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Stationary photo
Critical thinking
Foggy Forest
Technology Class
Green Goodness
Sustainability science


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Alex Kudryavtsev, PhD

Cornell University

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Fish Yu

Cornell University

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Marianne Krasny, PhD

Cornell University

Teaching Assistants

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Renda Sun

New York University

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Chen Zhang

East China Normal University



Kim Snyder

Cornell University

Please refer to our FAQs below. If you still have questions, feel free to ask Kim Snyder, our course administrator, any questions about this course. When you contact us, please type "ESTEM" in the subject line of your email.


E-STEM Education is designed for teachers and nonformal educators who want to help youth become scientifically literate, environmental citizens. Teachers will learn how to integrate environmental education into STEM classes such as biology and earth science, and non-formal educators will learn how to make science part of nature and environmental education programs. You will also learn about inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and other active learning pedagogies, and apply what you learn to develop your own E-STEM lesson plans.


Teachers, educational professionals, volunteers, parents, university students, and environmentally-concerned citizens from any country.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the connection between environmental education and science education.

  2. Learn about different outcomes of E-STEM education.

  3. Explore different learning approaches including problem-based, inquiry-based, project-based, and place-based learning.

  4. Develop an E-STEM lesson plan for their classes, families or communities.

  5. Participate actively in a global online community of E-STEM educators.

Course outline

Week 1: Introduction

  • Environmental education

  • Science education

  • Sustainability education

Week 2: E-STEM outcomes

  • Systems thinking

  • Critical thinking

  • Research skills

  • Environmental behavior

Week 3: Learning approaches

  • Problem-based learning

  • Project-based learning

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • Assessment


Week 4: E-STEM connections and lessons

  • Connecting across disciplines

  • Partnerships, teamwork

  • Communities, and real-life issues

  • Lesson planning

After Week 4, course participants will have two weeks to finish and submit a 1-page E-STEM lesson plan, which is the final project in this course.

Webinars and "tea times"

We will conduct a series of webinars and informal meetings (which we call "tea time") with outstanding educators from formal and nonfromal E-STEM programs in the U.S., and globally. Several speakers are recipients of of Pratt & Whitney E-STEM Awards 2023.

In mid-October, we will post here the list of scheduled webinar topics and speakers.

All webinars and live meetings are optional. They will be recorded and posted.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What time(s) of the day will this course take place? During the course time, we will release most of the course materials including pre-recorded video lectures, readings, and discussion questions every Monday morning (NY time). You can choose anytime during each week to review and learn from the course materials. We will also host one live webinar each week. Webinars will be recorded for participants unable to attend in person.

  2. Why do you have more than one level of course fees? To ensure equal access to course materials and instructor feedback, we are committed to providing materials to all students regardless of their location or ability to pay. There is an option for students to pay a reduced fee if they live in a country without a system to transfer funds to the U.S. (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran, Somaliland) or if they cannot afford the basic $70 fee (economic hardship). Participants in most countries can afford this price, provided they don't have serious economic problems. For course development, offering, and administration. We appreciate your support!

  3. If I pay more than $70, can I link with the student I sponsor? No, we would like to keep who pays and who doesn’t pay anonymous. However, you will be able to connect with students from many different countries through the course social media and EdX Edge discussion board.

  4. Can I sponsor more than one student? Yes, we would be grateful for your support of other students, especially in countries with emerging economies, who otherwise cannot afford paying for this course.

  5. What is the refund policy? You may request during the first week of the course.

  6. How long is the course? This is a 4-week course with two additional weeks to complete the final project (one-page lesson plan). If you complete all required course assignments you will receive a Cornell Certificate.

  7. Can I submit the course project in my native language? We strongly encourage you to submit all assignments in English so that instructors and other students can give you feedback. But you can also submit your final project in Chinese. Our teaching staff speak English and Chinese.

  8. How will I receive course certificates? You will receive your course certificate via email within two months after the end of the course.

  9. What social media are used in this course? We use optional Facebook, WhatsApp, and WeChat groups for participants and instructors to share ideas and resources. Only course participants can be part of these groups; please do not invite people outside this course.

  10. Can I share course materials with my colleagues and friendsYou are NOT allowed to share, copy, distribute, or forward any materials from this course. They are only for your own learning.


If you have other questions, please contact our course administrator Kim Snyder ( Please write “E-STEM” in the subject line.

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