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Green Schools: Natural Resource Vampire Educational Tool

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Introduction to the Natural Resource Vampire

The Natural Resource Vampire (NRV) is an environental education tool meant to give children (K - 4th grade) a better understanding about how their actions have an effect on the world around them. Developed under an EPA Region 2 research fellowship with Rutgers University and a professional illustrator, the NRV is a fun way for parents and teachers to teach students about the nature of cause and effect under environmental literacy guidelines and science education standards developed by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and the National Science Education Standards (NSES). The NRV materials allow elementary students to gain a better understanding of the relationships between ecosystem function, natural resources, the waste stream and individual behavior.

How does the Natural Resource Vampire fit into School Curriculum?

The North American Association for Environmental Education
The NAAEE developed the Environmental Education Guidelines Project as a part of overall efforts to promote excellence in environmental education. The goal of the NAAEE initiative is to further an environmental education process that yields en environmentally literate citizenry and possesses the skills, knowledge, and inclinations to make well-informed choices. The NRV focuses on NAAEE guidelines to promote environmental literacy in students pre-school to 4th grade. These years are a time of great cognitive development as children gain the skills necessary to make sense of the world around them and formulate key ideas that will lead to further developmental understanding of science, society, systems and behavioral interactions.

National Science Education Standards
Beginning in grades K-4, teachers should build on students' natural inclinations to ask questions and investigate their world. Groups of students can conduct investigations that begin with a question and progress toward communicating an answer to the question. For students in the early grades, teachers should emphasize the experiences of investigating and thinking about explanations and not overemphasize memorization of scientific terms and information. Investigating the origins of everyday products and services is a great way to introduce these topics to younger children and guide students through rudimentary science inquiry and reasoning.

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