Environmental Literacy Initiative

The San Mateo County Office of Education’s Environmental Literacy Initiative empowers school communities and leaders to advocate for and prioritize environmental education for all students at every grade level. On this website, you can browse or select criteria for high quality environmental literacy programs that are provided through community partners. Unless otherwise noted, all programs listed are available to any school district in San Mateo County.

Filter By:

Filters

Filter By:

Close
One Planet
Principle
NGSS
DCI
Grade
Level
Experience
Type
Program
Length
Program
Costs
EP&C

Canopy is an environmental nonprofit that plants and cares for trees where people need them the most. Our mission is to grow urban tree canopy in the Midpeninsula communities for the benefit of all. We offer standards aligned K-12 education programs, that provide hands-on, outdoor activities that spark kids’ curiosity about trees and nature.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 1 Hour 2 Hours Full Day
  • Cost: Free Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.c II.d III.a III.b III.c V.a

California Academy of Sciences

https://www.calacademy.org/about-us

The mission of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) is to explore, explain, and sustain life. The Academy has numerous opportunities and resources for K-12 educators, including field trips, Distance Learning programs, professional development, free science films, lesson plans, science notebooking resources, etc.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour 2 Hours
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b II.a II.c III.a III.b III.c IV.b

As a non-profit science museum and zoo, CuriOdyssey lets kids loose to observe wild animals, experiment with scientific phenomena and let the natural world answer their questions. We offer NGSS aligned K-12 education programs that provide hands-on activities.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: 1 Hour 2 Hours Full Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a II.a III.a III.b IV.a IV.b

Elkus Ranch (UC Cooperative Extension)

http://elkusranch.ucanr.edu/

The mission of University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Mateo/San Francisco and Elkus Ranch is to serve the diverse needs of residents through the creation, development, and extension of knowledge in agriculture, natural resources, and human resources. Located on the California coast near Half Moon Bay, Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center provides unique hands-on learning experiences for Bay Area children.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5
  • Experience: Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Camps
  • Program Length: Half Day Full Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b V.a

Environmental Volunteers

https://www.evols.org/

At Environmental Volunteers, we inspire people of all ages to learn about the wonders of the natural world. Our volunteers bring hands-on learning programs into the classroom, and on follow-up field trips, students discover natural science concepts through guided hikes to local nature preserves.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 90 Min 2 Hours After School
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.b II.c III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b V.a

Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment. The school programs offer standards aligned experiences where students learn about the interdependence of plants, animals, and people; their survival adaptations; Bay Area ecosystems; the Native Americans use of plants and animals, along with how Filoli has been and is a working estate used for agriculture, as a historical home and garden, and nature preserve.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8
  • Experience: Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 2 Hours
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.b

Friends of Edgewood Park

http://friendsofedgewood.org/field-trips

Friends of Edgewood's Junior Explorers program offers free, docent-led, experiential nature hikes. On the trail, docents invite student observations, inquiry and discussion about grade-appropriate concepts of structure and function, growth and development of organisms, adaptations, and interdependence in ecosystems. A field trip to Edgewood is an outstanding way to engage your students, explore nature, explain or elaborate on science topics, and reinforce a personal relationship to the local environment.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 2 Hours Half Day
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C: I.a II.b III.a III.c IV.b

Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

http://www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/newffmrsite/

The mission of the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is to inspire the preservation of our unique intertidal environment through education and the support of research. Volunteer naturalists from FFMR provide organized tours for approximately 5000 students annually as well as supporting the exploration of the Reserve by the general public.

  • Grade: 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 2 Hours
  • Cost: Fee
  • EP&C: I.a I.d II.a II.b II.c II.d III.a III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c

Huddart Park Nature Hikes provides experiential, science-driven nature education through guided hikes in redwood, oak woodland and riparian habitats. Our guided inquiry approach is student centered and is designed to support academic achievement in science and inspire kids to develop a love of nature and begin a lifetime of stewardship.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5
  • Experience: Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 2 Hours Half Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.c III.a III.b

Grassroots Ecology leverages the power of volunteers to create healthy lands across Silicon Valley. We restore native plants to open spaces and neighborhoods, steward creeks and watersheds, and provide hands-on nature education.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 1 Hour Full Day After School
  • Cost: Free Fee
  • EP&C: I.a I.d II.a II.c IV.b

The HEAL Project offers experiential farm-based programs at The San Mateo County School Farm in Half Moon Bay. Their educational science programs cultivate kids' environmental awareness and health literacy. Students who visit the farm are empowered by learning about their food system and earth's natural cycles.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 1 Hour Half Day Full Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.b II.c III.a III.b IV.a IV.c V.a

Hidden Villa's mission is to foster educational experiences that build connections and inspire a deeper appreciation and respect for nature, food, and one another.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: 90 Min Half Day Full Day After School
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.d II.b II.c III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c V.a V.b

Lawrence Hall of Science

lawrencehallofscience.org

Our mission is to inspire and foster science learning for all—especially for those with limited access to science.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8
  • Experience: Indoor Field Trip Assembly Program
  • Program Length: 1 Hour
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a II.b II.c III.c IV.b

Marine Science Institute

https://www.sfbaymsi.org/

The Marine Science Institute’s (MSI) mission is to cultivate a responsibility for the natural environment and our human communities through interdisciplinary science education. Led by a team of expert marine science educators, MSI provides engaging and interactive hands-on adventures with San Francisco Bay Area marine life.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour 2 Hours Half Day Full Day After School
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C:

NatureBridge connects young people to the wonder and science of the natural world, igniting self-discovery and inspiring stewardship of our planet. Through overnight and hands-on environmental science programs, children and teens go to national parks to explore the outdoors, connect with their peers, discover themselves and develop a lasting relationship with the environment.

