Looking Back Over 11 years of Earth Systems Journey at the NAAEE Conference

The first Earth Systems Journey took place in spring 2011, when 39 pre-schoolers and kindergartners set off to explore what happened to the water in their classroom sink, in a project called Downstream/Upstream. The model was co-created with that first project that incubated it. I has been implemented almost a dozen times since then, and each time, new ideas and opportunities arise, even as the essence of the model stays the same.

At the North American Association for Environmental Education Research Symposium, I am presenting the work to date, and ideas currently underway to better understand the impact of the model through reflecting on the stories and artifacts created in each project. While a pre-post questionnaire gets at some of the conscious learning a participant might have, what paradigms and stories are being formed that participants might not be able to articulate, or might not be found with the questionnaire, but could be shown in the drawings, photographs, and other creations of each project?

As part of reflecting on this decade of projects I’ll be re-issuing the thesis document where the basis of the model was first documented with a new introduction to the reissued version. I’ll also be publishing a color exhibit booklet documenting the Downstream/Upstream exhibit that concluded the first project.

If you are interested in hearing about the release of these and other publications, sign up on my Earth Systems Journey email list (quarterly emails at most) and receive a promo code for a discount. If you are interested in talking about collaboration (hosting a journey, resources, research, and more) or just exchanging ideas, I welcome hearing from you.