3-Day Educational Program
Join an incredible adventure to unlock the wonders of the natural world. Earthkeepers is a curriculum-based environmental science program in which students learn four scientific concepts: energy flow, cycles, interrelationships and change. Students also explore the natural world with the goal of using their knowledge and awareness to make personal commitments for environmental change. Here are some interesting facts about Earthkeepers.
- Grade: 4th
- Group Size: up to 60 students + 7 adults (teachers and parents from the school)
- Location: Jean Lafitte National Park, Barataria, LA
- Length: 3 Days – Day program
- Availability: Offered to New Orleans area students – from October through March
- Program: Highly structured educational program to teach Earth processes conducting hands-on, engaging activities
- Program Completion: Second half of program takes place back at school or at home
- Visit E. M.’s Lab ( a nature lover’s favorite nook)!
- Earn real brass keys that unlock the secrets of the Earth
- Dig up buried time capsules to reveal slow change over time
- Get caught in the web of life!
- Cost: contact us for information
Earthkeepers is a copyrighted program that was developed by The Institute for Earth Education.
Earthkeepers is a comprehensive environmental science program geared to 4th graders. The on-site portion of the program lasts three full days at the Earthkeepers Training Center, in T.R.E.E.’s Outdoor Classroom at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve in Barataria. The Earthkeepers staff and the classroom teacher combine efforts to provide a dynamic, effective learning experience. The teacher will continue this program back at school which will encourage the students to continue to apply their learning beyond the classroom.
The Earthkeepers program helps young people understand the life support systems of the planet while developing a personal relationship with the Earth. The program focuses on four basic ecological concepts – the flow of energy from the sun to all living things, the cycling of materials over and over again (soil, water and air), the interrelationships of life-everything is connected, and the changing of forms over short and long periods of time. Participants also experience the richness of the Earth through first-hand contact with the natural world.
Another important component of the program is asking the participants to examine their personal lifestyles, committing themselves to individual changes that will reduce impacts upon the systems of life. This commitment is greatly magnified by helping others back at school to know and to care about the Earth. This is the final component of the program.
The following are some important points you’ll want to know:
- Earthkeepers has been run by T.R.E.E. since 2001, reaching about 800 4th grade students per year.
- T.R.E.E. and school personnel provide a 1 to 4 adult to student ratio during the program. Students are NEVER without adult supervision.
- T.R.E.E. educators are highly trained, caring and committed. The class receives direct instruction from T.R.E.E staff. The students are divided into small working groups of three to four by the teacher, so during activities each student fully participates.
- Students provide their own lunches.
- Fees paid to participate in the Earthkeepers program include supplies for every activity and instruction by T.R.E.E.’s highly trained staff before the outdoor session, during and after.
The three-day program at the Earthkeepers Training Center is very busy. Each day is filled with a complete schedule of experiential learning activities that are covered in five categories. Descriptions of these categories follow.
Each activity focuses on basic ecological concepts (energy flow, interrelationships, and change) and utilizes a problem solving storyline and analogies common to everyday life, revealing difficult to understand ecological principles as the basic building blocks of how the natural world functions.
Involving direct contact with the natural world, the purpose of immersive activities is to develop a feeling of closeness to and caring for the Earth and its life. Experiences are sensory and barrier-breaking that change participants’ perspectives on spending time in nature and the many details, like the many shades of brown or the overlapping calls of tree-dwelling creatures that are often missed, yet always there.
Diary Walk (Discovery Party)
The target of the Discovery Party is to build a sense of place and wonder. This type of on and off the trail walk encourages personal exploration and discovery while having just enough structure for the group.
Earthwalks offer fresh, new ways of experiencing the wonders and magic of nature. Brief, structured, hands-on activities introduce the natural world in a non-identifying, non-threatening way. An Earthwalk involves total participation on the part of the students including use of all of their senses.
Solitude Enhancing Experiences
Time spent in “Magic Spots” provides an opportunity for each student to develop a quiet, safe, and comfortable relationship with one particular place in the natural world. The student returns to this spot each day to sit, absorb, reflect, and dream.
Classroom Follow-Through (Completing the Program)
Follow through takes place back at school and at home where students do additional activities to springboard their new knowledge and skills towards their daily school and home life.