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S I T E     R E V I E W
March, 1999

GRADE LEVEL: K-12, Professional

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together a group of Web sites designed to help teach kids about the importance of protecting our environment. Users can visit the Explorers Club for ages 5-12, the EPA Student Center for middle school and high school students, or the Environmental Education Center for teachers. Each site has lots of games, projects, and learning activities to choose from.

The sites all have great graphics. The Explorers Club has a cartoon style. The EPA Student Center has a space theme. The Environmental Education Center has a nature theme.

The three sites are well organized. Each has navigational bars at the left side of the page with links to the main sections of that site. Each link to an outside resource is labeled to reduce confusion.

The EPA has done a good job of creating a set of educational Web sites that are appealing to everyone. Each site has a different feel to engage its target audience. The Explorers Club is set up a lot like a comic book with colorful drawings and characters. Here kids can find lots to do in the science room, the art room, the game room, or the trophy case. I particularly liked Recycle City in the game room, and Charley Chipmunk in the art room. If you follow Charley's story to the end he has his own fun section! The EPA Student Center has a more serious tone, and some excellent resources for students to explore. The great activities for young people include a number of downloadable programs. Links to outside sites supplement the large number of excellent pages supplied by the EPA. Students will also find information on careers and scholarships in the environmental sciences. The Environmental Education Center is a great resource for teachers using the sites. It includes a listing by subject of the curriculum resources available on the sites, and a set of links to background information on the subjects for teachers who want to learn more. Teachers may also want to check out the information about EPA environmental education grants. These sites are deceptively large and have a great deal to offer any science curriculum.