Environmental Education Curriculum

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

In September 2003, Governor Granholm announced the beginning of a three year project to develop an environmental education curriculum for Michigan middle schools.  The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is using $1 million of the Clean Michigan Initiative funds and working with the Department of Education to develop and disseminate sound science-based supplementary environmental curriculum materials for use by Michigan educators.


The five unit topics under development are as follows:  Air Quality, Ecosystems, Energy and Resources, Individuals' Impact on the Land, and Water Quality.  The curriculum will be focused on grades four through eight, and will include enough variety that educators will be able to use it with other grade levels.  All curricula are being carefully developed to support Michigan's curriculum framework.


In addition to developing the five curriculum units, the organizations will also develop a network of trained facilitators to present workshops that will help educators learn how to use the materials and integrate them into their curricula and grade levels.  Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education is producing ecosystems, energy and resources, and water quality curricula.  Grand Valley State University is developing air quality, and  is concentrating on the individuals' impact on the land.  Central Michigan University is coordinating the project's testing, evaluation, publication, and training.


Organizations are developing the draft curricula by summer 2004.  During summer 2004, a set of teachers will be trained to field test the curricula in classrooms in fall 2004.  After field testing, the curricula will be revised; they are scheduled to be published in summer 2005.  Facilitators will then be trained in summer 2005, in order to train 3,000 Michigan teachers from summer 2005 through fall 2006.


For more information, please contact Thomas Occhipinti, DEQ Environmental Education Coordinator, (517) 373-2379, or Occhipit@michigan.gov