Policy Work

To achieve our vision of scientifically literate citizens making balanced decisions for sustainable communities, we collaborate with leaders from diverse sectors to set policy that ensures all students in Washington receive integrated, locally relevant, career connected, field-based learning. 

Recent Policy Work

Climate Science Education

Collaborating with OSPI, the Association of Educational Service Districts, E3 Washington, IslandWood and Washington Green Schools, we are helping secure state support for effective implementation of the state science standards with a focus on climate science. The Climate Science Proviso passed in 2018, securing 4 million dollars to help ensure that all students receive climate science education through the public school system. In less than one year – with leadership from OSPI and the University of Washington – the educational service districts and community-based organizations such as PEI have launched the resulting state-level network, ClimeTime, which has already engaged teachers across the state to improve delivery of important climate-related learning. In the 2019 session, the Climate Science Collaborative is working to secure ongoing funding to support this work.

Educating for a Green Economy

In October 2018, with partner E3 Washington, we launched the project Educating for A Green Economy (EGE).  This project grew out of PEI’s work to pass SSB5285 which called for a workforce study to help uncover reasons why our natural resource, environmental and outdoor recreation sectors are underrepresented in the state employment data. The Workforce Study, led by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, published Outdoor Industry Jobs report in October 2018. This report finds that the current data used to make decisions about employment prospects, especially in the agriculture, natural resource, environmental and outdoor recreation sectors are inadequate.

Our Executive Director sits on several councils and Board that help guide Washington State Policy including the Governor’s STEM Innovation Alliance, OSPI’s NEXUS team, The Department of Natural Resources Natural Areas Program Advisory Council and E3 Washington’s Board of Directors. 


Research Supporting the Need for FieldSTEM

Decades of academic research and studies have proven the effectiveness of PEI’s programs. Search through our bibliography of supporting publications here.


PEI provides opportunities for school districts to meet state expectations for Common Core subjects of reading, writing, and math; and the Next Generation Science Standards for science.

Student Achievement

PEI supports educators in enhancing science achievement through rigorous environmental science education.

Outdoor Learning

PEI empowers educators to provide rich learning experiences for students using the outdoors as a classroom.

Field Science Studies

Through FieldSTEM, educators provide opportunities for students to conduct local field investigations, applying reasoned judgement and problem-solving skills.

Career Connections

Working closely with environmental science, natural resource, and agricultural businesses in regions across our state, PEI encourages educators to connect what students are learning in the classroom to what’s happening in the real world.


PEI demonstrates the effectiveness of the FieldSTEM framework through accountability and performance measures.