Research & Rationale

The work of Captain Planet Foundation has been shaped by seminal research about how children connect with nature and learn science; how people come to care about and prioritize the environment; and what factors affect one’s sense of hopelessness or empowerment in the face of challenges. Check out this key research and its impact on … Read more

21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills refer to skills and knowledge that have been identified as important to students’ success in school, work, life, and citizenship. Partnership for 21st Century Learning is a network of education, business, and civic leaders who developed a Framework for 21st Century Learning. Four main elements of this framework include: Content knowledge (in traditional subjects) … Read more

Citizen Science

Citizen Science refers to the involvement of the public in scientific research, often through contribution of observations into large data sets. Citizen science projects offer students a real-world context and opportunity to apply the observations they make as part of their classwork. Many CPF lessons and activities align with existing citizen science projects, providing students … Read more

Social & Emotional Learning

Young students planting seedlings in rich soil

CPF programs encourage connection to place, which engenders empathy and builds social and emotional intelligence.  Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to: 1) Understand and manage emotions; 2) Set and achieve positive goals; 3) Feel and show empathy for others; … Read more

Three-Dimensional Science

Three-Dimensional Science enables students to make sense of the world by engaging in science and engineering practices to explore core ideas and recognize crosscutting concepts. The hallmark of Three-Dimensional Science is to let students “explore, before explaining.” Students typically observe a phenomenon they know nothing about; attempt to construct an explanation for it; explore the … Read more


Registration is no longer required for ecoSTEM Kits. Downloads for kit QuickStart Guides are below. Captain Planet Foundation advances a vision of ecoSTEM™ as an integrated approach to exploring the natural world using technology and math, in order to gain deeper understanding of science concepts and solve problems through design thinking (engineering design challenges). When real world … Read more

Phenomenon, Problem, Project-Based Learning

P3BL: Phenomenon-, Problem- and Project-Based Learning Project-based learning improves educational outcomes by engaging students in extended projects that add value and relevance to learning. Students have “voice and choice” in designing and implementing projects that solve real-world problems. PBL is often confused with problem-based learning, which focuses on case studies and hypothetical situations. In recent … Read more

CPF Teaching Approaches

For almost 30 years, the Captain Planet Foundation™ has supported educators with grants, resources, tools, and models to spark children’s curiosity, cultivate a love of nature, and engage students in science and engineering practices to solve real-world problems. Our programs and materials have co-evolved with education priorities over the years to ensure educators have the … Read more