Special Event

National Project Learning Tree Conference Comes to Washington State

The national Project Learning Tree (PLT) conference in March was a busy time for PEI staff. Many of our statewide team were on hand to lead breakout sessions, participate in panel discussions and both give and receive awards throughout the week. More than 100 PLT coordinators from around the country gathered in Stevenson, Washington for a packed schedule of workshops, presentations and field trips with experts in their field acting as tour guides. 

A few highlights: 

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Community Collaborator

PEI and SFI Bring Forestry Education to Life through Project Learning Tree

In the years that PEI has been working with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), many memorable moments have occurred. One that stands out for PEI Program Director Denise Buck occurred during a site visit on the Olympic Peninsula in preparation for a teacher workshop. “Our coastal coordinator was with SFI’s Tom Shorey looking at the field where they were planning to take the teachers and when they got back to her car, almost her entire door had been torn off by a bear,” says Buck. “There must have been something interesting in her car, at least to the bear.”  

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FieldSTEM in Action

Brownsville Elementary Water Jamboree Highlights Water Quality

April 14th was a beautiful day for the first annual Water Jamboree at the Port of Brownsville. Approximately 250 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students from Brownsville Elementary School cycled through five stations filled with engaging activities and information about water quality and water health. PEI's Molly Griffiths organized the event with community partners Great Peninsula Conservancy, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association and Washington State Department of Health and the Port of Brownsville Marina graciously hosted. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this day happen!

Teacher Tips & Tools

How to Start a School Garden with Minimal Resources

Starting (and keeping!) a classroom garden may initially sound daunting, but it’s much easier than you think. This is true even if you don’t have many resources. All you need to start a classroom garden is:

  • Containers
  • Soil
  • Seeds/Plants
  • Light
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

From there, you can get creative with how you provide your garden with all of those essentials. It can be a fun way to get your students involved in a project that allows them to learn about becoming caretakers of our planet. It’s also an interdisciplinary exercise, as you can combine lessons in science with math, art, history, and more, along with the fun factor of helping your students realize their potential as amateur gardeners. 
Here’s more about how you can get started with minimal resources.

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Source: Project Learning Tree 

Welcome New Staff 

Operations Coordinator Eli Church

Eli Church joined Pacific Education Institute in March of 2023. Her professional background is as an environmental educator with experience teaching science programs like Wheat Week, Salmon in the Classroom, Water on Wheels, and Drain Rangers and Jr Drain Rangers to kindergarten through fifth grade students across Washington. Eli has made Olympia their home since graduating from Evergreen State College with a BS in Environmental Science. Their passions for gardening and agriculture began as early as her exposure to the orchards and row crops of the high desert of Central Washington state where they were born and raised. She is excited to support a community of students and educators in accessing STEM and outdoor education.

Upcoming Events 

Date   Workshop  Location
May 2 & 6   SOLS: Food Waste  ESD 113 region**
May 3 & 6   Sustainability Course  King, Pierce Snohomish Counties**
May 6   SOLS: Urban Forestry  ESD 101 region**
May 12   FieldSTEM: Math Performance Tasks  Thorp SD**
May 15   SOLS: Wildfire and Forest Management  ESD 101 region***
May 16   FieldSTEM: ELA Performance Tasks for Dual Language Teachers  Statewide
May 18 & 24   SOLS: Phenomena Based Teaching with SOLS  PSESD, NCESD, ESD 105, ESD 189***
May 25   FieldSTEM: Intro to FieldDesign  Statewide
*Registration will open to the public at a later date.
**Not open to the public.
***Workshop Full
Visit our calendar for more information.


  With Gratitude

Thank you to last month’s donors and funders!

Bill Monahan
Gareth Waugh
John Ison
Manulife Investment Management
The Russell Family Foundation
PLT Conference Silent Auction Donors and Buyers
Donate to PEI
Copyright © 2023 Pacific Education Institute, All rights reserved.

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