Each year, thousands of school-aged students and hundreds of teachers participate in McKeever Environmental Learning Center’s School Programs. All of our programs are aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s State Standards for Environment & Ecology and Science & Technology.
Our programs are designed to meet the needs of students in grades K-8. Program components include:
- Hands-on, fully participatory learning adventures,
- Activities designed to build upon one another,
- Designed for curriculum integration with follow through back in the classroom, and
- Majority of the programs take place in the outdoors, in the natural world.
Attending a day program at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center is one way of becoming more involved with the environment. During their brief but valuable visit to the center (usually 4 hours) students will be involved in sensory and conceptual learning adventures. Activities for these experiences may be chosen from nationally known curricula such as Outdoor Biological Instructional Strategies (OBIS), Earth Education, Project Learning Tree (PLT), and Sharing Nature with Children.
Earthkeepers is our most popular educational program offered at the McKeever Environmental Learning Center. Earthkeepers is a three-day, two-night, program for 4th and 5th grade students. It is designed to engage students in hands-on, interactive experiences that encourage them to build a closer relationship with the natural world. The program deals with four ecological concepts – energy flow, cycling of materials (air, water and soil), interrelationships and change. Students earn four keys as they progress through the program.
This five-day residential program operates on the premise that our ‘Sunship’, which has been traveling on its journey for billions of years, has been running smoothly…until now. More recently, human passengers have been tampering with the Sunship’s mechanisms, and its future is now uncertain. Four goals are accomplished: planetary awareness, sensory awareness, ecological understanding and environmental consciousness. Sunship Earth is the most comprehensive earth education program available today. The program sets out over five days to awaken the feelings and understandings that will help young people better fulfill their responsibilities as crewmembers and passengers of Sunship Earth.
This three-day, two-night program is for 6th-8th grade students. The title ‘Sunship III’ reflects the fact that we inhabit the third planet from a medium-sized star, the sun. The Sunship III program is adventure filled yet intellectually challenging as students romp through the reasons and rewards for crafting a more ecological lifestyle. Sunship III is about perception and choice in our daily habits and routines. It is about exploration and discovery in the larger context of where and how we live. And it is about examining alternatives and making decisions on behalf of a healthier planet.
Web Of Life
This one-and-a-half day residential program engages students in hands-on experiential activities designed to teach basic ecological concepts, heighten sensory awareness and instill feelings of empathy for the natural world. The primary focus of this program is the understanding that all living and non-living things are connected in the ‘web of life.’ Other concepts include community, habitats and niches.
Where Energy Comes From
We bring this exciting 3-hour program to your school! The program focuses on the formation of fossil fuels and byproducts of their use as well as how materials are recycled. The ‘Energy Detective’ performs an energy audit of your school. The program continues with lunch as we examine energy in our food and materials in our packaging. The program ends with an activity on worms, and each class receives a worm bin.
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- PA State System of Higher Education Let a state system university be your answer.
- Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators PAEE unites, supports, and empowers a community of Environmental Educators throughout Pennsylvania.
- EnviroLink Network Non-profit organization providing access to thousands of online environmental resources.
- GreenTreks Network, Inc. Telling Stories that Change the World
- PA Fish and Boat Commission Protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities
- Mercer County, PA Everyone needs an escape plan.