Access guidance for developing field experiences for students and explore our resources to learn more about the frameworks and support we offer.


PEI workshops include FieldSTEM® guides for educators providing frameworks for how to implement rigorous, integrated, outdoor field experiences with students. Our guides are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and are available for free download.

Field Investigations with NGSS

Field Investigations with NGSS

Field Investigations helps teachers develop and implement locally relevant opportunities to engage students in core subject instruction using natural settings—a framework that increases students’ problem solving abilities and motivation to learn science.

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications K-5

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications K-5

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications K-5 is a meaningful platform to engage students in engineering with a real problem to solve so they applying their research and analytical skills to understand situations in a deeper way. 

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications 6-12

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications 6-12

FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications 6-12 is a meaningful platform to engage students in engineering with a real problem to solve so they applying their research and analytical skills to understand situations in a deeper way. 

Designing High Impact Field Experiences

Designing High Impact Field Experiences

Designing High Impact Field Experiences are some of the most meaningful learning opportunities a student will have throughout his or her educational career. This book guides educators to consider learning goals, locations and partners, activities, adjacent lessons and logistics that will help maximize the positive impact of a field experience.

Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills

Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills

Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills guides teachers to develop observation skills with students by observing the “book of nature.”

FieldSTEM Science Notebooks Supplement

FieldSTEM Science Notebooks Supplement

FieldSTEM Science Notebooks is a supplement for implementing notebooks to promote the development of ELA and math skills, scientific reasoning and social competency.

Project-Based Learning Model

Project-Based Learning Model

Project-Based Learning Model provides resources and examples through an 8-step model.

Schoolyard Biodiversity

Schoolyard Biodiversity

Schoolyard Biodiversity is targeted to elementary and middle schools. These guidelines teach educators how to engage students in the investigation of biodiversity in their own schoolyard using field investigation methodologies.

Photo Point Monitoring

Photo Point Monitoring

Photo Point Monitoring: Using Technology in Field Investigations to Monitor Change Over Time is intended to provide formal and nonformal educators a tool to bring technology into outdoor experiences and field investigations.

Landscape Investigation Guidelines

Landscape Investigation Guidelines

Landscape Investigation Guidelines challenges K-12 students to integrate science and social science inquiry by applying spatial thinking, which mirrors scientists’ practices as they make decisions that impact natural resources on landscapes.

Sustainable Tomorrow

Sustainable Tomorrow

Sustainable Tomorrow demonstrates how to apply systems thinking and problem solving tools employed by natural resource managers using lessons from Project Learning Tree (PLT), Project WILD and Project WET. 

Technology for Field Investigations

Technology for Field Investigations

Technology for Field Investigations provides tools for educators to engage students in designing and conducting their own field investigations mirroring the practices of professional scientists.

ELA, Math & Spanish Performance Tasks

Our ELA and math performance tasks use environmental problems or issues as the context while students apply age-appropriate math or English language arts (ELA) skills of reading, writing and researching to complete the work. Performance tasks are tailored to assist educators in integrating locally relevant, complex texts with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core while providing frameworks for constructing meaningful field experiences for students. Included are examples of teacher-created locally relevant performance tasks.

We are in the process of translating all our ELA performance tasks to Spanish. We have completed all of our K-5 tasks, with more to follow.

We have also edited several of our original ELA performance tasks to align with the format of the SBAC. These SBAC practice tasks provide specific instructions for administration and SBAC scoring rubrics. Click on the SBAC Practice Tasks Introduction link to learn more about how to utilize these practice tasks in your classroom.

Please Note: we are currently having technical issues with some of our Performance Tasks. If you have any issues finding or downloading the task you want, please email Katie Hatam at [email protected]

K-3 Schoolyard Investigations

PEI has just published the newest series of our learning materials. These Schoolyard Investigations focus on particular units of investigation tailored to grades Kindergarten through Third grade. You will find both English and Spanish versions below to meet your specific classroom needs.

Solutions Oriented Learning (SOL) Storylines

Read About PEI’s SOLS Success Stories

Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines (SOLS) is a state-wide project focusing on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and climate science under Washington State’s Climate Science (ClimeTime) proviso. Pacific Education Institute is one of 16 grantees being supported by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to facilitate climate science professional learning opportunities for K-12 public school educators. 

The Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines (SOLS) project is designed to strengthen teachers’ equitable climate science instruction through locally relevant storylines. 

All storylines include six criteria: 

  1. Strategies to work with local tribes to center Indigenous ways of knowing;
  2. 3-D NGSS assessment tools to demonstrate student growth;
  3. Strategies and tools for formative assessment to strengthen inclusive teacher instruction for all learners;
  4. Locally, relevant, place-based topics;
  5. Lessons to calculate and implement solutions to draw down greenhouse gases and,
  6. Strategies to elevate student voice.

The work is designed to have the following outcomes: 

  1. Increased teacher understanding of locally relevant climate science content and research;
  2. Increased teacher comfort around, and preparation for implementing culturally responsive practice for diverse student groups (e.g. Indigenous, multilingual learners, English language learners, migrant, rural, students of color);
  3. Increased teacher comfort and confidence using formative assessment and equitable instructional approaches to guide instruction and report student growth.

Read more about the approach behind the SOLS

Download PEI’s SOLS

Thank you for your interest in our Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines! We are currently updating and revising these climate science units and can’t wait to share the new versions with you! In the meantime, please use this link to access the SOLS. In this folder you will find the following topics:

  • Coastal Hazards
  • Fire (Spanish versions available)
  • Food Waste (Spanish versions available)
  • Forests (Spanish versions available)
  • Regenerative Agriculture (Eastern WA)
  • Regenerative Agriculture (Western WA)
  • Solar Energy
  • Urban Forestry
  • Wetlands

If you are looking for a specific resource or have a question about SOLS or ClimeTime, please contact Molly Griffiths ([email protected]).

CTE Frameworks

PEI has developed a series of 180-hour frameworks that align to natural resource and education industry needs, K-12 standards, and dual credit with Washington State colleges and universities. Upon completion of each course, teachers provide students with a signed Document of Competency that rates their proficiency in a variety of job-related skills that have been identified by industry partners.  

PEI provides teachers with teaching resources, recommended community and industry partners, and a professional learning network.

  • 49% of Washington State jobs require training beyond high school.
  • 92% of youth that participate in CTE programs graduate high school, vs. 86% of all students.

Frameworks Available

Each framework was written with high school teachers, industry, tribes, career and technical colleges, and the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). These frameworks align with CTE standards, Next Generation Science Standards, 21st Century Skills, and the core high school credits students need to graduate. Students gain valuable hands-on learning experiences while interacting with natural resource employers.

PEI’s teacher resources and professional learning support teachers as they develop and lead each course.

Dual Credit Articulation: Dual credit offers a way for students to earn college credit while in high school and provides incentives for youth to continue their education beyond high school graduation. Dual credit articulation requires an agreement between each individual high school teacher and colleges. 

PEI supports individual high schools and districts to develop articulations with career and technical colleges (CTC) and universities. When applicable, PEI has designed the following Advanced (preparatory) course frameworks to align with CTC programs in natural resources. Contact [email protected] to discuss articulation options for your courses.

Aquaculture and Fisheries (A&F) 

This sequence applies scientific and mathematical principles to aquaculture and fisheries management. Units include safety, stewardship and sustainability, aquatic organism biology and ecology, water quality and animal husbandry, data science and analysis, facility and equipment operations and maintenance, communication and marketing, career pathways, and Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE).

  • Introduction to A&F Framework
    • 1 explore credit (180 hrs): Lab science, CTE, or Algebra 1
    • Document of competency
  • Advanced A&F Framework
    • 1 preparatory credit (180 hrs): Lab science, CTE, or math at a higher level than Algebra 1
    • Document of competency
  • A&F career pathway flier
  • A&F pathway infographic

Education through Outdoor Learning (EOL)

This sequence applies educational pedagogy concepts to engage students interested in careers in education. The courses focus on facilitating learning in outdoor settings and incorporating environmental education at the K-6 level. Units include building safe and inclusive learning communities, culturally sustaining pedagogies and belonging, teaching methods, planning for instruction, career pathways, and an immersive learning experience. Students participate in Washington State’s 5th or 6th grade Outdoor Schools or other outdoor/environmental education programming throughout this course. 

