If I asked you to describe what “environmental education” looks like, what image would first spring to mind? Perhaps it’s a camp group walking in the woods, observing and drawing birds. Maybe it’s a group of elementary students out on Narragansett Bay, taking water samples. Or maybe it’s a high school class, learning about the effects of pollutants on genetic mutations. All of these certainly qualify as environmental education. But a whole bunch more would too.IMG_6852_3-Kids-AEECIn its most general definition, environmental education (EE) refers to teaching and learning about — and in — natural environments. EE is definitely guided nature walks, water sampling, and environmental science, for sure. But EE is also farm programs, family hikes, health initiatives, sustainable design, and environmental justice — to name just a few. That’s why this year’s RI Environmental Education Association (RIEEA) annual meeting will highlight organizations that represent a broad spectrum of approaches and encourage the sharing of ideas among professionals so that we can encourage everyone in RI to participate in EE in diverse and effective ways.

rieealogonewAnd for very good reason. In many research studies, EE has been linked to an increase in: inquiry and problem solving skills; creative and imaginary thinking; collaboration, communication and positive behavior among students; performance on assessments; physical and mental health; and more.

RIEEA’s annual meeting, on February 12 from 5-8pm is open to everyone. Please visit the website to learn more: http://www.rieea.org/

Read article about No Child Left Inside.