  • Grade: 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: Full Day Overnight
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.b II.c II.d III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c V.a V.b

Pie Ranch cultivates a healthy and just food system from seed to table through food education, farmer training, and regional partnerships. School programs include in-classroom lessons, field trips, and in-depth programs at both school sites and Pie Ranch.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour 2 Hours Half Day Full Day After School
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C:

RethinkWaste is a joint powers authority of twelve public agencies in San Mateo County, California and is a leader in the delivery of innovative waste reduction and recycling programs. Tours of the Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos offer students and the community an opportunity to learn firsthand what happens to their recyclables, yard trimmings, food scraps and garbage at a working Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Transfer Station. Rethink Waste offers programs at no-cost, and no-cost transportation for 3rd-5th grade classes in the service area.

  • Grade: 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Assembly Program
  • Program Length: 1 Hour 2 Hours Half Day
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C:

San Mateo County Safe Routes to School encourages and enables school children to walk and bicycle to school by implementing projects and activities that improve the health, well-being, and safety of children, which result in less traffic congestion and emissions caused by school-related travel.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Assembly Program
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour 90 Min 2 Hours
  • Cost: Free Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.c III.a III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c

San Bruno Mountain Watch

http://www.mountainwatch.org/

San Bruno Mountain Watch leads educational experiences that connect people to the cultural and natural history of San Bruno Mountain and provides service-learning opportunities through community-based habitat restoration projects.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Adults
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 1 Hour 2 Hours Half Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.c II.d III.a III.b III.c IV.b IV.c V.a V.b

San Mateo County Office of Sustainability - Schools Program

https://www.smcsustainability.org/waste-reduction/education-schools/

The Office of Sustainability Schools Program (SMCOOS) has a mission to take action to conserve resources and help protect our environment. Programs include: school-wide and grade level assemblies, classroom presentations, field trips, technical assistance, and youth mentorship.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip Assembly Program Out of School Enrichment
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour 90 Min 2 Hours Half Day Full Day After School
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C:

San Mateo County Office of Sustainability - YESS Program

https://seachangesmc.org/current-efforts/youth-exploring-sea-level-rise-science-yess/

The Youth Exploring Sea Level Rise Science (YESS) project is an innovative program empowering youth to actively participate in local climate change solutions. High school students explore why sea level rise is happening and how their lives will be impacted through innovative classroom curricula with hands-on science.

  • Grade: 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 1 Hour Half Day
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C: I.a II.c II.d III.b III.c V.b

The San Mateo County Office of Education, in cooperation with local schools and the San Francisco YMCA Camp at Jones Gulch, conducts our award-winning immersive environmental education program. During a week at Outdoor Education, students learn about the natural world, explore the forest and beach ecosystems, and work together as a community.

  • Grade: 3-5 6-8
  • Experience: Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Camps
  • Program Length: Overnight
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.b II.c III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c

The San Mateo County Parks operates 22 separate parks in a wide variety of natural settings including a coastside marine reserve, a bayside recreational area, coastal mountain woodland areas, and urban sites. The school programs introduce students to the parks and foster a love and passion for the outdoors.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 1 Hour 2 Hours
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C: I.a I.b II.a II.c III.a III.b III.c

Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW)

http://www.svcw.org/

SVCW's mission is to protect public health and the environment by providing wastewater conveyance and treatment for reuse or disposal in a responsible, safe, efficient, and reliable manner. SVCW offers tours and in-classroom programming.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
  • Experience: Classroom Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 1 Hour Half Day Full Day
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C:

Vida Verde provides students from low-income, under-served schools with the powerful opportunity to spend immersive time in nature and to improve their academic performance and classroom behavior, to develop the social and emotional skills that will help them be successful, and to establish meaningful connections with nature.

  • Grade: 3-5 9-12
  • Experience: Indoor Field Trip Outdoor Field Trip Out of School Enrichment Camps
  • Program Length: Overnight
  • Cost: Free
  • EP&C: I.a I.b I.d II.a II.b II.c III.a III.b III.c IV.a IV.b IV.c

Wildmind educational programs brings science and environmental literacy alive in your classroom. Students learn to think like scientists, and appreciate connectivity with animals, the environment and each other.

  • Grade: ECE/K-2 3-5 6-8
  • Experience: Classroom Outdoor Field Trip
  • Program Length: 30-50 Min 1 Hour Half Day
  • Cost: Fee Financial Assistance Available
  • EP&C:

One Planet Living Principles

One Planet Living provides a vision of a world we can live in happily within the Earth’s resources, and a straightforward framework of principles to achieve this. Learn more about the One Planet Principles.

Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs)

California's Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) highlight the deep relationship between humans and the natural world. Each Principle and Concept provides an important understanding about how natural and human systems function and their interdependence and impact on each other. Learn more about the EP&Cs.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

California’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) utilizes three dimensions of teaching science: Science and Engineering Practices (SEP), Cross Cutting Concepts (CCC), and Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI). The Community Partners who serve San Mateo County are well versed in the SEPs and CCCs, and specialize in specific DCIs; therefore, this page is filtered by the DCIs. Learn more about CA NGSS.