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Activities and Lesson Plans

Eco-Schools USA activities and lessons help students learn and engage with sustainable development topics that align to Eco-Schools USA pathways, grade bands, and school standards. Dive deeper into topics like extreme weather events, contaminants in soil and water, and endangered species protection.

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Project Ideas

Looking for a longer-term project to engage students throughout the school year? Bring one of our sustainability projects into the mix.

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Sustainable Development Goals

These activities are designed to develop a deeper foundation in which students can engage in self-reflection, dialogue with their peers and community, and environmental justice-centered action. 

Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13 Climate Action

Citizen Science

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research, from community-driven research to global investigations. In education, citizen science is used to support deeper learning and allow students to practice the skills of “doing” science, from using field or lab equipment to becoming better observers of the natural world. Below are a series of citizen science resources identified by Eco-Schools USA as tools that support and add value to a school’s work in becoming more sustainable, conserving natural resources, and protecting wildlife.

These apps are available in the Apple app store and for Android apps on Google Play.

iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature!

GLOBE Observer is an application from The GLOBE Program and allows students to make Earth Systems observations. Currently the Observer app hosts, clouds, mosquito habitat mapper, land cover, and trees.

Litterati uses geotagging to provide insight into problem areas, while keywords identify the most commonly found brands and products. This data will be used to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable solutions.

Pronghorn Xing is used to improve both human and wildlife safety during the pronghorn’s long migrations, along highways and throughout public lands of the Great Plains.

eBird is a product of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year. eBird data document bird distribution, abundance, habitat use and trends through checklist data collected with a simple, scientific framework.

Seek is a product of iNaturalist and encourages outdoor exploration and learning by harnessing image recognition technology to help you identify plants and animals from your photos. No registration required. Earn a badge, become more engaged with the wildlife around you, and learn cool facts about the animals and plants right where you live.

AirVisual provides air quality information from one of over 10,000 locations from a global network of government monitoring stations. Key pollutants include, PM2.5, PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide and helps to inform daily outdoor activities and know when to more closely monitor those students with sensitive respiratory systems.

Journey North tracks migrations and seasons, most notably of the monarch butterfly, but also includes opportunities to track hummingbirds and frogs.

Frog Watch USA provides people with opportunities to learn about wetlands in their communities by reporting on the calls of local frogs and toads.

SCISTARTER is a place to find, join and contribute to science through providing people with access to more than 2,700 searchable formal and informal research projects and events.

CATALOG is a federal crowdsourcing and citizen science catalog. Filter options include by status, agency, and field of science.