Environmental education is not a new trend in the US. Since 1970, the movement for environmental protection gained sufficient political support. Non-governmental environmental organizations grew, and teachers spread environmental education in their classrooms. In 1990, the Congress passed the National Environmental Education Act. The document declared that there is a growing evidence of contaminating the environment and these processes pose a threat to health and well-being of the nations. The act allowed the US Environmental Protection Agency to create federally approved environment education programs.
Today environmental education is a comprehensive educational initiative that combines biology, chemistry, geography, atmospheric science, and other environmental disciplines. It was considered to be an additional subject in the conventional K-12 curriculum. It can be implemented both in primary and secondary schools. In primary school, children can participate in outdoor scientific activities or trips to natural destinations. Secondary schools can make even stronger impact upon individual environmental responsibility by increasing awareness of ecological issues and participation in community service. Unfortunately, intensive curriculum and limited resources do not allow ordinary public schools to implement environmental education. Private and charter schools have more freedom in this respect and assure a better environmental awareness among their students.
Scientists see schools as a prior place to form environmental responsibility. Children who enter secondary school are thirsty to knowledge and enthusiastic about the improvement of their world. If teachers work properly, kids are never indifferent to their nature, moreover, they are eager to tell their parents what an extraordinary information they have learned. Apparently, the generation of their parents has not a fully-formed sense of environmental threat, but their children can do much better as they grow up. For this reason, environmental education is crucial for younger generations.