In this Issue

Honoring Karen Lippy: Decades of Service
Honoring Black History Month: BRAIN STEM is FieldSTEM

FieldSTEM in Action: FieldDesign
Funder Spotlight: OSPI FieldSTEM and ClimeTime
Upcoming Events
With Gratitude to our Recent Donors

Honoring Karen Lippy

Decades of Service


Karen Lippy was both a force of nature and a force for it, the kind of teacher students remember decades later. Her passion for science and getting kids outdoors was a continuous thread throughout her life, along with a love of motorcycles and miniskirts.

But it wasn’t just students who responded to her. PEI Program Director Denise Buck fondly refers to ‘Lippy Groupies’ to describe Karen’s popularity among classroom teachers, who appreciated her wisdom and empathy and would sign up for any workshop she was leading.

In January, Karen passed away unexpectedly after a short illness. Her loss is reverberating throughout the many communities she touched. At PEI, Karen had recently returned as our West Sound FieldSTEM Coordinator and in just two short years she had forged strong connections with multiple schools, districts, and community groups in her region, where she was a beloved and well-known figure. Her relationship with PEI began much earlier, however; she was part of the original team that developed what is now our FieldSTEM model.

As a colleague, she was supportive and knowledgeable. Her long history as a classroom teacher, combined with expertise in environmental science, was a potent combination. She was generous with her knowledge, taking the lead on statewide workshops and providing guidance in areas where she had the most experience.

One of her legacies is West Sound GreenSTEM, which empowers teachers to include environmental education and instill a sense of stewardship in their students with meaningful projects. Many teachers and students from the region have attended an annual GreenSTEM Summit in Belfair, hosted by the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, where they interact with community partners and present their projects to peers from other schools. 

A regular activity Karen performed with students at GreenSTEM was called “rain storm.” With no words, she slowly spun around the middle of a large circle of students changing her actions with each pass. She started with rubbing her hands together, then snapping, then clapping, then stomping, followed by each action in reverse. With each pass, the students followed her lead as the sound of rain began to approach, fall all around them and then slowly fade away, demonstrating her power to influence youth and create miracles. At the end of the storm, she picked up the microphone and said, “Remember…every day you move forward, you have an opportunity to make the world a better place, and I encourage you to do that.”

Our hearts are with Karen’s family, who will be missing her larger-than-life presence most of all, and with everyone whose life she touched. In honor of her memory, PEI will be collecting donations for a memorial piece of artwork to be determined by her family and displayed at the Salmon Center. If you would like to contribute to Karen’s memorial piece, please visit our Donate page and under Type of Donation select “Karen Lippy Memorial Donation.”
Watch our video tribute to Karen Lippy

Honoring Black History Month


                                                Margie Eugene-Richard, a BRAIN STEM hero

In honor of Black History Month, we have been sharing on our Facebook page the BRAIN STEM profiles created by the Thurston ECONetwork’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) subcommittee last year. BRAIN STEM stands for Black researchers, activists, inventors, and naturalists in STEM. The profiles feature Black heroes who overcame great adversity, shifted the trajectory of the environmental field, and helped shape the environmental justice movement of today.

PEI’s mission is to empower educators to advance equitable civic and scientific literacy by promoting outdoor, integrated, career connected, locally relevant, real-world science. These profiles provide great examples of how Black people and communities have paved the way for STEM and what STEM can look like “outside the lab.” These amazing leaders are a demonstration of FieldSTEM in action! Each profile can be saved as an image and used as teaching resources to help shift the white dominant narrative of the environmental field to one that is more inclusive of all voices, races, cultures, and ways of knowing and leading.

Join us in honoring the BRAIN STEM heroes!

FieldSTEM in Action

Community Partners Bring Real-World Application to PEI’s FieldDesign Workshop

Engineering design can be a daunting topic to teach and having the right tools makes all the difference. In January, 58 educators from 35 schools and districts attended PEI’s 2-day FieldDesign: Engineering Design for Field-Based Applications workshop, and came away with a framework, resources, and connections to local conservation organizations to support students at any grade level in hands-on learning.

Read More 

Funder Spotlight

OSPI FieldSTEM and ClimeTime

One of PEI’s longest-standing partnerships is with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which provides essential funding for both FieldSTEM and ClimeTime. Since 2015 we have had three 2-year contracts with OSPI funded through the state legislature. 

Read More 

Upcoming Events

Date Workshop Location (online)
Feb 24 FieldSTEM 102: Implementation of FieldSTEM for District & School Leadership Statewide*
Mar 4 FieldSTEM: ELA Performance Tasks Puyallup SD
Mar 8, 15, 22 Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Regenerative Agriculture NWESD Region
Mar 9 Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines: Urban Forestry for Grades K-3 ESD 113 Region
Mar 10 Introduction to FieldSTEM Statewide*
Mar 11 Introduction to FieldSTEM Riverview SD
Mar 16, 29 FieldSTEM: Designing High Impact Field Experiences Statewide*

*Registration will open to public at a later date. Visit our calendar for more information.

With Gratitude

Thank you to our recent donors and funders!

Bill Monahan
Doug Kennedy
Educational Service District 105
Gareth Waugh
John Ison
Lauren & Aaron Rodriguez
RL Smith Logging
Scott Seaman
TC&I Chinook
Washington Department of Natural Resources
Copyright © 2022 Pacific Education Institute, All rights reserved.

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