Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

Fall 2018


Journal of Virginia Science Education



First Page


Last Page



One of the most valuable results of environmental education is the clear association between understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts after participation in outdoor programs, as outlined in the National Science Foundation’s Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century report (NSF, 2000). One component of STEM is technology. Technology can assist in “problem solving, consensus building, information management, communication, and critical and creative thinking”, the main goals and missions of environmental education as stated by the NSF report. These tools allow students to participate in science as a scientist would. By using appropriate technology, and developing technological skills along the way, students will be better prepared for career paths to be created in the future that will inevitably utilize technology. In order to maximize potential gains of using both technology and environmental education, technology must be used in concert with outdoor hands-on experiences, and not just as an afterthought (Willis, Weiser, & Kirkwood, 2014). This paper aims to share best practices of methodology for field investigations, along with examples of technology integration for each portion (preparation, action, and reflection).


Environmental education, field investigations, best practices

Publication Statement

Copyright Journal of Virginia Science Education.