Science Service-Learning

The Earth Discovery Institute’s education program provides a unique opportunity for students to…

xplore/Love of Nature 

When students have fun outside exploring the natural world, they want to return with their families and to go to more natural places. Having fun in nature can be the root of future interests in science and a sense of environmental responsibility.

Discover/Learning Science: San Diego County and the United States need to inspire and educate a greater number of well qualified scientists. Grade-level specific science standards are addressed in the field, on hikes and through hands-on activities that engage students while supporting the academic goals and responsibilities of teachers.

Inform & Invest/Empowerment and Civic Responsibility: When EDI students participate in habitat restoration and service-learning projects, they learn that at any age, people can and should help their communities and make our planet safe and healthy.

Science Service-Learning

Programs

Cajon Valley Union School District:

Serves up to 3,000 primarily fourth and fifth grade students from this K-8 district annually with science service-learning at Crestridge Ecological Reserve. Classroom teachers work with district’s Service-learning Coordinator to schedule field visits. Children explore Crestridge for 2-3 hours in groups of 9-12 with expert naturalist guidance. Grade level-specific science standards are addressed through nature-based, hands-on activities. Students participate in biologically-based habitat restoration. All students receive, use, and take with them a personal nature field journal. All participating classes are encouraged to conduct follow-up service-learning projects after their visits that extend their science learning and manifest that knowledge to the benefit of their schools and neighborhoods.

South Bay Union School District/US Fish and Wildlife Service:

Serves up to 600 primarily fourth and fifth grade students from this K-6 district annually with science service-learning at multiple sites including the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Classroom teachers work with EDI’s Education Coordinator to schedule field visits. Children explore field sites for 2-3 hours in groups of 9-12 with expert naturalist guidance. Grade level-specific science standards are addressed through nature-based, hands-on activities. Students participate in biologically-based habitat restoration at some sites. All students receive, use, and take with them a personal nature field journal.

Chula Vista Elementary School District/WiLDCOAST:

Serves up to 600 elementary school students/youth organization attendees with science service-learning at multiple sites including the Otay Valley Regional Park (OVRP)and the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Classroom teachers work with EDI’s Education Coordinator to schedule field visits. Children explore field sites for 2-3 hours in groups of 9-12 with expert naturalist guidance. Grade level-specific science standards are addressed through nature-based, hands-on activities. Students participate in biologically-based habitat restoration at OVRP where WiLDCOAST takes a leadership role in conservation community outreach. All students receive, use, and take with them a personal nature field journal.

Jamul-Dulzura Union Elementary School District/La Mesa-Spring Valley School District/SANDAG-Transnet-Environmental Mitigation Program, South County Community Outreach Program:

Serves up to 300 elementary school students with science service-learning at Crestridge Ecological Reserve. Classroom teachers work with EDI’s Education Coordinator to schedule field visits. Children explore field sites for 2-3 hours in groups of 9-12 with expert naturalist guidance. Grade level-specific science standards are addressed through nature-based, hands-on activities. Students participate in biologically-based habitat restoration. All students receive, use, and take with them a personal nature field journal.

Locations Map

Accomplishments;

> Over the last ten years, EDI has provided science-based environmental education to over 19,500 students from 7 school districts in San Diego County

> EDI is currently serving 3,500 students annually

> EDI, in partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum, has developed Discover Crestridge, a California state science standards-based, grade-level science curriculum for grades K–6 that is specific to the habitat of Crestridge Ecological Reserve.

> EDI has developed site-specific nature field journals for each of our partner programs/sites.

For Students

What I did: (images of art and photographs for this page coming)

Nature Cams and Other Cool Nature Links

For Teachers

EDI strives to serve as many students as possible. We maintain low student-to-staff ratios during field visits and consistently address grade-level  specific California state science standards. Studies of our service-learning program in the Cajon Valley district indicate that participating students feel more connected to school and have better attendance than students who do not participate. EDI is continually seeking grants and private donations to support our programs. Please contact us to explore how we might engage you and your students.

Teacher Resources