Environmental Education at Home
During this period of remote learning, the Environmental Education team is sharing their lessons, activities and home projects. This page is a collection of those activities organized by theme, and if you'd like to set up a virtual program for your group, contact Chris Towe (ChrisT@piercecd.org).
We recently joined Tacoma Public Schools for a plant tour of Swan Creek Park. Check it out!
Water Resources - Our introduction video demonstrates just how much fresh water we have on earth; As it turns out, it’s a Drop in the Bucket!
Water Audit - These activities help us understand how much water we use, and how critical it is to our everyday lives. Before doing the audit, see if you can list as many ways that humans use water in our daily life. And to make it exciting, challenge someone to see how can list the most!
The Water Cycle - After learning more about the water cycle with a short article and video, you can do a fun at-home science project making a mini water cycle.
Stormwater Model - Check out this cool stop-motion video about stormwater pollution and how it reaches Puget Sound.
Orcas Love Rain Gardens - Our friends at Orcas Love Rain Gardens have a video about how pollution affects salmon, orcas and other wildlife. They also show how rain gardens can be a solution to the problem.
Salmon Life Cycle Video - Salmon have an incredible life cycle, and you can learn more about it in this video from the Discovery Channel.
Dream Stream - Learn about the important parts of salmon habitat and turn that into some artwork of your own.
Salmon Survival Game - Take your salmon on their journey to see what obstacles they face, and discover how many survive to reach their spawning grounds.
Macroinvertebrates Video - What are macroinvertebrates, and what do they have to do with salmon? Find out in this video from our education team.
Looking at Leaves video - This activity is an introduction to using leaves to learn more about the plants they come from, and includes a fun art project.
Plant Journaling and Budburst - After learning about leaves and their features, this activity gets us looking at other plant parts and tracking their changes over time. Visiting a plant regularly is a great journaling opportunity.
iNauturalist is an app and website helps you figure out what plants and animals live in your neighborhood. You can make observations and upload them using the app, then they pop up on the map. Even if you don’t know what a plant or bug it is, you can take a picture and the app will give you suggestions. It’s a great way to explore nature right outside your door!
Tracing Items Back to Soil - Soil is connected to almost everything in our everyday lives, which is why it’s so important for us to take care of it! In this activity we make and diagram soil connections.
What’s in Soil? - Ever wonder what soil actually is? In this video we help solve the mystery and explore the complex phenomenon that is soil!
Erosion Lesson and Splash Zone Activity - In the previous lessons in this soil series we covered why soil is important and what soil is made of. The purpose of this lesson is to explore human impacts on soil.
Gardening with Kids
Setting Up - A garden doesn’t have to be a row of raised beds, it could be pots on your deck or balcony or a box on your windowsill. Growing plants is a great way to teach kids about life sciences and making healthy food choices. Whether you want to do an experiment or grow some fresh food, this lesson is about different ways to start growing plants from home.
Journaling - Journaling your garden experiences has many benefits and is easy to get started. Once you have notes on one gardening season, you can reference your journal again and again for a better growing in the future.
Reading Seed Packets - Seeds are typically the most affordable option for gardening, but take some experience and know-how to grow them well. If you are new to gardening or wonder what some of the instructions on your seed packet are about, then this post will take through the frequent information found on store bought seeds.
Planting Seeds - Seeds are super affordable, but take some experience and know-how to get the most out of. Ideal if you are new to gardening, this is a step-by-step guide to sowing seeds.
Planting Transplants - Whether you started seeds indoors, bought a plant at the store, or are re-potting a house plant, transplanting is a valuable skill for anyone to have.
Seasonal Food Wheel - After learning about the value of eating local, seasonal food, you can make a helpful tool to show what’s in season in your neck of the woods.
Food and Our Carbon Footprint - In this lesson we will explore how the production of food impacts carbon emissions, a leading contributor to climate change.
Biodiversity in Agriculture - We lay out the importance of diversity in an agricultural ecosystem, and provide instructions for a home experiment for you to try.
Pollinator Intro Video - We share the basics of pollination and plant parts, and some interesting tidbits to help us appreciate pollinators even more.
Pollinator Activity Guide - This introduction to pollinators includes an overview of plant parts, a pollinator count activity, and a DIY hummingbird feeder.
Cheese Puff Pollination - The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis uses cheese puffs and candy to illustrate how pollination works in this video. It’s a tasty activity to try at home!
But Why Podcast Episode - The But Why podcast from Vermont Public Radio answers all sorts of questions that kids have. In this episode, they answer how bees make honey and why they sting.