Press Release

Sierra Nevada Journeys Hosts Fourth Annual NGSS Bootcamp for Educators

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RENO, Nev. – May 16, 2018 — Sierra Nevada Journeys hosted more than 100 teachers from northern Nevada and northeastern California for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) training. The three-day program held at our Grizzly Creek Ranch Campus in Portola, California, shared how to incorporate NGSS standards into their classrooms through outdoor-based education.

Sierra Nevada Journeys Education Director, Sean Hill, said, “It has been our best year ever with 110 attendees including teachers, specialists, administrators and pre-service teachers that represented 11 districts across two states.”

NGSS has three distinct dimensions to learning science — crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas. “Many science educators are familiar with this framework but what is not commonly known are the shifts in teaching philosophy, instruction and assessment that teachers need to know in order to effectively teach students using the current research,” said Hill.

NGSS Bootcamp brings industry thought leaders together to share ideas and best practices for STEM-based programming that focuses on the outdoors. This year’s program wouldn’t be possible without supporters such as Project Learning Tree which presented all teachers with several free lessons through PLT’s new online curriculum, or “e-units”. Additional partners included: Catamount Fund, Ltd., Intel’s Folsom campus, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada’s Northwestern Professional Development Program for Education, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Washoe County School District, North American Association for Environmental Education EE360 program and Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program. Collaborations between private, public and nonprofit companies like these fuel Sierra Nevada Journeys’ mission to deliver innovative outdoor, science-based education for youth as well as educators through continuing education.

For additional information on how to support Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit sierranevadajourneys.org.

 

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

PPG Industries Foundation Donates $10,000 to Sierra Nevada Journeys

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RENO, Nev. – December 30, 2017 — Sierra Nevada Journeys announces the $10,000 grant awarded by PPG Industries Foundation. The grant supports our Classrooms Unleashed program for northern Nevada students for the 2017-18 school year.

“We are thrilled that the PPG Industries Foundation continues to partner with Sierra Nevada Journeys to help deliver outdoor science education to elementary children,” said Karen Senger, Sierra Nevada Journeys development director. “PPG Industries is an outstanding partner committed to youth education.”

Students will receive three hands-on classroom-based lessons and one field-study experience to help increase their understanding of science standards and their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

Classrooms Unleashed is aligned to state and national standards and uses experiential outdoor education as a framework for children to study, think and learn.

Nevada currently ranks 44th in the nation on the Science and Engineering Readiness Index. With support from partners like PPG Industries Foundation, Sierra Nevada Journeys aims to improve these low scores and works diligently to ensure that all students regardless of their economic background have access to their high quality science education programming delivered by licensed teachers.

For additional information on how to support Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit www.sierranevadajourneys.org.

 

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

Truckee Meadows Water Authority Donates $11,000 to Sierra Nevada Journeys

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RENO, Nev. – December 29, 2017 — Sierra Nevada Journeys announces the $11,000 grant awarded by Truckee Meadows Water Authority. The grant will help provide funding for northern Nevada third through fifth grade students with the Watershed Education Initiative (WEI) for the 2017-18 school year. WEI helps promote the health and protection of our local watershed and to increase conservation efforts.

“We’re so grateful for the continued support of Truckee Meadows Water Authority,” said Karen Senger, Sierra Nevada Journeys development director. “Truckee Meadows Water Authority and Sierra Nevada Journeys are both committed to educating elementary children about the importance of our watersheds and how to preserve and protect them.”

Students will participate in our Classrooms Unleashed program and receive three hands-on classroom-based lessons and one field-study experience to help increase their understanding of science standards and their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

Classrooms Unleashed is aligned to state and national standards and uses experiential outdoor education as a framework for children to study, think and learn.

Nevada currently ranks 44th in the nation on the Science and Engineering Readiness Index. With support from partners like Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Sierra Nevada Journeys aims to improve these low scores and works diligently to ensure that all students regardless of their economic background have access to their high quality science education programming delivered by licensed teachers.

For additional information on how to support Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit www.sierranevadajourneys.org.

 

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

NV Energy Foundation Donates $10,000 to Sierra Nevada Journeys

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RENO, Nev. – December 28, 2017 — Sierra Nevada Journeys announces the $10,000 grant awarded by the NV Energy Foundation. The grant supports our Classrooms Unleashed program for northern Nevada students for the 2017-18 school year.

“We are so grateful to the NV Energy Foundation for its continued support of outdoor science education for elementary children,” said Karen Senger, Sierra Nevada Journeys development director. “NV Energy is an important partner in the work we do to get children excited about and engaged with science.”

Students will receive three hands-on classroom-based lessons and one field-study experience to help increase their understanding of science standards and their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

Classrooms Unleashed is aligned to state and national standards and uses experiential outdoor education as a framework for children to study, think and learn.

