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ecoSTEM

Captain Planet Foundation advances a vision of ecoSTEM™ as an integrated approach to exploring the natural world using technology and math, in order to gain deeper understanding of science concepts and solve problems through design thinking (engineering design challenges). When real world problem-solving is the goal, research shows that more students are interested and engaged.

“Girls and underrepresented youth feel strongly about creating impact to serve their communities and the wider world. This means that recruiting should focus on . . . the impact that girls can have through STEM first, with less focus on gadgets and technical toys. Making STEM real, contextual, and relevant to their everyday experiences can support girls’ interest and success in STEM. Changing the Game for Girls in STEM

CPF Institute offers ecoSTEM™ Kits and related professional learning to make it easier for teachers to engage students in high quality integrated STEM learning. 

Earth ecoSTEM Kit

Let us break it down for you: Mini-stream tables and soil test kits provide the tools for students to observe erosion and analyze soil composition. A drip irrigation kit offers a chance to engineer water solutions in the school garden. Students can investigate decomposition with a see-through composter and minimize cafeteria waste by feeding lunch scraps to worms. Reusable snack cozies will help limit use of disposable plastics. Students will design a stewardship project to recycle, reduce waste, refuse disposables, re-purpose used materials, or create compost to improve soil health.

Download Quick Start Guide

Pollination ecoSTEM Kit

Bring your classroom to life with everything you need to plant an outdoor pollinator garden. This kit includes a classroom set of hand lenses, bug viewers, and field microscopes to get EVERY child engaged in outdoor learning. The cargo wagon, gloves, trowels, and seeds, as well as a gift card for local purchase of a raised bed and compost, will enable students to design and build a schoolyard pollinator habitat.

The kit also comes with a classroom set of milkweed seeds for students to take home.  When students plant milkweed seeds at home, they will create a monarch butterfly corridor or “way station”. A butterfly rearing kit lets students observe the phenomenon of metamorphosis, and the monarch health project enables students to contribute research that may help stop the decline of the monarch butterfly.

Download Quick Start Guide

Renewable Energy ecoSTEM Kit

Knowledge is power and this kit sizzles with hands-on learning opportunities. Students will investigate electrical circuits by building snap-together electronic projects that demonstrate renewable energy. Invention kits provide opportunities to design and build wind, water, and solar powered devices. Students can test variables, using multi-meters to measure the electricity generated by their inventions, and then refine the designs.

Download Quick Start Guide

Water ecoSTEM Kit

This amazing collection of hands-on learning tools will leave kids awash in knowledge of how their choices impact the health of the local watershed. A water cycle kit enables students to model evaporation and precipitation. Students will use the water quality monitoring kit to investigate stream health by testing physical and chemical parameters or searching for pollution-sensitive macro-invertebrates. Actual samples from the Pacific garbage patch will let students explore how plastic pollution affects our oceans and wildlife. Students can then design and conduct a community education project, marking storm drains to prevent dumping – and making an impact on the local watershed by reminding the community that what goes in the drains ends up in the rains!

Download Quick Start Guide

Ways to Get an ecoSTEM Kit

APPLY - ecoSTEM Grants

A limited number of ecoSTEM™ Kits are granted out during each grant cycle, due January 15th and July 15th each year. Apply now.

CROWDFUND - DonorsChoose.org

If you are a teacher working in a public school in the US, you can find the ecoSTEM™ Kits through DonorsChoose.org. (crowdfunding platform for classroom supplies). Matching funds are occasionally made available for your ecoSTEM™ Kit.

PURCHASE - CPF Store

ecoSTEM™ Kits are also available for direct sale for the cost of materials through the Captain Planet Foundation store supported by Pratt Industries.