Educational Portal

Looking for resources to help expand your understanding of the natural world around you? Check out these learning tools below from across our departments, bringing nature, culture, science, and learning for all!

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Department of Conservation Educational Portal

Looking for resources on California's energy, land, and mineral resources? The California Department of Conservation’s educational portal offers a wide variety of earth science educational materials including data, maps, and publications. Looking for information is easy with specific categories for teachers, hobbyist, scientists and students.

CGS Kids GeoZone

If you have a kid interested in all things geology, then check out the California Geological Survey (CGS) Kids GeoZone. CGS Kids GeoZone is dedicated to students having fun while learning about the geosciences. Parents and teachers will find activities and links to things such as how to create your own fossil or make a volcano at home!

Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students - California State Parks PORTS Program

Join California State Parks every Monday through Friday for its home learning program. Students learning from home will be able to access our precious natural resources and cultural heritage from the comfort of their own home. Each session focuses on a specific range of grade levels where interpreters read books, tell stories about State Parks, tour iconic museums including Hearst Castle, and explore majestic redwood forests and marine protected areas. Families can register for the home learning programs by visiting the PORTS program website.

The PORTS website also offers 360-degree virtual tours of various state parks, online teaching tools and links to popular State Parks YouTube channels and previous broadcasts.

Your Guide to the Baldwin Hills

With sweeping views, recreational areas, and large swaths of native plants and wildlife, the Baldwin Hills are a much-loved open space and landmark in Los Angeles. Over the course of the region’s development, the role of the Baldwin Hills has shifted dramatically. Learn about the history of the Baldwin Hills and its natural features, vegetation, and wildlife on Baldwin Hills Nature.

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iNaturalist

California is the nation’s most populous state and home to more diverse species and ecosystems than anywhere else in the United States. It’s a global biodiversity hot spot, but that biodiversity is also disappearing at one of the highest rates. One way to help reverse this trend is by becoming a citizen scientist! Download the iNaturalist app and start gathering data by taking pictures of plants, trees, animals and bugs in your neighborhood and sharing those images with a digital community for identification. iNaturalist guide cards may also be available for your area to help with identification or simply can be used to learn about biodiversity from around the world.

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Captain Cal and Fire Safety

Captain Cal is here to teach children about the many aspects of fire safety and how to protect yourself and your family. “Safety Starts with You” is his motto. Check out his educational materials and start building your fire safety knowledge.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree uses trees and forests as windows to the world to increase students’ understanding of the environment and actions that anyone can take to conserve it. Project Learning Tree includes activities for familieshelpful material for teachers and environmental activities for children.  

Leaf Classification

Check out Leaf Classification to learn how scientists and casual observers identify plants and trees. In this lesson, you will develop a classification system for a set of objects and learn about hierarchical classification systems. This is a lesson geared towards high school students and is a part of GLOBE Curriculum.

Green-Up Cards

How do plants and trees grow? Green-Up Cards provides step-by-step instructions that help students recognize what a bud looks like and the progression of green-up from the time of budburst. This is a lesson geared towards high school students and is a part of GLOBE Curriculum.

Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network Learning Tools

The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Network offers kids and adults opportunities to learn more about our oceans and what positive stewardship can do to help restore and protect our oceans. The MPA Collaborative Network  that helped organize the 124 MPAs in California has brought a suite of MPA learning tools including a coloring book to teach us about our oceans.

California State Parks – Marine Protected Areas Curriculum

Dive into marine protected areas (MPA) through this innovative PORTS curriculum. Developed by California State Parks and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, this program teaches students about what MPAs are, why they were created, and how they are being monitored for progress.

Kelp Forests of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Discover the cypress groves and giant kelp forests of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to experience an important habitat with a history of protection! Through an outdoor exploration of the land and ocean forests, participants will examine how a unique history of resource protection, based on lessons learned, research and education, has made Point Lobos State Natural Reserve a protected oasis of biodiversity. 

MPA Kids Activities

Find a series of fun and engaging activities to learn about Marine Protected Areas (MPA) from the Natural Resources Agency.

Stuck at Home Science

When you're stuck at home, come here to continue your child's science learning with our easy to follow activities. This space is designed for families to explore, investigate and have fun learning together without leaving home. All activities use easy to find household supplies, and are appropriate for a variety of ages. Every weekday at 10 a.m., a new family activity (using household supplies) debuts as part of California Science Center’s “Stuck at Home Science” — everything from “straw rockets,” a “pancake lab,” “ice cream science” and a “pom-pom launcher.”

California Environmental Protection Agency Education Programs

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the sister agency to the Natural Resources Agency, has a series of educational programs providing easy access to environmental teachings for K-12. Also, check out CalEPA’s Kids’ Zone featuring fun websites to learn more about protecting and preserving the environment to keep California a healthy place for kids.

Natural Resources Science "TED Talks"

Learn about different science underway at the Natural Resources Agency. Hear directly from scientists on what they're doing to protect and enhance our natural resources.

To view a list of all the science “Ted Talks” hover over the YouTube video below and select the three-bar icon next to the video’s title. A playlist will appear for easy watching! 

Climate Conversations with California Tribes

“Climate Conversations” is a short film featuring California Tribal members from Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians, Tubatulabul Tribe and Blue Lake Rancheria, discussing their perspectives and experiences with a changing climate, and how it affects their livelihoods and culture.

Department of Water Resources Water Research and Education

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) encourages Californians of all ages to learn about water, including where it comes from, how we use it, and how to conserve it. Check out DWR’s wide variety of resources for teachers and other educators that encourages water education in and out of the classroom.

Save Our Water

You use water every day at home. Brushing your teeth, washing out your milk glass, taking a shower or bath—all of these activities use water. But water is a limited resource. We Californians can’t afford to waste even small amounts of water. Help save California’s water by changing the way you use water inside and outside your home. Learn more about water and what you can do to Save Our Water!

Energy Upgrade California

Need some inspiration and guidance on energy management in your home? Energy Upgrade California is here to help Californians be more energy efficient, utilize more sustainable natural resources, reduce demand on the energy grid and make informed choices about energy use at home and at work – all of which goes a long way for California.  Learn what you can do today to make your home energy efficient.

Clean Transportation Showcase

Explore how projects funded by the California Energy Commission’s Clean Transportation Program are helping the state reach its climate goals, meet clean air standards, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and support in-state economic development.

The CEC also has created an Innovation Showcase website that highlights over 460 projects from microgrids to helping disadvantage communities.

Energy Innovation Showcase

Highlighting over 460 innovative energy projects, check out the California Energy Commission’s featured projects. The projects range from energy efficient drying for walnuts to LED lighting solutions, to advance wastewater treatment using forward osmosis, and more!

Tracking Progress to Clean Energy

The California Energy Commission’s (CEC) tracking progress reports provide a comprehensive assessment of California’s progress toward a global clean energy future. The reports cover a range of sectors, providing information, metrics, and resources about where we are today and where we need to be. The CEC also serves as California’s central repository for the collection and storage of data on all forms of energy supply, demand, efficiency and conservation, transportation, and related subjects. The Energy Almanac provides current and historical energy-related data.

California High-Speed Rail

The California High-Speed Rail project is setting a new green standard for infrastructure by adopting the greenest construction practices and once complete, will use 100-percent renewable energy to power its system.  Learn more about the sustainability of the project and how it’s good for the environment. Then get creative and colorful with this fun activity sheet!