Big Ideas of Sustainability Workshop for Teachers
Jul 7 – Jul 16 all-day

nstitute Overview: This 6-day (15 hour) online institute will focus on Education for Sustainability: an interdisciplinary learning lens for integrating the Big Ideas of Sustainability into your curriculum, campus and community.

Audience: K-12 Teachers, Administrators, Non-formal Educators

Full Group Virtual Learning and Facilitated Lesson Planning: Participant assignments are connected to project- and place-based learning; exploring sustainability as a dynamic system characterized by the interconnectedness of environment, equity and economy; identifying the skills, knowledge and values/attitudes that promote health and well-being of current and future generations.


  • Environmental Justice: Dr. Bertie Simmons, life-long dedicated educator in the Houston Independent School District. Her career included experiences as a teacher, elementary school principal, assistant superintendent, district superintendent, and high school principal. This highly sought public speaker has received many professional awards that include HEB’s Best High School Principal in Texas award and KHOU’s Spirit of Texas award.
  • MIndfulness / Social Emotional Learning: Special Guest Speaker Susan Kaiser Greenland
  • Systems Thinking, COVID-19 and Sustainable Communities: Special Guests TBA!


  • Gain knowledge of educating for sustainability from a community of learners and field experts
  • Redesign a lesson, unit or project implementation planner with the integration of the Big Ideas of Sustainability
  • Engage with various digital platforms to leverage student interactions for remote learning
  • Help students understand the causes and consequences of social equity through the lens of environmental justice
  • Explore a systems thinking approach to understanding the impact of COVID-19

Daily activities, coaching, and lesson planning toolkit accessible through the CELF Summer Institute Google Site

  • Defining Sustainability: Thinking about how sustainability has changed and what it means to you now.
  • Connecting the Big Ideas of Sustainability to your teaching practices and classroom/virtual lessons
  • CELF-facilitated lesson planning work time

Civic Science: Inquiry to Action
Jul 21 – Jul 30 all-day

Institute Overview: This 6-day (15 hour) online institute will enhance participants’ understanding of project-based learning and place-based education, principles and practices within the context of your school community modeling CELF’s Inquiry to Action Framework.

Audience: Teachers of Grades 5 – 12 (science, STEAM, health, social studies, civics)

Full Group Virtual Learning and Facilitated Lesson Planning: Follow the process of Inquiry to Action to develop your own project implementation planner to bring into your classroom or virtual experience for your students.


  • Field Expert Guest Speakers: Lynne Cherry, Author and Founder of Young Voices for the Planet
  • Luz Guel, Project Coordinator, Community Engagement Core, The Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures, Department of Population Health Science and Policy  Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Case studies from master teachers in the field sharing student action projects and applications to teaching and learning

Self- Paced activities accessible through (presented as a Tool Kit) will include: 

  • Flipgrid introductions & pre reading assignments
  • Mapping place and your community
  • Completion of the Inquiry to Action framework
  • CELF facilitated project planning work time


  • Complete a place-based/project-based lesson or unit using a local civic science topic such as air quality, water quality, pollinators, or soil quality.
  • Learn about a variety of data collection methods, crowdsourcing tools and monitoring technology and how to use them with your students
  • Design a plan to empower student action at your school
  • Increase knowledge of project-based learning through Civic Science
  • Increase student advocacy for healthy neighborhoods

Flying Wild @ Raptor and Education Center
Jul 25 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Flying Wild @ Raptor and Education Center

Flying WILD is an exciting education program that introduces students to bird conservation through school bird festivals, hands-on classroom activities, and community service projects. Through a partnership with the Council for Environmental Education (the national office for Flying WILD and Project WILD) the Houston Audubon Society (HAS) is now offering Flying WILD training and materials in the Houston area. Each workshop participant will receive the program publication, Flying WILD: An Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds along with other teaching materials. To register please complete and return the form on the Houston Audubon website. Space is limited, so registrations will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. The cost is $25.

CPE Credit Hours: The typical Flying WILD workshop gives an educator 5 credit hours to go toward the 150-hour goal. In addition to the standard CPE hours, Houston Audubon’s Education Department workshops and adult classes can also go towards TEEAC credit hours.