In the Classroom
EE Resources for Teachers
We Learn, We Save, We Win (We3) Education Initiative
| Environmental Education Advisory Board (EEAB)
Download the lessons at http://www.seek.state.mn.us/classrm_f.cfm
We Learn, We Save, We Win (We3) Education Initiative is a project that links environmental activities and resources from state agencies and businesses to the classroom. One lesson from each of the partnering organizations was selected. The topics included in these lessons are biological control (grade 3), exploring water ecosystems (grade 5), energy conservation (grade 6), disease prevention (grade 7), and recycling (grades 8-12).
The We3 Education Initiative offers examples of hands-on, project-based lessons for Minnesota classrooms. These lessons will help teachers and students use their classroom and local environment as a "laboratory for systems thinking." Through applying the grade-appropriate concepts and skills addressed in Minnesota's Academic Standards across disciplines (with a special focus on science), students will look to their own classroom and local environment in terms of how it impacts, and is impacted by, natural and social systems.
We Learn: Students record observations and data that identify how they have learned and achieved academic benchmarks and learning objectives.
We Save: Students quantify their project outcomes in terms of savings (time, energy, money, health, natural world, etc.)
We Win: Students share how all have "won" because of their efforts.
The idea is to engage students with relevant and authentic investigative learning that begins at the classroom level, and expands outward from there to the school, school grounds, students' homes, and community.
The We3 Education Initiative was developed through a state agency partnership with support from the Minnesota Environmental Education Advisory Board (EEAB) and the Minnesota Environmental Education Advisory Task Force (EEATF). The project partners include the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
"In this new century, education will increasingly mean the ability to think systemically-in terms of relationships, patterns, contexts, and processes." - Fritjof Capra, author, The Web of Life
|Water Habitat Site Study
||In this activity, students explore a local water ecosystem and discover organisms living in various habitats. Many of these organisms provide food and cover for fish. Each student collects aquatic invertebrates using dip nets and sorts through muck scooped from the lake or creek bottom. Students also use a rake to collect aquatic plant specimens. They'll have the opportunity to sketch the specimens, and to use field guides and identification keys to study and identify the plants and animals. From these sketches, they'll make a pond, stream, or lake discovery book.
||Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
|Growing Germs in a Petri Dish
||This activity provides a hands-on demonstration of how disease is caused by other organisms and spread through contact with hard surfaces. Students will swab several hard surfaces in the classroom/school and touch them to a Petri dish. Petri dishes are left for 3 days to allow anything that was on the hard surfaces to grow.
||Minnesota Department of Health
|Ladybugs to the Rescue
||Students experience biological control in the classroom when they design and carry out an investigation ("guided inquiry") to answer a question about the relationship between aphids and ladybugs.
||Minnesota Department of Agriculture
|The Business of Recycling
||Students will discuss the information contained in the teacher's background section of the activity and examine graphs which show the history of paper consumption and the amount of paper recycled. They will discuss the effect on the business of paper recycling of various real-life "what if" questions.
||Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
|Electricity & Energy Conservation
||Students compare two types of light bulbs to find out which is more efficient, by exploring how much heat they produce.
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