Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015
The purpose of this article is to identify the effects of environmental education (EE) programs on youth, including: creating environmental awareness, building a connection to the environment, and changing the perceptions youth has on the environment. The study examines the EE program, Science Camp Explore, hosted at the Cedar Point Biological Station and Lake McConaughy Water Interpretive Center in Ogallala, Nebraska. The camp emphasized two main themes, soil and water. To acquire data the study called for a mixed method of questionnaires, cognitive maps (drawing exercise), and the 3CM model. In order to measure the awareness of the pre and post programming, camp themes were integrated into both the questionnaires and the cognitive mapping. Results showed a significant positive effect in the three areas associated with camp curriculum: human’s effect on the water cycle, the importance of animals to humans, spending time to fix problems in nature. The results gained from this study can be beneficial in providing a frame work for future EE programs and integrating the nature based education structure into the classroom.