Want to find out more about place-based education?

Visit our Discovering PLACE website to view the PBE video series and other related resources, produced by University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint.

The series includes:

Principles of Place-Based Education,

Building School-Community Partnerships,

PBE and Sustainable Communities,

Designing Place-Based Education Projects,

Authentic Assesment of Student Achievement,

Working Outdoors with Students,

And Connecting PBE to Curriculum Standards.

Go to http://bit.ly/OlyQ32 to watch the videos or learn how to earn SCECHs (formerly SB-CEUs) for completing the series.

The Next Generation Science Standards are currently being developed in collaboration between the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve with the aim of creating internationally-benchmarked, K-12 science curricula that will prepare students in all grades and across disciplines to pursue college and professional careers in the sciences.

The development of the Next Generation Science Standards is a two-step process that began with developing the Framework for K–12 Science Education, which is based on the most recent research on exemplary K-12 science curricula across grades and disciplines.

The second step in the process is marked by the development of the Next Generation Science Standards based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education. A key component of the development process is a multiple review process that encourages input from science education stakeholders, which will ensure that that the new standards reflect the very best science curricula that will prepare students for college and careers in the sciences.

The second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is currently available for public review. You can read the second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards by topic or by Disciplinary Core Ideas according to the Framework for K-12 Science Education and provide feedback to developers by visiting the Next Generation Science Standards website.

The Placed-based education video series provides educators, community partners, and parents that are involved in the Discovering Place Place-based education (PBE) program access to online professional development workshops.

Michigan teachers can register – at no charge – to earn 0.4 State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) for completing the series online, thanks to UM-Flint’s Office of Extended Learning.

The seven video series features David Sobel of the Center for Place-Based Education at Antioch New England Institute, and Jon Yoder from the Salem-Keizer School District and the Northwest Center for Sustainable Resources.  Sobel and Yoder are national consultants for the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, which sponsors the Discovering Place program and seven similar program hubs throughout Michigan.

The video series was made possible through a $20,000 grant by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network and support from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

Place-based education video series topics include:

1. Principles of Place-Based Education (PBE)

2. Building School-Community Partnerships

3. PBE and Sustainable Communities

4. Designing Place-Based Education Projects and Activities (2-part segment)
a. Designing PBE Projects through Community Mapping
b. Designing PBE Projects with Student Voice and Choice, and the Earth Force Process)

5. Authentic Assessment of Student Achievement

6. Working Outdoors with Students

7. Connecting PBE to Curriculum Standards

To view the PBE video series and related resources, or learn how to earn SB-CEUs for completing the series, go to http://bit.ly/OlyQ32 or click on the link above.

We’ve always known our Discovering Place educators are pretty darn amazing. So it sure is nice seeing them get the recognition they deserve.

Take Patti Hillaker, for instance. She has positively captivated her students at Beecher’s Riley Alternative Education Center, where she teaches science out of a tank fully of baby salmon, and engages kids with plenty of other cool stuff to make learning relevant.

Hillaker is one of two Michigan teachers who gained nationwide recognition in the ING 2012 Unsung Heroes grant program. She also earned media coverage in The Citizen, her local newspaper, for her enthusiastic efforts to help students better their worlds.

Teachers are up against so many challenges that it’s important to share the good they do. Thanks, Patti, for bringing a daily dose of awesomeness to your classroom!

Looking for inspiration, motivation or a look at the ideas that are currently being implemented in place-based education? Register now for the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Place-Based Education Conference, to take place Nov. 13-14, 2012 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI. The conference is presented by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) .

Early registration ends Oct. 19 for the conference, which features keynote speakers Doris Terry Williams, who directs the Leadership Council and the Capacity Building Program of the Rural School and Community Trust; and nationally renowned Great Lakes nature writer Jerry Dennis. Early registrants save $15 – $25 per person.

According to the GLSI site, the two-day conference will also feature presentations on promising practices, panel discussions, forums for communities of practice, access to place-based education (PBE) resources and plenty of networking opportunities.

The Great Lakes PBE conference is especially recommended for K-16 educators and administrators who want to “forge strong partnerships with the community,” along with community leaders and representatives of foundations and organizations interested in education, environmental stewardship, youth or community development, and those who want to learn more about PBE and environmental stewardship.

A call for presenters closes Oct. 15. There are three formats for presentations, including a traditional 45-minute presentation, participation in a 45-minute forum/discussion panel, or a 5-minute/20-slide presentation on an idea, discovery, or success that can benefit others interested in PBE and environmental education.

The conference is sponsored in part by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.

To register, sign up for a presentation or learn more about the conference or the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, click here.

The review process will soon be underway for teachers’ mini-grant applications, which were due last week.

In the meantime, congratulate your fellow Discovering Place teachers and partners on these noteworthy accomplishments:

We believe our Discovering Place teachers and partners are an amazing bunch.

Know of other laudable deeds by your Discovering Place peers? Send us an e-mail so we can share the news!

It feels like 2012 is flying by!

Mini-grant applications are due next Friday, May 25, for Discovering PLACE teachers planning place-based education projects.

We need to allow time for your grant applications to be reviewed and returned for revisions so you receive your grant award notifications before the school year ends. So it’s especially important that grant applications are filed on time.

Today’s grant work session is optional, but we encourage teachers who have questions to come out and get your questions answered!

Teachers, be sure to come out to tomorrow’s logic models and grant writing workshop. This is mandatory for teachers; partners who are actively participating in the planning process are also encouraged to come out.

If you missed the e-mail invitation, please click here.


Now that Discovering PLACE projects are being planned, teacher creativity is running wild. Some teachers are not only visualizing their projects, but wondering how they will document them. On our last workshop survey, one teacher asked for instruction on putting together videos.

While it might seem a little premature to be thinking of how to record projects that aren’t yet on the ground, we encourage our teachers and partners to brush up on their skills.

That’s why we added the “Here’s how” page to our blog. Whether you want some quick photo tips or a tutorial on Windows Live Movie Maker, check out the stash of information we’ve assembled for you. Check it out here.