California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 5:
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey & San Benito Counties
Winter 2017

Quick reference guide to Environmental Education and Next Generation Science Standards coming in Fall 2017! 

Environmental Education is taking root in our schools! Thanks to support from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz County Office of Education, CREEC Region 5 is producing a quick reference guide to environmental education programs and NGSS for Santa Cruz County. Coming to all schools across the County in Fall 2017! We hope to use this project as a model for other Counties in Region 5.

- Amity Sandage, CREEC Coordinator, Region 5
What's New in Region 5

Find Local Grants and Contests gathered together for you on the CREEC Region 5 homepage!

Follow the link for information on E-STEM grants, support for District Environmental Literacy Plans, PG&E scholarships, the CalWater Challenge and more . . .
Read more about Local Grants and Contests  (PDF OR opens in a new window)

New Teacher Resources featured here!

Check out NEW resources: Environteers, connecting you with environmental stewardship and volunteer projects; State Parks' Castro Adobe Field Trip program; and science . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Register now for Monterey Bay Aquarium's Summer Teacher Institutes

The Aquarium is well known for its excellent teacher professional development programs. They fill up quickly, so be sure to check them out . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Free Training and Materials for the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum

Receive free training and class sets of materials to use EEI to begin your transition to NGSS. CCSS ELA and History . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Using Storytelling and Filmmaking in an NGSS Classroom

Teachers of grades 6-8 will develop NGSS experiences around science focusing on environmental solutions. Practical 3-hour workshop (plus stipend) that prepares teachers . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Translating NGSS into Instruction: Developing & Using Models

How can we help students develop and use models to explain natural phenomena? The purpose of this workshop is to support K-12 teachers in increasing their understanding . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Life at the Seashore Educator Workshop

Life at the Seashore is a new 1st grade NGSS-designed unit that addresses the science ideas of how plants and animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

Hiking Leadership Training: How to Plan, Organize and Lead Fun and Safe Hikes with Student and Youth

Topics covered during the training include: fun games for the trail, leave no trace, the natural history of open spaces, risk management, meal planning, navigation, and . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)

March 25: Register now for Project WET and EEI Training in Santa Cruz!

This excellent curriculum covers relevant, real life issues in engaging interdisciplinary lessons. Workshop includes full EEI Curriculum training, too! NGSS and CCSS correlations . . .   
(PDF OR opens in a new window)
Local Conferences and Events
CA State Parks Migration Festival
Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz
Residential Outdoor Environmental Education Conference
Walden West Outdoor School, Saratoga
Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference
Students from surrounding counties meet in San Francisco
Santa Clara County 2nd Annual STEAM Conference
Santa Clara County Office of Education, San Jose

Featured Resource Provider: Environteers

Santa Cruz County has a new organization dedicated to promoting all of the environmental groups in Santa Cruz County to encourage and facilitate environmental volunteering.

The website,, provides a brief introduction to each of the 70 Santa Cruz County organizations and institutions (including CREEC!) with a link to their respective websites. And of course the site covers upcoming environmental volunteer opportunities and events as well as local environmental news and interviews.
Environteers' mission is to provide one portal for easy access to the many rewarding environmental volunteer opportunities in the community, and to promote the diverse and dedicated environmental organizations serving Santa Cruz County. 

Check out the beautiful, easy-to-use website and also find them on Facebook!

Learn more about Environteers, dedicated to promoting environmental volunteering  (PDF OR opens in a new window)


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding Resources
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

In Region 5, CREEC is housed and supported by Santa Cruz County Office of Education 
Amity Sandage, Region 5 CREEC Coordinator, 

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