PRC WEST In-School Programs

The PRC Western Office, located in Pittsburgh, has provided Environmental Education in schools in the Southwestern PA Region for 25 years.  These hands-on interactive programs promote the practical application of earth-friendly lifestyle choices and include Recycling Awareness, Litter Prevention, Watershed Awareness, Backyard and Worm Composting,  and Environmental Health Programs.  PRC also offers assembly programs including the popular“Recycling is Magic” and “Litter & Magic” Shows and the Recycling Olympics. These programs are designed to address many of the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology and Science & Technology as well as other relevant standards across the curriculum.

The following programs are offered on a fee-for-service basis. Multiple program discounts are available on all programs. Please contact Nancy Martin at 412-488-7490 ext 247 or at nancym@prc.org for more information.

For information about how your business can make a donation to PRC through PA’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program please click here.  These donations allow us to offer our programs free of charge to public schools and provide tax credits for your business.

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Watershed Awareness Program

Inschool edcation enviroscape

The Watershed Awareness Program is designed to inspire and inform students about watershed protection.

Water is life and nowhere is the wonder and awe inspiring vitality of water more abundant than in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This two-session in-classroom program will familiarize students with their watershed, watershed basics, and human impact on the watershed.

Students will learn watershed basics including the effects of human behavior and activities upon the watershed, sources of contamination, and ways to become good watershed stewards. Students and their families will be encouraged to work together to improve the health of their local watershed.

Recycling Awareness Program

The Recycling Awareness Program is offered to schools throughout Pennsylvania. This program is designed for grades 4 through 8. Students learn about resource conservation while studying about natural resources, landfills, recycling, and composting.

In additional sessions, students may also participate or engage in a waste audit at the school or other activities including making recycled paper, a Recycled Crafts Fair, or organizing a Recycling Drive at their school.

Schoolyard Composting Program

Schoolyard Composting Program is a one or two-session program which focuses on:

  •  The importance of healthy soil
  •  The Nutrient Cycle
  •  Contents of the solid waste stream
  •  Waste in landfills
  • The role and needs of decomposers
  • The composting process

A culminating extension activity of setting up a schoolyard composting bin to study:

  • Temperature fluctuations as a reflection of microbial activity
  • Microinvertibrates and Macroinvertibrates as decomposers
  • The decrease in volume of organic matter during decomposition

A schoolyard composting bin is available for purchase.

Worm Composting Program

A one-session lesson where students explore earthworms and bluid a classroom worm bin.

Activities focus on:

  • The role of worms in the decomposition proces
  • Microinvertibrates and Macroinvertibrates as decomposers
  • Worm habitat needs
  • The anatomy and lifecycle of worms
  • The decrease in volume of organic matter during decomposition
  • The conversion of organic waste materials into specific soil nutrients

A classroom worm composting bin is available for purchase.

Environmental Health Program

A two-session in-classroom program designed by PRC, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Center for Environmental Oncology, to heighten awareness and encourage action around the issue of toxins and carcinogens in our environment, the consequences of these toxins on human health, and how to avoid exposure.

The program provides students in middle and high school with practical solutions such as safe alternatives and healthy lifestyle choices. Students also learn recipes for and make their own non-toxic personal care products.

Litter Prevention Program

This in-classroom program is designed to teach elementary and middle school students about litter and why it is a problem in their community. Students learn about the amount of litter occurring in Pennsylvania and ways that they can help reduce it. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in the statewide “Lens on Litter” photo contest, with chances for statewide recognition as well as prizes.

Assembly Programs

The “Recycling is Magic” Show
The “Recycling is Magic” Show is an entertaining and informative school assembly program for elementary and middle school aged students which is designed to re-enforce and complement the Recycling Awareness Program. Students learn what materials are recyclable, how to identify them and prepare them for collection, what happens to the materials after they are collected, how the recycling process works, and how to close the recycling loop.

Magician Dan Kuniak makes glass bottles disappear, creates a tree out of newspaper, and most popular of all, turns a live rabbit into a rabbit-shaped piece of paper and back into itself again. In addition to abracadabra, the kids learn the magic words “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”

The “Litter is Magic” Show
An entertaining and informative school assembly program for elementary and middle school aged students which is designed to complement the Litter Prevention Program. This 45-minute entertaining and educational magic show promotes the “Don’t Be A Litterbug” message.

The Recycling Olympics
The Recycling Olympics is designed for a single class or groups of up to 100-150 students. Students participate in a variety of events that emphasize the importance of closing the recycling loop such as the recycling relay, recycled Frisbee toss, recycled bowling, and milk-jug volleyball.

Please contact Nancy Martin at 412.488.7490 ext 247 or at nancym@prc.org for more information.