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EGLE Classroom

EGLE Classroom
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

EGLE Classroom


Eileen Boekestein

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Welcome to EGLE Classroom! Here you can learn more about the work that EGLE does to protect Michigan’s air, land, water, and public health.

Featured Resources

Are you interested in using this content in the classroom and need a hands-on component? You can borrow our Waste Management Enviroscape model through EGLE Classroom's lending station


School Recognition

Yale High School students with teacher in front of fish wastewater-aquaponics project that won the Environmental Service Award in 2024.

2024 ESA Winner

Upton Middle School students prepare materials for composting in St. Joseph, Mich.

2024 ESA Winner

Interested in seeing your students honored with these recognitions? Learn more about how to submit nominations for Environmental Service Award and Earth Day Poster Contest at, and check out the Michigan Green Schools Hub to start making plans for next year!

EnviroSchool Webinar Series

EnviroSchool Webinar Series

EnviroSchool webinars are for teachers, interpreters, and environmental educators. Check out our 2023-2024 webinars. Missed last years lineup? Want to catch up?  Watch our recordings from the 2022-2023 series. 

Mi EnviroLearning Hub

MI EnviroLearning Hub

Explore interactive lessons and geospatial tools built just for students as you delve into the beauty and significance of Michigan's environment. Stay tuned, as we’ll continue to add new resources to enhance your learning experience.

MI Green Schools logo

Michigan Green Schools

Michigan Green Schools is dedicated to helping all Michigan schools achieve environmental goals including the protection of our state's air, land, water and animals through good ecological practices and the teaching of environmental stewardship.

Earth Day 2024

Earth Day

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) celebrates Earth Day every year in April. Learn about 2024 events and watch the recorded 2023 Student Webinar. 



MEECS contains seven Michigan-specific units that provide an opportunity for students in grades 3-12 to learn about Michigan's economy and environment through inquiry oriented, data-based lessons in Science and Social Studies.

Explore interactive lessons and geospatial tools to support MEECS at the new MI EnviroLearning Hub!

Ecological Restoration Lending Station Model

Resource Lending Station

The EGLE Lending Station allows educators to borrow materials that engage students in real-life Great Lakes-based education with hands-on learning. The EnviroScape®, Sand & Gravel Simulator models, and H2O Q Kits (water quality backpacks) and more are available for lending to your classroom or organization. 

Clean Air Action Day

Identifying Harmful Algal Blooms

Biosolids Compliance Inspector

EGLE Classroom Playlist

Resources for Teachers and Educators

  • MEECS Air Quality: Five full lessons on Michigan Air Quality are available via the Michigan GoOpen platform.

    • Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media

    Air Quality Monitoring


    Open Burning in Michigan
    "Open burning" is the burning of unwanted materials such as paper, trees, brush, leaves, grass, and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air. During open burning, air pollutants do not pass through a chimney or stack.

    Ozone & Fine Particulates

  • Climate Resources

      MEECS Climate Change Unit: Fourteen full lessons on the impacts of climate change in Michigan are available via the Michigan GoOpen platform
      Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media

      Climate Kids is a NASA affiliated website used as a fun education resource for children to easily understand climate change and other environmental issues. It includes games, short videos, information about common green careers and green technologies, and other environmental topics kids can learn about. There is also an Educator Resources section with interactive activities to help families and teachers explain these topics to children.

      NOAA’s Toolbox for teaching Climate and Energy provides supporting resources and programs for those who want to teach climate and energy science.

      • NASA Global Climate and Energy Resources: To increase awareness and interest in climate science, NASA has developed a series of educator resources for all grades:
        • Grades K-5: Guide to Climate Change for Kids
        • Grades 5-12: Graphing Global Temperature Trends
        • Grades 9-12: Future Temperature Projections Unit
      • Learn about climate resilience, view climate maps and data, and explore resilience case studies with the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

      CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network – Free teaching resources, curated by scientists, designed to step students through the key principles of climate and energy. For grades K-12 through college.


      Energy Resources

      MEECS Energy Unit: Eight full lessons on Michigan’s Energy sources, uses, and conservation are available via the Michigan GoOpen Platform

        • Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media

      DTE Virtual Wind and Solar Park Field Trip - The 27-minute virtual field trip takes students to Michigan’s largest wind and solar parks to help students learn about how these clean energy technologies work and the important role they play in helping reduce carbon emissions.

      The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids program provides energy related stories, hands-on activities, and research articles for your classroom! These curriculum-based lessons are separated by age-grade.

      The PBS Energy Lab investigates what energy is, how it can be converted into useful forms, and why some sources are running low.

        The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Educator Resources page offers videos, 360 degree virtual tours, curriculum, coloring books, and other educational resources in English and Spanish.

        The U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon Program works with National Energy Education Development (NEED)  to provide free, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum on energy topics. Explore resources by grade level or by topic on the NEED Educator Resources page.

