Kids in Nature Science Education Practicum Course

ENVS 191: Nature and Science Education Practicum and Kids in Nature

The Kids in Nature Environmental Education program at the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration promotes the aspirations and achievements of students in underserved schools by providing quality environmental science education.

One way we achieve this goal is through the recruitment and training of undergraduates for careers in K-12 science education through the Nature and Science Education Practicum course, which is taught every Fall and Winter quarters at UCSB. Students taking the course learn firsthand about ongoing research in ecology, biodiversity sciences from our graduate students and faculty, and create K-12 lesson plans about these topics. Most importantly, the students get a chance to try out these lesson plans with area teachers, and gain first had experience teaching schoolchildren.

The elementary school students work closely with the KIN staff and UCSB students enrolled in an outdoor setting and gain firsthand experience with the concepts they learn in class for an in-depth and sustained educational experience. KIN curriculum emphasizes hands-on, placed-based activities in outdoor environments and also includes classroom visits where UCSB students mentor and assist with the elementary school student work and activities in the established native plant gardens on the elementary school campuses.