in regional day-long workshops that teach re-ground learning around climate justice, provide space to workshop problems of practice, and explore ideas for future professional development. Additionally, educators have the opportunity to join communities of practice after the workshop to continue collaborating with their colleagues.

Asynchronous Courses

Through asynchronous courses on the learning platform Canvas, EarthGen facilitates professional learning on how climate change has and will impact local communities. These learning opportunities allow educators to analyze and interpret recent climate science data and progress understanding of crucial climate change indicators across Washington state. This also prepares educators to implement NGSS practices such as developing and using models, and obtaining, interpreting, and communicating information. These courses range in content from the fundamental principles of climate change science, to the local impacts of the season of smoke, and cultivating knowledge of Washington’s agricultural systems. Teachers have the opportunity to engage in this learning at their own pace while developing communities of learners by grade level and subject area throughout the courses.

EarthGen (formerly Washington Green Schools)

Upcoming Classes

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Partners & Collaborators

All nine Educational Service Districts
Earth Lab, University of Washington
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Local scientists, engineers, and experts

After attending EarthGen’s training, I am much more prepared to discuss the causes of climate change and help students understand and develop plans to positively impact the local environment.

Teacher participant, STEM Seminar

I have worked with science teams for the last nine years. These STEM seminars are exactly what ANY teacher needs to remind themselves of what they already know, and to provide relevant information to support their new knowledge with current data.

Teacher participant, STEM Seminar

Success Stories from EarthGen