PBS Teachers and the International Paper Foundation Launch EcoInvestigators
New Free Digital Media Site Supports Environmental Science Curriculum with Education Resources for Grades 3-5
Arlington, Va. (May 4, 2011) – PBS today announced the launch of EcoInvestigators, a media-rich, research-based, online environmental science curriculum supplement for teachers of grades 3-5. EcoInvestigators is made possible with a grant from the International Paper Foundation.
The year-long research, conducted by Dr. James Marshall of San Diego State University on behalf of PBS, found that more than 40 percent of teachers felt unprepared for environmental science and sustainability classroom instruction.[i] In response to this need, PBS developed EcoInvestigators to provide teachers with multiple easy-to-understand and integrated lesson plans in four key areas of environmental science: air, soil, salt water and fresh water. Each lesson plan integrates digital content, such as video and interactive games, into existing lesson plans and is designed to encourage student interaction and self-assessment.
“Thanks to support from International Paper, PBS is responding to teachers’ needs and delivering a unique earth systems curriculum that uses the engagement of PBS producers’ content to power analytical and problem-solving skill-development tools, said Rob Lippincott, Senior Vice President for Education at PBS. “With real world application to current environmental issues, students will have authentic opportunities to bring their knowledge and skill to make an impact in their community.”
“A core focus for the International Paper Foundation is environmental education and PBS is the perfect partner to build the innovative EcoInvestigators site, bringing exciting, multimedia education tools to teachers and classrooms,” explains Kim Wirth, Executive Director of the International Paper Foundation. “Teachers in search of useful elementary science materials will find content that empowers their students to explore real-life environmental issues and equip them to create real-life solutions.”
EcoInvestigators is available free of charge through PBS Teachers at www.pbsteachers.org/ecoinvestigators and will become part of the growing PBS learning media collection available through stations nationwide. PBS Education’s services are designed to improve teacher effectiveness, increase student achievement and leverage broadband technologies in the classroom. For the next two months, educators can visit the EcoInvestigators website and register for a free Life of the Forest classroom poster series from International Paper. Additionally, the first 100 teachers to provide feedback or share an idea online will receive 10 reams (5,000 sheets) of International Paper’s Hammermill Copy Paper.
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About International Paper Foundation
The International Paper Foundation was created in 1952 to provide charitable grants to U.S. based non-profits in the communities where International Paper employees live and work. While the IP Foundation provides more than $3 million in grants annually, International Paper provides an additional $10 million in charitable gifts to non-profits around the world. International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs about 59,500 people in more than 24 countries and serves customers worldwide. 2010 net sales were more than $25 billion.
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 Marshall, James, PhD, “PBS Teachers: Microsite Development. Teaching Practices: Environment and Sustainability. A Summary of Needs Assessment Results.” May 2010, James Marshall Consulting.