Internet Summary - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Internet Summary - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

http://www.epa.gov/kids/

http://www.epa.gov/teachers/

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designed websites for both teachers (http://www.epa.gov/teachers/) and students (http://www.epa.gov/kids) to learn more information on a variety of environmentally-related topics. There is also a section devoted to high school students (http://www.epa.gov/highschool/). However, it is obvious that http://www.epa.gov/kids/ is specifically targeting elementary school students, based on the nature of the graphics, content, and title, “Environmental Kids Club.”

The portion of the website devoted to kids provides students a great deal of information about such environmental topics as air/water quality, pollution, conservation, ecosystems, human health, and recycling. The information is presented in a colorful, easy-to-understand manner, so that learning about the environment can be fun and exciting for children. There are many interactive games and activities (including hands-on science experiments) for children to learn more about important environmental issues. The website also presents several ideas for students to get involved in the community service projects for the environment.

The portion of the website devoted to teachers provides background information about environmental issues in an A-Z index. This website is also a curriculum resource, with lesson plans, activities, and community service projects for the classroom. There are also many internal (EPA) links, as well as external (non-EPA) links that may benefit teachers planning science lessons. The EPA also offers workshops for teachers to enhance their skills and knowledge about the environment.

One added perk of http://www.epa.gov/teachers is that there are many ways for teachers to download or mail order free supplies for the classroom, such as posters and activity books.

On a scale from 0-3, I rate this EPA website (for both teachers and elementary school students) a “3.” It is a highly rich and valuable resource for both learning and teaching important information about the environment in a fun, easy-to-understand way.
The main criticism I have about the teacher’s portion of the website (http://www.epa.gov/teachers/) is that the information and lesson plans/activities are not organized by grade level. Regardless, it is still a useful resource for teaching students about the environment, and it could really be used to benefit the classroom.