Engaging Environmental Education Through Teen Experiential Learning Programs
This project is designed to serve and impact youth from both urban and rural areas of the state with rather diverse needs, particularly vis-a-vis nature exploration and education. Youth of the Twenty-first Century are not visitors to their environment but are an integral part of their habitat. Through experiential engagement with sustainability, youth will understand the implications of their individual and collective behavior on their environment, food production system, and their personal and community food sovereignty.
Project outcomes will include a systematic review and update of Cornell's Department of Natural Resources curriculum for 4-H educators, leaders, and youth. The updating process will focus on whether the curriculum uses inquiry-based questions, meets STEM initiative goals, and identifies NYS learning standards. Additionally, the program will attempt to develop an outline of 4-H Nature Explorers based on current 4-H environmental education programs while integrating local ecological knowledge of participants and their communities.