Earth Team is a nonprofit environmental education service provider founded in 2000. Its Sustainable Youth Internship program seeks to innovate environmental education by using project-based learning that support informal STEM learning opportunities and college and career preparedness for at-risk students from 10 Title 1 public high schools in the San Francisco East Bay. Earth Team offers the only yearlong afterschool internships in the East Bay, providing an immersive experience over 120 hours per year to 150 low income, minority enrollment students each year.
Our program uses a community-connected, project-based learning approach supporting informal STEM learning and California Next Generation Science Standards to help students envision science and technology career alternatives in their future. Youth will not only learn about environmental data collection through student-led investigation sites, but also master STEM practices and become immersed in STEM culture (vocabulary, habits of mind, and tools) through opportunities to develop research projects, interact with scientists, and collaborate with fellow student-researchers. Students working as interns develop a sense of belonging and self-esteem that helps strengthening the social fabric of their community in the face of environmental and socio-economic adversity.