          • Topics include: the science of energy, energy sources, transportation, climate science, energy efficiency, and careers in energy.

        rEV Education provides an electric vehicle (EV) education program designed to educate students on the benefits of EVs through a STEM-based multimedia curriculum.

          • Students can participate in the national level rEV Challenge, creating a video to compel their friends and family to learn more about the benefits and technology of EVs. Two Michigan students won national awards in 2022!

        Square One Network's Innovative Vehicle Design Challenges engage students in active engineering practices as they design and build a variety of electric vehicles from miniature to full size.

        By participating in the Michigan Battle of the Buildings, schools can compete with other buildings across the state to see who can reduce their energy usage by the greatest amount in this friendly competition that encourages energy-efficient practices.

        Sustainability Fact Sheets - University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems maintains a set of peer-reviewed factsheets that cover important patterns of use, life cycle impacts and sustainable solutions around topics including energy, water, food, waste, buildings, materials, and transportation systems.


    • MEECS Land Use Unit: Eight full lessons around the classification, use, and restoration of Michigan land resources are available via Michigan's GoOpen Platform.

      • Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media

      Ecosystem Services

      • MEECS Ecosystems & Biodiversity Unit: Ten full lessons around the biodiversity of Michigan/s ecosystems are available via Michigan's GoOpen Platform.
      • Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media
      • EnviroAtlas Educational Resources from EPA - EnviroAtlas provides geospatial data, easy-to-use tools, and other resources related to ecosystem services, their chemical and non-chemical stressors, and human health. EPA developed interactive and hands-on lessons for grades K-12 around watersheds, ecosystem services, land use, ecosystems and humans health, and more, all using EnviroAtlas as a research tool. Find full lesson plans, case studies, and lesson videos at

      Contaminated Site Cleanup

      • Cleaning up contaminated land: Learn about how EGLE works to clean up contaminated land in this short presentation.
      • Brownfield Flip: This short YouTube playlist provides examples of how EGLE partners with communities across Michigan to clean up contaminated sites and turn them into community assets.
      • Michigan Invasive Species: EGLE, Michigan DNR, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) collaborate on invasive species awareness and management. Learn how to identify and report invasive species, as well as the impacts they have on Michigan ecosystems.
      • Michigan DNR's Nature at School programs provide a deep dive into many of Michigan's land and water resources for students in grades 3-12.
      • Learn about Michigan Sand Dunes from DNR Interpreters at Hoffmaster State Park.
    • Landfill Education 
      EGLE: Solid Waste Programs - EGLE’s Solid Waste program offers a suite of resources on How Landfills Work. Visit the How Landfills Work Story Map, print out the Landfill Cross Section Poster (11x17), peruse a glossary of landfill terms, or print out the How Landfills Work handout.

      Sustainable Materials Management Hierarchy – This resource goes beyond the traditional Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to prioritize actions we can all take to
      prevent and divert unwanted materials from being landfilled.

      The Quest for Less provides hands-on lessons and activities, enrichment ideas, journal writing assignments, and other educational tools related to preventing and reusing waste. This document includes factsheets, activities, and teaching notes for 6-8th grade teachers.

      Tools to Reduce Waste in Schools is a resource developed by EPA to assist schools in the development and implementation of waste reduction programs. 



      EGLE: Recycling Education Resources – Learn about recycling in Michigan on EGLE’s recycling page.

      Recycling Raccoons – Learn the basics of curbside recycling from EGLE’s adorable Recycling Raccoons! 

      How Do I Handle This Waste? – Use EGLE’s Recycling Guide to find out how to dispose of various kinds of waste. 

      Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Resources for Students and Educators – Explore a variety of games, activities, and lessons around recycling from EPA. 

      How to start a school recycling program


      Food Waste 
      EGLE: Food Waste – Learn about the simplest solution to carbon dioxide emissions – reducing food waste! – on EGLE’s Food Waste and Recovery page 

      Check out EGLE’s “Stop food waste” video

      EGLE: Compost– Learn how to compost in this EGLE Classroom composting video

      Learn how mid-Michigan is composting food waste in this EGLE Facility Spotlight video.

      EGLE’s Sustainable Food Management Hierarchy prioritizes actions we can all take to prevent and divert wasted food

      Pack A Waste-Free Lunch | US EPA – EPA developed the Waste-Free Lunch activities to help students learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle items in their school lunches.

      Reducing Food Waste Activity Book – Help Apple and her friends learn how to reduce food race and help protect the environment; Grades 3-5


      Hazardous Waste

      EGLE: Household Hazardous Waste – Learn how to identify, manage, and dispose of various household hazardous wastes from EGLE, including drug disposal. 

      Hazardous Waste 101 – Learn what is a hazardous waste under Michigan’s environmental laws, how it has to be handled, and what laws apply to hazardous waste generated by businesses in Michigan.


      Scrap Tires

      EGLE:  Scrap Tires – Learn how scrap tires are being recycled.  Check out Into the Outdoors video on recycling tires and featuring EGLE.



