A Very Happy Environmental Education Week

students in Amanda Renslow’s 7th grade science class exercised problem solving, leadership, and democratic decision making skills in the construction of a Nature Play Area

students in Amanda Renslow’s 7th grade science class exercised problem solving, leadership, and democratic decision making skills in the construction of a Nature Play Area

Just in time for Environmental Education week, we received word that ArcelorMittal will support STEM-based environmental education in Northwest Indiana with a generous $150,000 grant!

The funding will allow approximately 3,500 students and 134 teachers from schools in the communities of Gary, Hammond, Hobart, Michigan City, Portage, Westville, Chesterton, Crown Point, and Valparaiso to benefit from a wide range of environmental literacy experiences during the 2017‐18 school year.

The impacts of one of the grant funded programs can be seen and enjoyed by many at Discovery Charter School, where students in Amanda Renslow’s 7th grade science class exercised problem solving, leadership, and democratic decision making skills in the construction of a Nature Play Area. Bordered by a restored native plant community, the project features recreational stations planned and built by students. Their pride was evident at the recent ribbon cutting.

“We are delighted to work with the Northwest Indiana Environmental Education Partnership to support and encourage hands‐on learning that helps students better understand how STEM can be applied to everyday life, and how they can use it to create real change in their communities,” said John Brett, president and CEO, ArcelorMittal USA. “This partnership has helped us further our goal of inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to keep growing as students as well as active, thoughtful citizens who will work to protect the environment.”

Offering a wide range of hands‐on, STEM‐based environmental education curriculum, Dunes Learning Center's Dunes To You educators work with partners and schools to bring classroom lessons to life in the natural areas and communities where students live.

With this investment by ArcelorMittal, Dunes Learning Center—along with partners Shirley Heinze Land Trust, The Field Museum, and Taltree Arboretum—will have the necessary tools and support to cultivate the next generation of conservation leaders, problem‐solvers, and critical thinkers.

“Environmental Education Week shines a national spotlight on the importance of engaging young people in environmental education and stewardship.” Geof Benson, executive director of Dunes Learning Center, added. “Our natural environment is a ready‐made classroom for teaching STEM.”

To learn more about opportunities for integrating environmental education into STEM learning, visit duneslearningcenter.org/outreach.