  • Introduction to EOL framework
    • 1 explore credit (180 hrs): English language arts
    • Document of competency
  • Advanced EOL framework
    • 1 preparatory credit (180 hrs): English language arts
    • Document of competency
  • EOL career pathway flier
  • EOL pathway infographic

Forest Management (FM)

This sequence applies scientific and forestry principles, as well as technical writing and communication skills, to the management of Washington’s forests. Units include safety; evaluation of forest management practices; timber cruising and valuation; diseases, insects, and pathogens; timber stand management and silviculture; fire ecology management; mapping and land measurement; forest practice law and agencies; career pathways; and SAE.

  • Introduction to FM framework
    • 1 explore credit (180 hrs): Lab science or CTE
    • Document of competency
  • Advanced FM framework
    • 1 preparatory credit (180 hrs): Lab science, CTE, or technical writing (English language arts)
    • Document of competency
  • FM career pathway flier
  • FM pathway infographic

Restoration Ecology (RE)

This sequence applies scientific, restoration, and social studies ecology principles to the restoration of Washington habitats. Units include safety;  historical, traditional, and contemporary land management; plant identification and watershed ecology; restoration ecology management plan implementation; restoration ecology laws and agencies; career pathways; and SAE. 

  • Introduction to RE framework
    • 1 explore credit (180 hrs): CTE or lab science
    • Document of competency
  • Advanced RE framework
    • 1 preparatory credit (180 hrs): Lab science, CTE, or social studies
    • Document of competency
  • RE career pathway flier
  • RE pathway infographic

Urban and Community Forestry (UCF)

  • Introduction to UCF
    • 1 explore credit (180 hrs): CTE or lab science
    • Document of competency
  • Advanced UCF
    • 1 preparatory credit (180 hrs): Lab science, CTE, or math
    • Document of competency
  • UCF career pathway flier
  • UCF pathway infographic

Other resources:

“In the last 25+ years I’ve been in education, such a model as this seemed to be an inaccessible ideal. However, with PEI, the ideal has become a reality! My students will receive Biology lab credit, an incredible field experience, and networking opportunities with industry professionals.”

-John Glenn, Tumwater School District teacher

More PEI Teaching Materials

Check out all of PEI’s additional thematic units of study that can be integrated into any classroom. To determine which will work best in your classroom, we encourage educators to explore the curricular units below.

“Making Forest Connections” below correlates the WA Forest Education K-12 Learning Framework to education standards, activities and resources.

Explore the Salish Sea Curriculum


Gather clues to solve this and other, related mysteries about the sea we share in the NGSS-aligned, place- and project-based science curriculum, Explore the Salish Sea, for grade 5. Lessons are customizable to meet your learning goals and may be modified for grades 6-8. Each unit of this resource is based on a chapter from the award-winning book, Explore the Salish Sea: A Nature Guide for Kids. 

PEI is the new home for the amazing Explore the Salish Sea Curriculum originally developed by the SeaDoc Society. We are so excited to offer this curriculum as it fits right in with our FieldSTEM learning model. We appreciate your patience as we work to migrate the existing curriculum to the PEI website. Until then, you can still find the whole curriculum here.

Project Learning Tree (PLT), Project WILD & Project WET

Activity Guides for Teachers

PEI is an access point for three widely recognized national environmental education programs. Through hands-on interdisciplinary activities, K-12 students investigate environmental concepts, problems or issues encouraging them to make informed decisions. These activity guides are available mostly through workshops. Visit each program’s website for more information.

Using the forest as a “window to the world,” Project Learning Tree inspires and empowers students. The program easily adapts to meet local needs such as local investigations, service learning projects and partnerships with community-based resource professionals. PLT is the environmental education program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. PEI sponsors PLT in Washington and serves as the State Coordinator.

Visit the National PLT website or learn about Washington PLT here.

Administered national by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program that focuses on wildlife and habitat. It aims to assist students of ay age in developing awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment to result in informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment.

Project WILD is based on educational standards, developed by scientists and reviewed and field-tested by educators.

