Professional Development Opportunities

Workshops

The staff of the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education offers professional development workshops for formal and non-formal educators to enhance the integration of environmental education into existing curricula. Venues include: conferences, school inservices, non-formal education settings (nature centers, etc.) and at special events. Workshop length and focus vary and can be tailored to meet specific needs. Focus areas include:

  • Energy education (energy efficiency/conservation, renewable, school building, place-based)
  • Forestry education (site-specific, school forest, school grounds)
  • Outdoor education sites 
All workshop participants will receive ready-to-use hands-on lessons and other supporting resources. You will also receive a Certificate of Completion from the WCEE upon successful completion of each workshop. All workshops support schools in their Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin initiatives. Substitute reimbursements of up to $125 may be available.

Workshop titles include:

 Step Outside and into Engagement: Outdoor Classroom Leadership

 

Step Outside and into Engagement: Outdoor Classroom Leadership
Harness the benefits of the most interactive instruction possible: learning on school grounds, outside the four walls
of the classroom. Conducting class outside offers many academic, social and emotional benefits for students. Studies
link outdoor learning to improvement in attitudes toward school, increased student achievement, higher attendance,
increased social development, and physical health benefits. Learning outdoors is even linked to a reduction of ADHD and
ADD symptoms among some students. This workshop is designed for K-8 teachers who are new to conducting class
outside and are looking to boost their skills with beginning level resources. Participants will become comfortable with
conducting class outside on any type of school grounds (from urban concrete to rural forests) in order to engage and
inspire students in learning. Guidelines, rules, safety considerations, resources and handouts will be provided so teachers
have everything they need to lead confidently. Classroom management practices that fit within existing PBIS models and
are specific to the outdoors will be discussed. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a
variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can implement outdoor learning right away. This workshop is
intended for K-8 teachers just beginning their adventure in teaching outdoors.

 

 Increasing Student Engagement and Literacy Skills Through Energy

Increasing Student Engagement and Literacy Skills Through Energy
Infuse relevant information and various teaching methods into content area while increasing student engagement and energy literacy. This workshop will provide engaging, cross-curricular activities that meet ELA standards with a hands-on STEM approach focused on energy concepts. Activities provided will fit with the workshop model and include gathering and analyzing data, exploring feature articles, comparing and contrasting readings, and exposure to current events and text sets. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away.

 Energize Your Curriculum with Renewable Energy

Energize Your Curriculum with Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is exciting! Does it work in Wisconsin? Get your students excited about renewable energy and the
implications it has for our environment and economy, while exploring potential careers in the energy industry. This
workshop provides hands-on activities and classroom-based applications for teachers to help analyze energy information
and create strategies and techniques to enhance STEM in their classrooms. Use the engineering design process while
building a solar cooker, wind and water turbines. Develop phenomena for your NGSS lessons. Workshop participants will
receive the KEEP Doable Renewables: Renewable Energy Education Activity Guide. Recommended for teachers of grades
5-12, adaptable to PK-4 audiences.

 Utilizing the School Building as a Teaching Tool: Investigations in Energy Efficiency

Utilizing the School Building as a Teaching Tool: Investigations in Energy Efficiency
Empower students and staff to be part of the energy solution through relevant experimentation using cutting-edge
technology. This workshop utilizes the school building as a teaching tool to explore energy efficiency concepts and evaluate
energy use through hands-on discovery and advice from energy professionals. Participants develop energy-savings action
plans that meet demand for project- and STEM-based learning and link to future career options. The workshop will include
time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can
integrate relevant lessons right away. Recommended for teachers of grades 5-12 and schools undergoing energy
management services.

 Introduction to Forestry Education for the K-12 Classroom

Introduction to Forestry Education for the K-12 Classroom
Teach students the importance of Wisconsin’s forests to our ecological, economic, and social well-being. This introductory workshop will present principles, activities and techniques to integrate hands-on forestry education into the K-12 science, social studies, agriculture, mathematics, technology education, ELA, and general elementary classroom. Standards alignment, STEM connections, literacy, and a brief introduction to outdoor teaching will be discussed. The workshop will include time to begin the process of infusing forestry activities into each teacher’s existing curriculum, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away.

 Addressing Middle and High School Discplinary Literacy Through Forestry Education

Addressing Middle and High School Discplinary Literacy Through Forestry Education
This workshop is designed for the science, social studies or agriculture teacher who wants to gain practice with integrating disciplinary literacy skills into content area teaching and learning. Using examples provided from both outdoor and classroom-based forestry education activities, we will explore how to maximize CCSS-connected opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening within teachers’ existing curriculum. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away.

 Developing Elementary Literacy SKills Through Outdoor Learning

Developing Elementary Literacy Skills Through Outdoor Learning
Use the outdoors to engage students and inspire the reading and writing process. Taking our classes outside on school grounds provides the opportunity for an immersive and inspired literacy experience. Activities provided are intended to be integrated into an existing balanced literacy model. Examples of activities include practicing use of sensory and figurative language, using observations for informational writing, word choice exercises, creating group poetry, and much more. The workshop will include time to apply new techniques to their existing plans and share ideas with others, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away.

