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E-STEM Education

  • 4-week Global Online Course

  • October 23 – November 19, 2023

  • 25 professional development hours

  • For school teachers, educators, university students, education leaders, and volunteers

  • Learn from Cornell University and from other participants

  • Receive a Cornell University certificate

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Translation for participants in China:

中国学员请关注公众号 (CornellCEL) 获取课程中文详情。

Registeration is closed
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Critical thinking
Foggy Forest
Technology Class
Green Goodness
Sustainability science


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Alex Kudryavtsev, PhD

Course co-designer, main instructor in 2023.

Cornell University

Research Associate

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Fish Yu

Graduate student in Natural Resources and the Environment, Cornell University

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Marianne Krasny, PhD

Course co-designer,

Cornell University Professor

An experienced and dynamic team from Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab: Alex Kudryavtsev (Research Associate), Fish Yu (Graduate Student), Marianne Krasny (Professor). Our TAs include Renda Sun, and Chen Zhang. Course developers (video lecturers): Marianne Krasny, Yue Li, and Alex Kudryavtsev.

Teaching assistant

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Renda Sun

Assistant for participants in China, MS Candidate in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU

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Chen Zhang

PhD Candidate, Department of Education Management, East China Normal University

Course contact


Kim Snyder

Course administrator who will respond your emails.

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 open discussions with guests

We will conduct a series of webinars and open discussions with outstanding experts and educators from formal and nonfromal E-STEM programs in the U.S. and globally. Two speakers are recipients of of Pratt & Whitney E-STEM Awards 2023.

Participation in these live meetings is optional. They will be recorded and can be watched at any time during the course.



Total workload is 25 hours, which will be reflected on your certificate. On average, participants work on this course about 5 hours per week. The course includes four weeks of instruction, and two weeks to submit the final project (a one-page lesson plan). Weekly assignments include lectures, readings, and discussion questions. Participants are required to participate in a minimum of one course webinar in person or by watching one recorded webinar. Required course project is creating a one-page E-STEM lesson plan.

Learning approach

The course is based on two principles: (1) Learning is social: participants learn by discussing ideas and sharing resources; (2) Learning should lead to action: participants will apply course content to develop and implement an E-STEM lesson plan with their classrooms, organizations, families, or communities.


We will use a learning management system (edX Edge) for readings, video lectures, and discussion. We will also use Facebook, WhatsApp, and WeChat for optional informal discussions and sharing among participants. The course is asynchronous, and a few optional live meetings will be recorded an posted on edX Edge.

Your Certificate

Participants who complete the course – including the weekly assignments and the final project – are awarded a Cornell University certificate (PDF).

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Cost: $70

Value for the price is excellent. Our courses depend on your contribution, which is paid by most participants. You can pay a higher fee ($100) to sponsor another student, or a lower or no fee if you cannot pay or live in a country without international payment systems (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran).

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.

Registeration is closed
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