Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) STEM Kits!

Three different kits were designed in 2017 to help Anchorage School District (ASD) teachers as well as other educators teach science content in an outdoor setting. Each kit has 3 carefully selected PLT lessons aligned with the current ASD (K-6) STEM Curriculum for grades k/1, 3 and 6. Many of the themes cross over to different grade levels, so consider checking all of them out and see which activities are right for you and your class. Below is a list of the grade level kits and their focus areas that are available for checkout. Click on the links to see photos of each one.

K/1: living and nonliving things and what animals need to survive

3rd: patterns in living things, weather and habitats

6th: energy in ecosystems, energy sources, flow, conservation and transfer

All lessons are designed to be done outdoors either on the school grounds or if you have access to nearby trails and parks. Materials provided can be used in all types of weather, so don’t let a rainy or snowy day stop you from getting outside!

PLT lessons include key objectives, concepts, and skills students should be walking away with. Each lesson also has teacher background information you will need to be able to become an “expert” for your students. All materials have been provided to deliver each lesson fully and there is a list of other materials to enhance or change the lessons to fit your individual group’s needs. The lessons also provide a list of extension and enrichment activities as well as reading connections to make it easy to integrate into your regular curriculum.

All PLT lessons come from the Project Learning Tree Pre K-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. Teachers and educators can obtain a guide, which contains over 100 activities for teachers to create hands-on and meaningful science lessons with their students, by participating in a PLT Workshop. Workshops are offered throughout the year. Check the Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education website for upcoming professional development workshops near you. Or contact Molly Gillespie, Alaska PLT Coordinator, to find out when the next training will be.

Enjoy the lessons and have fun getting your students outside!

To check them out, contact Stacey Shriner, Alaska Botanical Garden, at or (907) 770-3692 ext 102

Kits were made possible through a grant to the Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education Association from the American Forestry Foundation and Project Learning Tree. The Alaska Botanical Garden expertly designed and assembled them. 

Online PLT Resources for Teachers and Educators

Getting Your Kids Moving:

Let’s Move! Active SchoolsWe serve as a hub to help schools access best practices, programs, and resources to increase physical education and physical activity opportunities for students.

Super Health, Super YouEngage your students in and out of the classroom with standards-aligned lesson plans and activities.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy – The following “Hip Pocket Activities,” developed by Delia Clark and Pat Straughan for Shelburne Farms, can be done any time, any place, and in any order. Most of the activities will take about 5 to 10minutes, but a few require extra time, as noted. These activities are a wonderful way to begin a hike, to keep a group together, to spice up a destination, or to occupy part of the group while the other part catches up or engages in a different activity.

The Forest Classrooms Raising Responsible Children – This video helps to inspire the next generation of environmentally responsible citizens, one group of educators has “opened up a window to our forests” in the hope that nature can show us how to take better care of our planet.

STEM Correlations: The PLT Correlations to the National Science Standards are available in a PDF, easy to read and print format. The Alaska State Content Standards correlated to:
Project WILD
Project Learning Tree
The Alaska Wildlife Curriculum Alaska Department of Education and Early Development– A collection of links to resources for teachers and students to enhance science education programs across the state. Many of these resources were created by Alaskan teachers to fit the diverse needs of our many unique schools. ARLIS Alaska Resources Library and Information Services– Teachers have access to more than 500 books, selected for K-12 educators, furs, skulls, bird mounts & fish mounts and science kits.

Grants to Watch for Each Year: SeedMoney–   a Maine-based 501c nonprofit (EIN: 56-238923) helping US and global food garden projects to thrive through grants, crowdfunding assistance and free garden planning software. GreenWorks! Grants- Project Learning Tree offers GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. Let’s Move! Active Schools- Good Sports grants gives all kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need. Target Field Trip Grants- It’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, we launched Target Field Trip™ grants in 2007. Since then, we’ve made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip. As part of the program, Target stores award Target Field Trip™ grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Community Challenge Grant- The Super Health, Super You Community Challenge emboldens students to become community leaders in healthy lifestyle choices and drive diabetes prevention awareness. Encourage students to identify a health-related issue in your school community and work together to submit a solution for the chance to win a $10k grant to bring their ideas to life! Lowe’s Toolbox for Education- This year LCEF is seeking ways to provide the tools to help educators and parent groups through educational challenges by providing the greatest impact.  Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations and safety improvements. The spring 2018 grant cycle will open for application on December 18, 2017.  The deadline for spring applications is February 9, 2018.

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