Nevada currently ranks 44th in the nation on the Science and Engineering Readiness Index. With support from partners like NV Energy, Sierra Nevada Journeys aims to improve these low scores and works diligently to ensure that all students regardless of their economic background have access to their high quality science education programming delivered by licensed teachers.

For additional information on how to support Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit www.sierranevadajourneys.org.

 

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

Sierra Nevada Journeys Selected as 2018 Semifinalist for SVP Sacramento Fast Pitch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Broumas
brian@sierranevadajourneys.org  |  916-601-0992

 

SVP Fast Pitch gives nonprofits $220,000 of in-kind support and chance to pitch at Golden 1 Center

SACRAMENTO, CA — Nov. 30, 2017 — Social Venture Partners of Sacramento (SVP), a network of engaged philanthropists focused on improving Sacramento-area education, announced today that Sierra Nevada Journeys has been selected as a semi-finalist for SVP Sacramento Fast Pitch, to be hosted at Golden 1 Center.

“The value of Fast Pitch can be measured quantitatively - 66 total nonprofits supported with over $600,000 in follow-on funding since 2015 - but the real value of the program is in the magic of each nonprofit cohort. Since 2015, 98 percent of participants have rated SVP Fast Pitch as a valuable experience that allowed them to make nonprofit and corporate connections they otherwise would not have connected with. We’re so excited for 2018!” - Bree Cahill, Executive Director of SVP Sacramento

SVP will provide Sierra Nevada Journeys with more than $11,000 of in-kind consulting and support from industry leaders and professionals. In-kind services include peer-to-peer coaching, professional video content, educational services and donor relations support along with a chance to pitch at Golden 1 Center in March 2018.

“We are thrilled to be a semi-finalist for SVP Sacramento Fast Pitch,” said Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO of Sierra Nevada Journeys. “Our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program growth in Sacramento elementary schools has been rapid and we are excited for the opportunity to improve on telling our story to the community.”

Sierra Nevada Journeys joins a semi-finalist pool of 20 nonprofits and a growing alumni list of 46 nonprofits throughout the Sacramento Region. The Fast Pitch program has led to over $600,000 in follow-on funding, numerous additional pitch opportunities for past participants, and several large one-time gifts ($50K+) for past participants.

The process spans four months, from Dec. 2017 through March 2018, as 20 nonprofit participants and 40 coaches work together through group and 2:1 coaching sessions to hone each 3-minute pitch. Nonprofits also take part in a series of workshops leading up to the final event. On March 8, 2018, 10 nonprofit finalists will take the stage at Golden 1 Center and pitch their stories of impact.

  • B Street Theater received a pledge of a new van and trailer from a donor the night of the Fast Pitch Event, allowing them to reach 30,000 additional children each year through their theatre program.
  • SAGE Global expanded their program to five new schools in Sacramento and added a new board member thanks to relationships formed through Fast Pitch.
  • Food Literacy Center used a version of their pitch in a video grant submission, earning them $20,000.
  • Fresher Sacramento received a $50,000 donation at SVP Fast Pitch, allowing them to bring on a new full-time staff member.

ABOUT FAST PITCH:
SVP Fast Pitch helps nonprofits craft their story. Forty business professionals are matched with 20 nonprofit leaders to build strategies, create scripts and develop a presentation. The pinnacle of Fast Pitch happens on March 8, 2018 at Golden 1 Center when 10 finalists will compete to win $30,000+ in prize money and awards. The 20 semifinalists each receive access to three workshops, a 30-second commercial quality ad, a 1-minute professionally produced pitch video, 2:1 mentoring and group pitch sessions, totaling more than $11,000 in value. Since 2015, SVP Fast Pitch has led to an additional $600K in follow-on funding for participants.

ABOUT SIERRA NEVADA JOURNEYS:
Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

INFORMATION ON SVP SACRAMENTO:
SVP Sacramento unites local business leaders and philanthropists with educationally focused nonprofits, combining financial and capacity-building support with a passion for education. Since 2008, SVP Sacramento has invested over $1.3 million into educationally focused nonprofits in the greater Sacramento area. Investees include Reading Partners, Teach for America, City Year, Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), Powerhouse Science Center, College Track and 916 Ink.

SNJ ScienceFest, Presented by WETLAB

A Free Family Event to Celebrate Sierra Nevada Journeys' 10-Year Anniversary and 100,000th Student Served

(Reno, Nev.) September 11, 2017 — On Saturday, Sept. 23, Sierra Nevada Journeys is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with the northern Nevada community by hosting SNJ ScienceFest, Presented by WETLAB. SNJ ScienceFest is a free family event taking place at Washoe County’s Bartley Ranch Regional Park from 4 – 6 p.m. Families will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on science activities and experiments while enjoying live music from local band Boondoggle, and food and beverages for purchase from food truck vendors. Raffle prizes will also be available from generous businesses such as The Discovery, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno Bighorns and Reno 1868.

