ECO-ACT

Eco-Act is a yearlong environmental leadership course for juniors and seniors in high school, founded in 1981 and operated by the Missouri Botanical Garden in partnership with St. Louis area schools and districts. Students enroll for a full year and receive course credit or community service credit from their schools.  There are three components to both the summer and school year course: teaching, the environmental project, and outdoor recreation and service opportunities. 

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

SUMMER:

·         Week 1- Students investigate local environmental issues, develop and practice interviewing and debate skills, and spend a night at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

·         Week 2- Four day, three night camping trip, in which one night is spent at Shaw Nature Reserve and two nights at a campground, where students participate in a high ropes course and canoeing on the Meramec River.

·         Week 3- Teaching strategies and methods introduced and practiced on-site at MBG.

FALL SEMESTER:

·         Teaching- Students work in teams to write and teach a 45-minute ecology lesson every other week in a 4th grade classroom.  They also lead one, 2 hour fall field trip at the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center.

·         Environmental Project- Research project conducted in groups on a local environmental issue.  This project includes background research, interviewing professionals, data collection, and a final presentation.

·         Outings- Outdoor recreation and service opportunities provided for students.  Examples include rock climbing, camping, hiking, recycling at large events, and canoeing the Mississippi River.

·         Workshops- Monthly hands-on workshops at MBG focus on teaching skills and environmental research techniques through engaging guest speakers, activities, and work time.

SPRING SEMESTER:

·         Teaching- Students continue teaching in 4th grade classroom and lead one, 2-hour winter field trip at the Litzsinger Road Ecology Center.

·         Environmental Project- Action project conducted in groups on a local environmental issue.  Project is aimed at creating a positive impact through research application, community engagement, and education.

·         Outings- Outdoor recreation and service opportunities provided for students.  Examples include an overnight and tree climbing at Shaw Nature Reserve and volunteering with scouts.

·         Workshops- Monthly hands-on workshops at MBG focus on teaching skills and environmental research techniques through engaging guest speakers, activities, and work time.