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EarthGen

EarthGen is a nonprofit organization that equips educators to bring environmental learning and action into K-12 classrooms across Washington State. With support from ClimeTime, EarthGen engages hundreds of teachers each year in climate science professional development grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards. EarthGen’s workshops feature climate scientists, focus on local issues, and highlight action and solutions. EarthGen supports 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 explore relationships between climate change and its effects on Washington’s communities, such as wildfires, droughts, and floods. Climate and environmental justice issues are woven throughout the workshops, which feature experts from communities on the frontline of climate change. Teachers in EarthGen’s workshops strengthen their own knowledge of climate change and its impacts and become equipped with resources and support to engage their students in climate science learning and action.

Teacher Professional Development

STEM Seminars

Based on a model developed with ESD 112, EarthGen’s STEM Seminars engage teachers in learning about how climate change affects communities across Washington and examining possible solutions. Seminars begin with a “hook” to help anchor learning around relevant issues, such as fires, floods, and droughts. STEM Seminars blend science content and social impacts with effective NGSS teaching strategies.

Teachers analyze data with University of Washington scientists who share their first-hand experience conducting climate research. Local specialists also share regional perspectives on climate issues and present approaches to address climate change locally. For example, at a training on Climate Change and Shellfish, an elder from the Swinomish Tribe relayed the importance of shellfish to native culture, sustenance, and the local economy. In each STEM Seminar, teachers benefit from structured planning time, which helps them plan how to apply what they learned into their classrooms. EarthGen supports teachers to take what they learn in STEM Seminars and implement activities with their students.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

EarthGen facilitates professional learning communities for teachers to deepen their understanding of complex topics, build community, and receive advice and feedback from colleagues. ​​In these sessions, which focus on topics such as climate justice and climate action, teachers connect asynchronously and synchronously in virtual workshops. The goal is that they will deepen their own knowledge and practice, apply their learning to their classrooms, and share their experiences with their colleagues.

The Climate Justice League is a PLC developed in partnership with ESD 112 that focuses on the intersection of climate change and environmental justice. Now offered across the state, teachers in the Climate Justice League learn how climate justice connects with issues in their own community and explore how to engage their students in taking action for change. Educators learn from the perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who are leaders in climate justice work. With support from the CJL facilitators and the other educators in their cohort, teachers plan and implement lessons around relevant climate justice issues to their communities.

EarthGen Learning Resources

In collaboration with educators from school districts across the state, EarthGen has developed environmental learning resources that are driven by the Next Generation Science Standards. Resources include flexible science units such as Monarch Mystery, Breathing Easier, and Energy Matters, that engage students in hands-on learning activities in their school community and strengthen their science literacy and 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Available in Spanish and in both virtual and in-person formats, EarthGen’s learning resources bring climate science learning directly to students in ways that are culturally relevant and aligned to their interests. EarthGen prioritizes partnering with schools and school districts where students have been historically underserved by environmental science education, and teachers receive free professional development and implementation support.

EarthGen (formerly Washington Green Schools)

Upcoming Classes

May
25
Wed
2022
4:00 pm Science Fiction or Science Solut...
Science Fiction or Science Solut...
May 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Come learn with EarthGen in this virtual professional development opportunity designed for secondary teachers in ESD 121. Teachers will explore technology and engineering solutions to climate change and discuss with one another the pros and cons of[...]

Partners & Collaborators

Earth Lab, University of Washington
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Upper Columbia United Tribes
All 9 Educational Service Districts
Local scientists, engineers, and experts

This course has given me a concrete example of how I can connect real, place-based case studies with my curriculum. It has given me strategies to use that will help my students connect with the content and understand their role in climate change.

Teacher participant, STEM Seminar

This was seriously the best PD I have attended since I started teaching 14 years ago! Relevant, useful, and great resources!

Teacher participant, STEM Seminar on Coastal Hazards, Long Beach, WA

Success Stories from EarthGen (formerly Washington Green Schools)

Learning to Live with Rising Seas

Learning to Live with Rising Seas

From high school students calculating the sea level rise resulting from climate change to kindergarteners tackling plastic pollution, EarthGen’s professional development workshops are bringing environmental learning and action to Washington classrooms. “Living with...

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EarthGen Uses Gamification to Teach Climate Action

EarthGen Uses Gamification to Teach Climate Action

Olympia School District teacher Heath Bingman presents economic interests in EarthGen’s mock climate summit. While youth climate leaders often make the news, many young people believe climate change is too big a problem for them to solve. But young people are natural...

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