Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

BEETLES increases the quality and capacity to improve of outdoor science education programs nationally. BEETLES is a "change agent," providing a range of resources and technical assistance to inspire and support improvement in outdoor science education. We build relationships with educators and leaders, and create a wide variety of resources to address the particular needs of this effective, under-resourced field. BEETLES develops, tests and shares professional learning sessions that leaders conduct with their staff; student activities for instructors, and other tools that help educators infuse learning theory into their programs to make them more learner-centered, nature-centered, discussion-oriented and culturally relevant.

Judges Comment

“We awarded the BEETLES Project an honorable mention for their systems-thinking around improving E-STEM learning opportunities throughout the US and in other countries. Judges agreed that the program’s focus on professional development through the Leadership Institutes serve a critical and often unanswered need in the E-STEM field – research has shown that many educators in these fields have few opportunities for training and learning new practices. BEETLES further addresses the root of the problem by offering professional development for free and providing travel stipends. Moreover, judges appreciated how this top-down focus on training educators and organization leaders really stretches resources and increases impact. We really liked how BEETLES prioritizes youth learning experiences that are curiosity-driven, research-based, educative, and free.