John Sanders is the founder and director of the Delphinus School of Natural History, a regional outdoor science education program in San Luis Obispo for elementary and middle school students. Much like the constellation it’s named after, Delphinus guides students toward a greater understanding of the world we all navigate.
Science gives us critical clues to understanding the complex web of the natural world, how it works, and how we can embrace our role in it. That’s why Dr. Suzanne Pierre, a member of CAELI’s leadership council and environmental science educator at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Teacher Institute, believes curiosity and connection are the basis for understanding and action, especially on climate issues. In this Q&A, Sue shares her background as a microbial ecology researcher and woman of color, and how that informs her work to support teachers as they incorporate hands-on, inquiry-rich experiences into their classrooms.
Educators are drawing from the emerging field of biomimicry to engage young people in the STEAM fields through real-life connections. This short film features a December 2019 professional development training for educators—hosted by CAELI members Inside the Outdoors and Ten Strands, in partnership with the Biomimicry Institute and Bioneers—and how biomimicry serves as a powerful component of environmental literacy.
I believe that it is our duty as educators to respond to the preponderance of evidence that has mounted, which paints a picture of a rapidly changing environment and a potentially very different socio-political future, by adapting our preschool–college instructional programs to be more reflective of that future and its predicted reality, and that prepares them for life in a world affected by human-caused climate change.