South Central Service Cooperative | 2075 Lookout Drive | North Mankato, MN 56003 | 507-389-1425

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“The real world is outside—get into it!"
Environmental education is an excellent means for interdisciplinary teaching, providing skills and knowledge that can be easily transferred to other disciplines.

Environmental education enhances:
  • Awareness – developing an awareness and sensitivity to the environment
  • Knowledge – acquiring a basic understanding of the environment and its problems
  • Attitudes – acquiring a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment and motivation for participating in improving and protecting it
  • Skills – acquiring skills for identifying and solving environmental problems
  • Participation – encouraging active involvement in resolving and preventing environmental problems (from the Tbilisi document, 1977) 
Outdoor education draws upon the philosophy, theory, and practices of experiential and environmental education. Education research (Lieberman & Hoddy, 1998) shows that when the natural and cultural environment is a focus of experiential learning in school, wonderful things happen: increased enthusiasm for learning, greater pride in accomplishments, fewer discipline problems, better attendance and better scores on standardized tests.

South Central Service Cooperative is collaborating with several educational organizations, agencies and businesses to provide experiences in environmental and outdoor education. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance teaching and learning in your district.

Join us for this hands-on educational experience where participants will explore a different element each day through a variety of activities.

Wind: Discover the power of wind! Over the course of the day, campers will explore the elusive aspects of wind, from differences in wind intensities to the powerful machines that harness wind’s power. Using what they have learned, campers will create their own wind-powered machines.
Water: Water is one of earth’s most precious resources. On this day, campers will focus on water conservation and examine local water sources. 
Fire: As part of a study of how fire can be harnessed and used, campers will work collaboratively to complete fire trivia puzzles and cook a meal. They will also use fire to create dyes from nature.
Wood: A common resource, the many forms of wood are vital to animals and humans alike. Campers will discover what role wood plays in the life cycle and how that role gives life to animals. In order to give back to nature, campers will construct animal habitats.
Stone: On the final day, campers will go on a rock hunt, exploring the relationship between geography and stone types. In addition, campers will discover the various forms of stone and their uses. Lessons from previous days will also be used for a final challenge of the five elements.
When: June 20-24,2016 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Students are responsible for bringing their own lunch.)
Where: Rasmussen Elk Nature Center, 555 Stoltzman Rd, Mankato, MN 56001
Fee: $150/person by May 20. $165/person by June 10. Registration deadline June 10.
Register: Registration opens in January.
Program Coordinator: Karri Olmanson, 
Registration or payment questions: Joyce Swenson, or (507) 389-5107

Introducing YES! – the Youth Energy Summit

“Youth are going to be the people to make the change.” – YES! student
YES! empowers youth to partner with their community
 to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects. YES! provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices and exposes them to how science is applied in real life. YES! is a program of Prairie Woods ELC in partnership with Ney Nature Center. 
Register your school/team now to participate in the 2015-16 program. Contact Katelyn Larsen at for details.

YES! Celebrates Team Accomplishments – See who has joined YES! and what’s happening in south central Minnesota.


Joyce Swenson, Ph. 507-389-5107 or 612-578-3377 Fax 507-389-1772

Mary Hillmann, Ph. 507-389-2509 or 952-715-8745 Fax 507-389-1772 

Additional Information




Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Youth Energy Summit (YES!)

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South Central Service Cooperative is a Non-profit Organization

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