PEI is the Western Washington sponsoring agency.

  • Publications Overview
    • Educator Guides
      • Project WILD, K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide
      • Aquatic WILD, K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide
      • Flying WILD: Birds Across the Curriculum Module
      • Climate and Wildlife; Grades 6-12
      • Growing Up WILD
    • PDF Lessons and Activities
    • STEM and Careers integration
    • WILD about Bats!
  • Resources for Families

PEI offers professional learning workshops to support teachers’ implementation of Project WILD.

Reach out to [email protected] to learn more!

Visit the National Project WILD website.

What is project WET?

project WET: Water Education Today is dedicated to solving critical environmental challenges by teaching the world about water. They do this by providing hands-on, science-based water education resources to formal and non-formal educators around the world. These resources encourage responsible environmental stewardship and promote meaningful action to address environmental challenges, climate change, social justice, and sustainability.

PEI is project WET’s Western Washington sponsoring agency.

Mission: Advancing water education to understand global challenges and inspire local solutions.

  • Digital Tools
    • Project Wet library
    • E-Learning
  • Publications Overview
    • Children’s Activity Books
    • Educator Guides
    • PDF Lessons and Activities
    • Early Childhood Resources
    • Climate, Water, and Resilience
  • Bilingual Resources

PEI offers professional learning workshops to support teachers’ implementation of project WET.

Reach out here to learn more!

Visit the National Project WET website.

Washington Invasive Species Council

The Washington Invasive Species Council is a cooperative of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Established by the Legislature in 2006 and then extended until 2022, the council was tasked with providing policy level direction, planning, and coordination for combating harmful invasive species throughout the state and preventing the introduction of others that may be harmful.


Washington Pest Watch

Scotch broom, mussels, and beetles – oh my! Invasive Species are invading Washington! Pacific Education Institute partners with the Washington Invasive Species Council by offering professional development for educators to support the “Enhancing the First Detector Network.” 

In our workshops, educators become familiar with this state-wide community science (citizen science) project empowering students to identify and report invasive species. Whether in their schoolyards or neighborhoods, they can become “first detectors.” However, educators can access these the “first detector” resources on their own too.

Visit the Washington Pest Watch project website for more information about this project, or to access school curriculum, and other educational materials.

Navigating the Standards

Washington State K–12 Learning Standards

These standards include Tribal Sovereignty, NGSS, Common Core and Environment and Sustainability Education (ESE). These learning standards reflect basic education defined by the Washington State Legislature (RCW 28A.150.210). As required by state law, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) develops the state’s learning standards (RCW 28A.655.070) and oversees their assessment for state and federal accountability purposes.

Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State

The 2015 legislature passed SB5433 requiring the inclusion of Tribal sovereignty curriculum be taught in all schools. The use of the curriculum has been endorsed by all 29 federally recognized Tribes and is available from OSPI’s Office of Native Education.

Environmental and Sustainability Education

The Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) program’s purpose is to support academic success and life-long learning, and to develop a responsible citizenry capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current and future needs. Environmental education is a mandatory area of study in Washington, required by WAC 392-410-115.

The state’s K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Learning Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

OSPI and E3 Washington led the development of the Washington State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan. PEI participated on the steering committee. 

Sustainable Design Project is a statewide interdisciplinary project bringing industry, business, community and higher education partners together with K-12 students to design sustainable solutions to real-world challenges. PEI participated on the steering committee.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

These are the national K–12 science standards. Standards set the expectations for what students are expected to know and be able to accomplish. The NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students. Washington State adopted NGSS in 2013. NGSS shifts classroom instruction from a traditional model of teaching content to an expectation that students meet performance expectations that weave science practices and cross-cutting concepts with content (disciplinary core ideas).

K-12 English Language Arts Learning Standards

Washington formally adopted the Washington State K-12 Learning Standards (Common Core State Standards) for English language arts and mathematics. Assessments for these standards are currently in place.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System is a key part of implementing the Common Core State Standards and preparing all students for success in college and career. Developed in collaboration with K-12 teachers and higher education faculty, these new assessments provide an academic check-up and are designed to give teachers better information to help students succeed.