 Working Toward a "Three-Dimensional" Approach to K-8 Science Learning

Working Toward a "Three-Dimensional" Approach to K-8 Science Learning
The Next Generation Science Standards encourage a multifaceted approach to teaching and learning. This more holistic view also mirrors many of the goals of environmental education, making the environment a great context for learning science. In this workshop, we will dissect lessons from Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Education Activity Guide and look for the crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science practices they contain. We will then take the next step of connecting these lessons to your existing curriculum to help create well-rounded science units that are ready for the upcoming school year.

 Place-based Learning: Engaging Students in Sustainability

Place-based Learning: Engaging Students in Sustainability
Learn how to use your building and surrounding community as an extension of your classroom. Explore STEM activities and hands-on tools that will engage students in the process of collecting energy data and developing ways to be more sustainable. An emphasis will be on unique features at your specific site to make learning relevant. Activities include measuring shadow lengths to determine sun’s height and location throughout the day and seasons; exploring the wind on-site to determine if the direction and speed of wind changes due to obstructions; taking temperatures of different surfaces around your site to determine how these surfaces effect energy consumption in the building; and utilizing maps to identify features that can be utilized for teaching and increasing sustainability. Recommended for teachers of grades K-6, adaptable for 7-12.

​​ ​

Courses

Several graduate-level courses are offered through the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education. Credit is earned through the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Both face-to-face and online courses are offered in an effort to increase professional development opportunities. Courses may be taken individually or as part of a graduate program. 

Graduate Degree Programs 

Master of Science in Natural Resources - This College of Natural Resources graduate program is for students looking to pursue a Master's degree with an emphasis in one of a variety of areas such as forestry, wildlife, fisheries, water, human dimensions of natural resources, environmental education, soil science, and waste management.

Master of Natural Resources (online) - The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Master of Natural Resources (MNR) is an online non-thesis degree designed for natural resource professionals looking to advance their careers. Our program will develop your research, leadership, administrative, and communication skills.

Licensures

Teachers - Be more marketable and meet state requirements to teach environmental science courses with your environmental science teaching license. There are several options available. Learn more.

Environmental Education Stipulation

The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) offers a variety of graduate credit courses and non-credit workshops throughout the year online and in-person at locations around Wisconsin that fulfill the Environmental Education Stipulation. These opportunities have been documented to meet the requirements to fulfill the Environmental Education Stipulation through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as stated in Wis. Stat. 118.19 and Wis. Admin. Code PI 34, specifically:

s.118.19 (6): In granting certificates or licenses for the teaching of courses in science or social studies, adequate instruction in the conservation of natural resources shall be required.

PI 34.15 says: (b) Environmental education including the conservation of natural resources for licenses in agriculture, early childhood, middle childhood to early adolescent, science and social studies.

Here is the list of the professional development opportunities that fulfill the Environmental Education Stipulation requirements:

Graduate Level Courses

  1. NRES 622: School Forest Programs Administration - offered in the Stevens Point area most summers
  2. NRES 623: Human Influences on Wisconsin's Forests (online) - offered spring semester
  3. NRES 624: Enhancing School Forest Education (online) - offered most summers
  4. NRES 630: Energy Education in the Classroom - offered if in demand - see workshop option #1 below for similar content
  5. NRES 631: Biomass Energy Education (online) - offered spring semester
  6. NRES 631: Energy Education through STEM - offered if in demand
  7. NRES 631: Wind Energy Education - offered if in demand
  8. NRES 632: Doable Renewables-Renewable Energy Education in the Classroom  - see workshop option #2 below for similar content
  9. NRES 633: Energy Education Concepts and Practices (online) - offered fall semester
  10. NRES 634: School Building Energy Efficiency Education - offered if in demand  - see workshop option #3 below for similar content
  11. NRES 635: Renewable Energy Education (online) - offered spring semester

Non-Credit Workshops - these are all offered in-person periodically at locations throughout the state

  1. Increasing Student Engagement and Literacy Skills through Energy
  2. Energize Your Curriculum with Renewable Energy
  3. Utilizing the School Building as a Teaching Tool: Investigations in Energy Efficiency
  4. Place-based Learning: Engaging Students in Sustainability
  5. Step Outside and into Engagement: Outdoor Classroom Leadership - offered periodically at locations throughout the state
  6. Introduction to Forestry Education for the K-12 Classroom
  7. Addressing Middle and High School Disciplinary Literacy through Forestry Education
  8. Developing Elementary Literacy through Outdoor Learning
  9. Project Learning Tree PK-8 Workshop

Find out what professional development offers are currently scheduled by visiting the Professional Development Calendar

​Don't see what you are looking for? We will tailor a workshop to meet your needs.

Reuquest a Workshop.png