Classroom Education and Outreach
The City of Ventura has partnered with Ventura Unified School District to provide environmentally-focused presentations in all K-5 classrooms. The topics range from ocean pollution prevention to composting and recycling. As students move through the elementary schools, they are exposed to a variety of lessons and activities that help foster their love and excitement for Ventura. With this program, we hope to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
Below is a list of the classroom presentations that we offer, as well as the science standards that were used as inspiration. Our presentations are meant to be engaging and educational while giving each teacher an opportunity to have a guest take the lead for an hour. It is our goal to get into every classroom every year, so if you or someone you know wants to take advantage of this program, please make sure to reach out!
This presentation is focused on discussing how plastic and other debris ends up on our beaches and in our ocean. When students understand that what we need to live healthy and happy lives is the same as the plants and animals around us, they gain a sense of responsibility to protect our marine friends. We discuss stormwater pollution prevention and stress the importance of keeping our storm drains clean as well as picking up litter on our beaches and neighborhoods.
Where Does it Go?
This is an interactive educational experience that teaches students about what things are made out of and where they go when they place them in the proper bin. Some are surprised to find out that our waste doesn't magically disappear, yet all of the students gain an understanding of what material belongs in each bin. We discuss solid waste management, recycling, composting, waste reduction strategies and how to sort our waste during lunch.
Where Does it Flow?
Is a watershed just a shed full of water?! In this presentation, we use a watershed model to discuss where pollution comes from, how it affects the plants and animals in our city, and what we can do to keep our rivers, streams, and oceans clean. Students learn about runoff, bioswales, erosion control, pesticide management, and many more practices focused on keeping our community and local watershed clean.
Our composting guru and champion of all things squirmy, Dr. Rot is a fan favorite! The Green Schools Program wouldn't be what it is today without this cornerstone presentation that goes over the magic of composting and how we can use worms to reduce landfill-bound waste and help to heal our soil.
Renewable or Not?
While we don't think there's such a thing as "good" or "bad" resources, we do believe that proper management and understanding is important for a healthy and vibrant city. In this presentation, students are exposed to different forms of energy, their longevity, and how to properly conserve our limited resources.
It's a Small World
Each of our 5th grade classes has the opportunity to do a waste audit at their school. During this activity, students sort through 1 day's worth of lunch waste by categorizing and weighing the different types of material in each waste stream. Signs, videos, skits and student helpers have emerged as a result of the waste audits. Every year we divert 150 tons of food waste from the landfill and these audits help find ways that we can improve the program year after year.