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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, and floods. 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, 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, deteriorating public health, 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 local context. In each STEM Seminar, teachers benefit from structured planning time, which helps them prepare activities with their students based on their own learning.

EarthGen also offers fully asynchronous courses for teachers to pursue at their own pace, such as an introductory-level course that presents the fundamental principles of climate change science.

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. Now offered across the state, teachers in the Climate Justice League learn how climate justice connects with issues in their own community and how to engage their students in taking action for change. Educators learn directly from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders in climate justice work. With support from the Climate Justice League, facilitators, and their educator cohorts, teachers plan and implement lessons around climate justice issues that are relevant to their communities. Climate Justice League alumni provide further support to current participants, engaging in storyline and other resource development.

BIPOC Voices

The BIPOC Voices project is designed to support educator and student learning about BIPOC professionals who work as scientists and activists. Designed in collaboration with ESD 112 and the University of Washington, this project centers BIPOC expertise, experiences, and perspectives, and strengthens the representation of BIPOC scientists and advocates in the educational system. Its resources include four video interviews and an activity guide to inspire critical conversations. A fully asynchronous course prepares teachers to engage their students with the materials, while an activity guide supports student awareness of career opportunities and compensates for learning gaps from the pandemic.

Youth Fellowship

New in the 22-23 school year, EarthGen offers a youth fellowship opportunity to Washington high school students. Through tailored support from EarthGen staff, youth fellows will deepen their knowledge about climate science and climate justice, perform statewide research on young people’s ideas for strengthening climate education, and present their findings.

EarthGen (formerly Washington Green Schools)

Upcoming Classes

There are no upcoming events.

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 (formerly Washington Green Schools)

EarthGen Launches Youth Fellowship Program

EarthGen Launches Youth Fellowship Program

As part of our ongoing efforts to foster student leadership, EarthGen launched a new Youth Fellowship program. This program provides paid opportunities to high school students who are passionate about climate justice and wish to expand their knowledge on this critical...

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