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Planet Parker

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Environmental and Sustainable Energy Education and Summer Program

Today’s Pre-K through grade 8 students are learning at an unparalleled time in the world’s history. Global challenges involving energy resources and the environment require individuals who can innovate and lead.

IMG_6129In response, in 2009 we founded Planet Parker. It is an outgrowth of our integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum and project-based program. It supports learning in energy and environmental science and utilizes our unique campus, giving students and teachers a context for hands-on, experiential investigation and discovery that ignites enthusiasm, motivation, skill development, and commitment.

Planet Parker’s aim is to give students the opportunity to explore energy science in an environmental context, to create expertise in scientific investigating, and to instill perspectives, understanding and skills relevant for the 21st century. Its components include a school year curriculum, a speaker series, partnerships and outreach through summer and school year programming.

Planet Parker elements:

Guiding Principles

Students will:

  • Build 21st century skills of collaboration, problem solving, ability to see connections, and innovation
  • Understand, retain, and apply scientific concepts in hands-on, project-based opportunities
  • Develop multiple perspectives, points of view, and values
  • Make decisions, think and communicate critically and creatively, and synthesize knowledge
  • Gather, identify, assess, and transfer significant information needed for solving new problems
  • Act as knowledgeable stewards of resources and the earth

On-site Resources

  • 77 acres of meadows and woods with two creeks and vernal springs
  • 5 K trail system with interactive learning stations, developed and built by Parker families
  • 1/2 acre science pond
  • Science lab
  • Classroom sets of laptops, Chromebooks and iPads
  • Pavilion and Treehouse outdoor classrooms
  • Photovoltaic solar array with NYSERDA School Powered Naturally curriculum
  • 9 themed demonstration gardens including herb garden, butterfly garden, prairie garden, and scent garden built by Master Gardeners of Rensselaer County
  • Demonstration green-roof building
  • Student built greenhouse
  • Honey bee hives
  • Raised bed vegetable gardens
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