TOTOS SEEP Grant EE/ESE Program Descriptions

Sustainability and Environmental Education for Pre-Service (SEEP)

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Name(s) of instructor(s)

Paul Allan

Name of university

University of Idaho

Level of preparation for the program being described: elementary, middle school, high school (or combination)

Elementary and middle school

University course number

EDCI 505

University course title

Science Seminar for GK12

University course catalogue description

Elementary science methods course for grad students in GK12 program.


(big ideas are fine)

Prepare STEM graduate student researchers to teach science in elementary classrooms.

Description of the experience(s) the pre-service teachers had to learn EE-ESE strategies

(This is the main, detailed description)

The goals of the GK-12 program are to have participating graduate STEM researchers become better teachers and communicators of science. Students had instruction for approximately a half day in methodology for outdoor learning, were given PLT and Project WILD teacher guides, and required to develop one activity from the guides to present the following day to their classmates. Guides were provided by PEI after a training was attended by the instructor of the course. All graduate students had the guides to use during the academic year, and many used them repeatedly in their 4th - 6th grade classrooms.

Materials/equipment needed for the pre-service teacher experience (include technology that may have been used)

Project Learning Tree and Project WILD teacher guides

Various materials used by graduate students to present lessons during summer training and then to elementary students during the school year.

Were preK-12 children involved? (Yes or no). If yes, describe their involvement and ages.

No K-12 students were involved in the graduate student training, but many benefitted from the training when various EE activities were presented in classrooms during the following year.

Was this an indoor or outdoor project (or both)?

Describe the setting.

Activities and training occurred in both indoor and outdoor settings, depending on the specific activity. Initial instruction in learning best methods for presenting EE concepts and activities to children and the scavenger hunt through the PLT and WILD guides were done inside. Activities presented by the graduate students during the training occurred inside and outside. Many activities presented to elementary students occurred outside.

Were other subject area professors involved? Yes or no. If yes, what subjects were integrated? How?

No. Graduate students had their own areas of expertise, many included EE areas of study such as water resources and invasive plants.

Were there community/ agency/institution partners? Yes or no. If yes, how was the partnership structured?

Pacific Education Institute provided the teacher guides as a follow-up to their training of trainers workshop.

How was the program evaluated? What did the pre-service teachers have to say?

As part of a larger NSF-funded program there were many opportunities for evaluation and input by participants. Students gave the environmental education component of their training high marks in the summer course evaluation. During the school year, online journaling and surveys provided more feedback, indicating students used the information and materials they received during the summer course.


If another grant was written to support your EE-ESE work, what types of things would you hope to accomplish?

Expand the scope of the instructor training to include more resources (including Project WET) as well as new environmental educational materials that focus on climate change.

Thank you!