      Storm Debris

      EGLE’s new Storm Recovery page helps property owners learn how to safely manage storm debris. 

    • MEECS Water Quality Unit: Nine full lessons on Michigan’s Water Quality are available via the Michigan GoOpen Platform

        • Teachers can see video examples of how to lead these lessons for free on PBS Learning Media

      The Michigan Water Stewardship Program
      is a partnership of organizations led by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that provides educational assistance to Michigan's residents to identify and reduce contamination risks to water and other natural resources. The website features easy-to-find resources for a variety of ages from pre-school to adult on a wide range of water topics.

      The Freshwater Literacy and Stewardship Playbook
      was developed by the MiSTEM Network and the Office of the Great Lakes to cultivate environmental literacy and the capacity for stewardship of lakes, rivers, streams, and other freshwater bodies in K-12 students and educators. This resource helps educators, administrators, and community organizations establish a persistent practice of place-based education focused on freshwater resources and stewardship.

      The Great Lakes Literacy Principles
      provide a framework for educators teaching about the Great Lakes, helping teachers and students think about the Great Lakes as a system, rather than a set of unrelated parts. Thinking systemically can provide a greater understanding and help identify solutions to the issues threatening the region.

      The Michigan Invasive Species Program is a partnership between EGLE, MDNR, and MDARD that provides resources around identification and reporting of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.

      NOAA Education curates a wealth of resources
      for watershed, water quality, and stewardship education for the Great Lakes Region.

      Great Lakes NOW: Resource for Teaching
      offers a collection of lesson plans that engage students with the science and study of the Great Lakes.

      Michigan SeaGrant provides a host of educational resources focusing on the Great Lakes from educator training programs to lesson plans and youth activities.

      Teaching Great Lakes Science
      is a resource offered by Michigan SeaGrant and the Center for Great Lakes Literacy with a suite of lessons, activities, and data sets focused on the Great Lakes targeted for 4th-12th grades

    • An outstanding network of environmental education professionals exists in the state of Michigan. EGLE Classroom participates in and supports environmental education partners working statewide, including:

      Professional Organizations

      Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education: This statewide professional organization supports, inspires and empowers a diverse network of individuals with a passion for environmental and outdoor learning. MAEOE also administers Michigan’s Environmental Educator Certification program.

      Michigan Science Teachers Association: MSTA aids and informs its members of current issues and trends in science education. It provides opportunities for teachers to present their own materials and to interact with other science teachers at an annual conference, informs members of new developments at district, state, national, and international levels, and provides mini grants for activities that foster science education and/or teacher development.

      Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association: MESTA provides support to Earth and Space Science teachers through an annual conference, classroom specimens of rocks and minerals, monetary awards and mini-grants for member teachers, and a quarterly journal (The Michigan Earth Scientist).

      Educator Support Networks

      Environmental Fridays: Environmental Fridays is a free online guest lecture series for high school and early college students. Speakers include university professors, environmental consultants, environmental activists, environmental attorneys and government experts from the United States, Caribbean and around the world. Topics include climate change; air, water, and soil pollution; Environmental Justice; environmental health and more. An emphasis on real-world examples to inspire and influence future career choices is included.

      Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative: The GLSI is a network of teachers and community partners that develops knowledgeable and active stewards of the Great Lakes and their ecosystems through place-based studies and explorations in local communities. The initiative’s approach to teaching and learning results in vibrant, hands-on experiences that increase student achievement and help young Michigan residents become lifelong stewards of the environment.

      Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science: GLEAMS is a network of educators including classroom teachers, non-formal educators, and higher education professionals, scientists, stakeholders, and community members interested in Great Lakes education. Members work together to promote Great Lakes education and stewardship efforts to diverse groups throughout the Great Lakes watershed and beyond.

      MiSTEM Network: MiSTEM convenes a statewide network of leaders in education, business and local communities to prepare learners for the vital, high-demand careers of the future and to empower the next generation of innovators. The goal is to create a vibrant STEM ecosystem that ultimately leads to more engaged students and a stronger Michigan workforce.

    Statewide Environmental Education Programs

    Department of Natural Resources Logo

    Michigan Department of Natural Resources

    Our outdoor skills, education, and recreational safety programs provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to develop their outdoor skills and knowledge of Michigan's natural resources, and to promote safe, responsible and ethical use of the outdoors.

    We also offer educators a wide range of opportunities to bring natural resources experience and knowledge to the classroom.

    Project Learning Tree Logo

    Michigan Project Learning Tree

    Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning international environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

    Project WET Logo

    Michigan Project WET

    The goal of the Project WET is to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom ready teaching aids and the establishment of state and internationally sponsored Project WET programs.

    Logo for Project Wild

    Michigan Project Wild

    Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program for K-12 educators. Project WILD provides professional development opportunities for teachers emphasizing awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources through hands-on activities. These activities are interwoven with English language arts, math, science, and social studies.