At Education Outside, we’re committed to advancing science in public schools, outdoors. We transform school gardens into living outdoor classrooms, where we teach a standards-based curriculum during the school day. Our goal is to bring hands-on, experiential science and environmental education to every public elementary school student as a part of the regular school day, throughout the school year.
Currently we engage 47 AmeriCorps members who work full-time at 47 San Francisco and Redwood City public elementary schools to bring nature and science directly into the hands of 17,000 students. That includes more than half of all elementary students in San Francisco Unified School District!
We're cultivating the next generation of scientific thinkers and environmental stewards by introducing children to hands-on explorations in the school garden.
Partnering with urban public elementary schools
Public schools hold tremendous potential as fertile habitats for cultivating children’s interest in science and curiosity about their local environment.
There is a new wave of interest in building gardens and green schoolyards in our nation’s public schools. Across the country, school communities are increasingly seeing gardens as essential components of the learning experience. Despite schools’ enthusiasm for building learning gardens, however, many lack the staffing or knowledge to fully activate these gardens as living outdoor classrooms.
As Education Outside has learned by experience, schools need trained, on-the-ground staff to unlock the educational power of their green schoolyards and to spearhead important school greening efforts—an impossibility for many schools with limited financial resources.
Our program is designed to overcome this inequity and make high-quality outdoor education available to every public elementary school.
Our Lesson Pathway is a searchable outdoor education curriculum framework that allows educators to plan a comprehensive and sequenced program for kindergartners through fifth graders.
School garden and greening resources
In our many years as green schoolyard advocates, we’ve amassed a wealth of resources that we’re proud to share with our community. Here in San Francisco, we've helped to develop the green schoolyard guidelines for our city's public schools, and we continue to work closely with the school district and especially its director of sustainability to advance the cause.