Cool Heron - OpenSciEd
Certified Professional Learning Providers

Cool Heron

All students deserve access to high quality environmental and sustainability education so that they can graduate with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a changing world.

Cool Heron is a respected leader in environmental literacy and sustainability education. We build capacity for schools and non-formal education centers to partner for transformational learning experiences that support NGSS aligned curriculum. We believe that all students have the right to high quality environmental and sustainability education in their day to day classroom and we help you get there through professional learning, a focus on equitable instructional practices and high-quality resources.

Focus of OpenSciEd Work

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Cool Heron can support your school in implementing three-dimensional, phenomenon-based instruction that supports NGSS and PA STEELS implementation. We bring expertise in environmental literacy and sustainability to design experiences, provide professional learning and coaching for teachers using Open Sci Ed materials. In addition to working with teachers new to Open Sci Ed, we provide ongoing support for teachers already using the materials. In Pennsylvania, we support your school in understanding and implementing the new Environmental Literacy and Sustainability domain of PA STEELS standards.

High quality science instruction is foundational to building environmental literacy. We share Open Sci Ed’s belief that all students and teachers deserve access to high quality curriculum resources to support science education.

We support the transition to three-dimensional science instruction through the lens of the environment and sustainability. To achieve this, we work with you to identify the experiences and partners to support your teachers and students. We tap into our strong network of non-formal education partners like zoos and aquariums, museums and nature preserves to identify partners and create experiences to propel science instruction forward.

Supporting Equitable Science Instruction

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At Cool Heron, we believe that science instruction, environmental literacy and sustainability are inextricably linked and play a vital role in creating a sustainable future for all. Rigorous science instruction helps to build the content knowledge and skills that students need to understand the world around them and thrive in the face of complex and changing environments. It is essential that every student, including those from historically underrepresented communities, has access to high quality science instruction.

Cool Heron supports equity in science education by centering authentic experiences with nature. When students learn through the lens of environment and sustainability, they have many points of entry to complex content and build the skills so that they can continue to learn science in their academic careers and throughout their lives.

We foster equity by working with educators to incorporate concrete instructional strategies to build an equitable classroom. We work to uncover current practices and strategies that are not effective and place ourselves in the mindset of our students to consider new approaches. We break down outdoor learning experiences and work to identify and remove barriers to full participation.

Supporting School Systems

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We believe every student deserves high-quality environmental education and sustainability embedded within their school day. To achieve this, we offer multiple support to districts, including teacher professional learning, coaching and direct student experiences. We offer an environmental education and sustainability audit in which we conduct a comprehensive assessment of the district’s assets and opportunities. This includes interviews with stakeholders including teachers, parents, students and administration, facilities and support staff. We assess buildings for opportunities to integrate environmental literacy and sustainability in the curriculum. This analysis provides the platform to build a district wide environmental literacy plan. We work with you to identify non-formal education and community-based partners and design learning experiences where students can apply the science they are exploring in the classroom to the world and learn from the rich science and STEM expertise that resides within their communities.

We also provide professional learning and program design for non-formal education centers to bolster their capacity to support schools. We help transform traditional field trips to meaningful and thoughtfully planned learning experiences with measurable outcomes. Our expertise in Open Sci Ed allows us to help teachers identify authentic field experiences and community partnerships that bring learning to life.

Where We Work

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OpenSciEd Professional Learning

  • Curriculum Launch
  • Facilitator Training
  • Ongoing Support/Unit Launch
  • Unit Adaptation Support

OpenSciEd Grade Level Focus

  • High School
  • Middle School

Other Professional Learning

  • Strategic District Implementation
  • Supporting Science Coaches