The Comprehensive Environmental Education program is the product of a collaboration of several local organizations. The goal of the program is to help create more environmentally-conscious citizens through fun, hands-on education in grades 3-12. The program has been implemented into several of the schools in East Chicago and, thus far, the students have really enjoyed it. There are three phases to the program that the students move through as they progress in their education. Each phase offers something different and caters to a specific age group. They are as follows:
-Mighty Acorns: This is the first stage of the program and involves students in third through fifth grade. These students adopt a nature site early on in the program and, during their years as Mighty Acorns, take care of and study the site. This helps the students to see and understand the impact that they have on the environment.
-Earth Force: In this phase, students in grades six through eight, work together in utilizing knowledge of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) to design a solution to an environmental problem that they have identified in their community. Not only does this phase help to strengthen students’ knowledge of STEM but it also emphasized the importance of teamwork.
-Calumet Is My Backyard (CIMBY): CIMBY is for high school students, particularly those interested in pursuing a career or education in environmentally-related fields. The students take trips to do restoration work of natural areas. This phase of the program also works to connect students to post-high school opportunities like internships or career programs.
For more information on the Comprehensive Environmental Education program or any of its phases, visit foundationsec.org.