Our Educational Approach

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Our Educational Approach

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Educating, Inspiring, and Empowering New Leaders

At EPI, we have the audacious goal of changing the way youth connect with nature by engaging them with authentic hands-on science that makes a difference in conservation. Learning with EPI - whether across the country, across the globe, or in your community - is a life-changing experience. 

A Learning Adventure

The EPI Pathway: Environmental Literacy Empowers Youth

EPI’s curriculum teaches ecological knowledge necessary to understand systems, strategies, and issues; skills necessary to design, analyze, and articulate; and dispositions necessary to connect, feel, and have agency. These core capacities—of knowledge, skills, and dispositions—are the elements required to take an active role in conservation at home and across the globe.

On every EPI course, students:

  • Gain first-hand experience and build knowledge about ecological concepts on a local and global scale
  • Develop skills through inquiry-based science and immersive, hands-on field research
  • Actively participate in authentic conservation and research activities that protect threatened species or habitat

To guide our curricula, we developed a rigorous educational framework based on global best practices in environmental and science education, including Next Generation Science Standards, Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ Framework for 21st Century Learning, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), and others.

Our curriculum and pedagogy are aligned with 21st century standards to maximize the value of our courses for teachers and students, and so that teachers can apply EPI techniques, tools, and content in their own classrooms

Students learn first-hand about the interconnectivity of all species and habitats and conduct field-based investigations that foster scientific inquiry. We deliver lessons in a student-centered, constructivist, inquiry-based, experiential learning setting.


Download our Educational Framework Guide

"EPI connects you with your peers and with scientists in the field and gives you the opportunity to make a difference in critical habitats, ecosystems, and communities."

Scott Pankratz, EPI Co-founder


Next Generation Science Standards
EPI course curriculum was developed using NGSS in order to foster the development of Environmental Literacy.

Framework for 21st Century Learning (by P21)
Developed with input from teachers, education experts, and business leaders, P21's Framework for 21st Century Learning informed our EPI Curriculum Wheel.

North American Association of Environmental Education
NAEE informed the creation of our EPI Curriculum Wheel and our pre-course and on-course curriculum.

Traveling with EPI: A Teacher’s Perspective

“EPI is the ONLY organization to use when planning trips for students to experience the outdoors. The entire staff at EPI has always been professional, supportive, and enthusiastic - they’re especially helpful answering any questions or concerns from parents, students, and teachers in a timely manner. They also provide all high-quality recruitment materials (brochures, posters, and videos), and assist every step of the way. When I began to plan a student trip to Yellowstone, they quickly and efficiently helped with every part of the process. One of the best parts about EPI is that they... Learn More

Environmental literacy increased by
20% after participation