The Ecology Center Education Team creates learning resources to help K12 youth, educators, and families take informed action for healthy communities. 

Our programs 

  1. Focus on solutions to environmental issues impacting human health, such as: renewable energy, green chemistry, and waste reduction.
  2. Encourage young people to redefine our relationships to the earth and one another. 
  3. Provide practice with effective local action through research, advocacy, community organizing, and educating others.


Working with Schools

Supporting transformative practices and sustainability solutions in schools is a priority for the Ecology Center's Education Team. While learning is not limited to the classroom, we recognize the unique and pivotal role that schools play in moving our society toward a sustainable future. By becoming role models for institutional practice, schools can:

  • Demonstrate what is possible
  • Give young people practical experience with greener and healthier living 
  • Help students build the knowledge and attitudes required to bring about larger cultural change


Why is the Ecology Center uniquely positioned to do this work?

We have (1) experienced and creative educators, (2) a strong reputation within the community which opens doors for collaboration and outreach, and (3) an organization doing cutting edge environmental work which provides rich and locally relevant content for our education programs.

For more than 40 years the Ecology Center has brought engaging environmental programs on sustainability and recycling into Michigan classrooms. The Ecology Center is proud of its long-standing relationship with the City of Ann Arbor and the strong partnerships we have developed with the education community in southeast Michigan and across the state.


What makes Ecology Center Education so special? 

The teachers we work with say it best:

“I can’t find anything else out there that talks about these issues with kids!”

 “My students were really shocked by the information they learned. I don't think they are exposed to this perspective elsewhere.”

 “This is a fantastic way to make chemistry real and important for young people.”

“Intriguing questions encourage students to think outside the box and reflect on the evidence.”

“You cannot separate the science from its social context, and these programs do such a great job of helping young people make those connections.”

“My students are still talking about what they learned in your program weeks later. I can’t remember the last time one of my lessons got this kind of attention.”

“Teamwork, problem-solving, considering the consequences, and community action - these are skills we all need to practice. Our future depends on it!”

“I was glad the educator enhanced the program by explaining issues in Flint. The pictures and models were perfect to help us really visualize the systems and think in realistic terms about how we can act to protect our own communities.”

“I love how everyone gets involved!”


How can you support our education work?



Ask us about education!    



Governor Whitmer
Press Release  |  October 27, 2021
An executive directive issued by Governor Whitmer today to limit the purchase of products containing PFAS by the state of Michigan. The directive sets a national precedent for state-level procurement policies focused on toxic chemicals and human health.
Image of black nonstick fry pan
Press Release  |  October 6, 2021
A new study by the Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff Lab, “Still Cooking: An Update on Toxic PFAS in Cookware Products,” found some cookware manufacturers still use PFAS coatings on their nonstick products, despite claims that their pans are free from certain PFAS chemicals.
News  |  September 3, 2021
GEE-WOW! (Groundwater Education On Wheels), a flagship of the Ecology Center’s educational programming in the 1990s, is an example of the Ecology Center bringing to scale its philosophy that students' ideas matter and that students can be agents of change at all levels.
Capped with Toxics
Press Release  |  July 13, 2021
A new report by the Toxic Free Food Campaign in partnership with Ecology Center Healthy Stuff Lab titled “Capped With Toxics” found toxic chemicals called ortho-phthalates in more than one-third of the 141 beverage brands tested. Market leaders are switching to safer bottle caps,
News  |  May 28, 2021
Ecology Center found PFAS in all tested fertilizer and compost products. Check these products labels to find out the source of the materials. Ingredients listed as “biosolids” and “residuals” are code words for sewage sludge.
Press Release  |  May 25, 2021
Many home gardeners buy compost or commercial soil amendments to enhance soil nutrition. But new tests reveal concerning levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS in fertilizer products which are commonly made from sewage sludge.