Earth Day and STEM

April 18, 2023


Earth Day this year is on a Saturday in April, although the earth’s environment is a topic that can be studied year-round in the classroom. Spring is a great time to assess students’ knowledge on the topic as well as research and explore resources that are available for teachers. 


Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.

It provides a wonderful platform for classrooms to do environmental investigations and address the many ways that students can affect changes.


We discovered this spring some fantastic books to add to our collection of Earth Day related literature.

Zero Waste Kids by Rob Greenfield

Zero Waste Kids helps children to understand the world they live in and inspire them to start living in a more sustainable way. Of all the environmental problems we face, “trash” is one that is easiest to understand because it is very visual, whereas many other problems are more abstract. Zero-waste isn’t the solution to the world’s problems, but a very good place to start. 

Zero-Waste projects include:

  • Conduct a household trash audit to discover who throws away what and why. 
  • Swap disposable shopping bags and lunch boxes for reusable, zero-waste options. 
  • Compost your food scraps and grow your own food. 
  • Make natural-dye play dough, leaf prints, and more.

Zero Waste Kids is every kid’s go-to guide for making a difference

This Book is not Garbage

If your class wants to learn to reduce waste and save the Earth, here are practical tips and projects that make a difference!
Do they worry about the world's waste? The bad news is, humans throw away too much trash. But the good news is, there are lots of easy ways one can get involved and make a difference! From ditching straws and banning glitter to hosting a plastic-free birthday party, helping to save the planet is not as difficult as one thinks. So, encourage your class to take control of their future! They can become an eco-warrior instead of an eco-worrier and do their part to save the world from GARBAGE!

Old Enough to Make a Difference

Meet 12 enterprising and inspiring kids from around the world who have started businesses to help people and the planet. Be inspired by real-life children building businesses for a more sustainable future.Their acts of social enterprise are bringing positive change. Learn about the work they do and discover how the future of our world starts here.

Turtles of the Midnight Moon

Need a fiction chapter book for your class? This one is great! When poachers threaten the island they love, two girls team up to save the turtles—andeach other. An eco-mystery with an unforgettable friendship story at its heart from a fresh new voice in middle grade.


One of our favorite resources for real-world science that integrates beautifully with Earth Day Is Citizen Science. Not long ago we did a blog on Sci-Starter which is a very well organized source for lots of citizen science activities that are perfect for the classroom and Earth Day.

Sci-Starter - Citizen Science

Examples of some of the dozens of activities available at Sci- Starter

One of the best resources for Citizen Science is The Field Guide to Citizen Science by Darlene Cavalier. Filled with ideas, tips and references, it should be on every teacher's bookshelf who has an interest in real-world science research.

The Field Guide to Citizen Science

Earth Day Organization

The official Earth Day website has a wealth of materials, lessons, and events that teachers will find useful and is worth a visit as one plans activities.

"Education is the foundation of a prosperous and thriving civilization. A successful society is one which respects nature, and these values are born in the classroom. Teachers and school administrators are in
a unique position to nurture our children to grow into intelligent and responsible citizens. Every school can use Earth Day to ensure that environmental values are passed along to the next generation! "


We have several hands-on STEM activities that will provide problem solving challenges and background knowledge for discussions on Earth Day. Whether in a maker space or in a class unit, these lessons will engage your students.

Oil Spill Clean up

Engineering to the rescue as students work together to clean up an oil spill. Great for environmental studies, waterways investigations, or a unit on the properties of liquids.

Earth Day Task Cards

Earth Day Task cards are the perfect tool to promote creative thinking with your students. They can be used in centers, for a discussion, in a virtual classroom or sent home in packet for homework or a family activity.

Whether you have an ongoing recycling project, an integrated environmental program, some special Earth Day events, or a desire to incorporate some new ideas on Earth issues, we encourage you to investigate the wide variety of materials that we have shared.

We hope you Get Caught Engineering® this Earth Day!

Wendy and Cheryl

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What They Say


Wendy came to Bellevue Arts Museum to co-lead our Full STEAM Ahead! Summer Camp in August 2014. This camp was a huge success thanks to her expertise, experience, and warmth working with the campers throughout the week…

Educational Outreach Director, The Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, Washington