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What does Environmental Education do for children?

K-12 students participating in environmental education programs at school do better on standardized tests in math, reading, writing, and social studies.

Numerous studies have shown that students at schools using some kind of environment-based curriculum do better academically than their peers at traditional schools, or show improvement after the introduction of environment-based education.

People who have positive experiences with nature in childhood care more about the environment as adults.

  • Many researchers have reported that childhood experiences with nature were a key formative influence on today’s environmentalists.
  • Time spent in natural environments during childhood was a common factor in the lives of individuals with a strong commitment to nature and the environment as adults.
  • Research is clearly substantiating that an affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, grow out of children’s regular contact with and play in the natural world.

Short outdoor education programs improve children’s science test scores

  • According to a 2005 study for the California Department of Education, sixth-graders’ scores on a science knowledge test improved by 27% after participating in a week-long outdoor education program. Scores remained higher 6-10 weeks after the program.

Source: The Children's Nature Institute "Why Nature is Important"