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In partnership with Reno Dads, Sierra Nevada Journeys will be hosting a “Dress as Your Favorite Scientist” photo booth contest. Children can come in costume or choose from photo booth props to transform into a geologist, chemist, engineer, and more. Two winners will be chosen from two age categories based on a photo contest on the Reno Dads Facebook page. Voting will be open for one week starting Sunday, Sept. 24. One winner between the ages of 8-17 will receive a week-long summer camp experience in 2018 with Sierra Nevada Journeys at Grizzly Creek Ranch near Portola, CA, and one winner under the age of eight will receive a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) kit.

Thank you to our sponsors WETLAB, NV Energy and Alpine Insurance for supporting SNJ ScienceFest.

WHAT: SNJ ScienceFest, Presented by WETLAB
WHEN: Saturday, September 23 from 4 – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Washoe County’s Bartley Ranch Regional Park
WHO: Interviews will be available with:

  • Eaton Dunkelberger, CEO, Sierra Nevada Journeys
  • Karen Senger, Director of Development, Sierra Nevada Journeys
  • Megan Duggan, Marketing and Communications Director, Sierra Nevada Journeys

About Sierra Nevada Journeys

Sierra Nevada Journeys is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that delivers innovative outdoor, science-based education programs for youth to develop critical thinking skills and to inspire natural resource stewardship. Through multiple points of contact, our classroom-based programs, overnight science camps, professional development for teachers, and parent engagement opportunities surround students with resources they need to succeed. All programs are designed to foster higher cognition and build long-term student achievement.

Help Support Science Education for Youth during Big Day of Giving on May 4

Sacramento, Calif. (April 25, 2017) — Sierra Nevada Journeys is participating in the Sacramento region’s fifth Big Day of Giving on Thurs., May 4. Sierra Nevada Journeys is new to the Sacramento area, yet has been growing at an incredible pace. To keep up with the demand, Sierra Nevada Journeys is seeking financial support to continue to deliver hands-on and engaging science programming to first through sixth graders.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy is in critical demand nationwide. According to the Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI), California ranks 34 out of 50, which is considered to be below average, in educating students in science. Sierra Nevada Journeys’ mission is to improve these scores, and to create the next generation of environmental scientists, geologists, ecologists and engineers.

After evaluating pre- and post-assessment data after one of Sierra Nevada Journeys’ core programs, Classrooms Unleashed, 90 percent of the participating students show an increase in comprehension of state science standards. Classroom teachers love the program and educational practices to teach and engage their students.

“The engaging materials and lessons were designed in a way as to make them accessible, tactile, and therefore memorable and meaningful,” said Mike Pickering, a sixth grade teacher at William Land Elementary School.

Sacramento programming includes the school-based programs Classrooms Unleashed and Family Science Nights. Classrooms Unleashed is a blended in-class and field trip experience taught by Sierra Nevada Journeys, which has grown from 12 schools and 930 students in 2015 to 30 schools and 4,500 students this year. A Family Science Night is an interactive and rewarding way for students and their families to engage with their schools through STEM-related activities. In 2016, they hosted 25 Family Science Nights across the Sacramento region. Sierra Nevada Journeys growth can be greatly attributed to the dedication and leadership from Sacramento Program Director, Sarah Barnes.

“Our programs give kids an opportunity to problem solve, collaborate and connect with nature,” said Barnes. “It makes me feel like we’re helping to grow capable future stewards of our world.”

To support the work of Sierra Nevada Journeys and ensure an exciting future for students and community success, please support Sierra Nevada Journeys and science education during this year’s Big Day of Giving. Help build the next generation of leaders, scientists and stewards.

For more information or to donate, please visit: https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/sierranevadajourneys

Sierra Nevada Journeys Receives $10,000 Grant from NV Energy

Reno, NV – Jan. 12, 2017NV Energy recently awarded Sierra Nevada Journeys a $10,000 grant to support their Classrooms Unleashed program. Through this grant, 324 northern Nevada elementary students will have access to effective, high-quality science instruction during the 2016-17 school year.  

"Sierra Nevada Journeys is proud to have the support of the NV Energy Foundation,” said Karen Senger, director of development for Sierra Nevada Journeys. “Their partnership is helping to build a community of youth who are leaders, scientists and stewards of the natural world.”

Students in grades first through sixth will receive three hands-on classroom-based lessons and one field-study experience to help increase their understanding of science standards and their interest in STEM subjects. 

Classrooms Unleashed uses hands-on, experiential outdoor education as a framework for children to study, think and learn. The program is aligned to state and national standards and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Guidelines for Excellence. 

Nevada currently ranks 44th in the nation on the Science and Engineering Readiness Index. With support from partners like NV Energy, Sierra Nevada Journeys aims to improve these low scores and works diligently to ensure that all students have access to high quality science education. 

Sierra Nevada Journeys Receives $10,000 Grant from PPG Industries

Reno, NV – Jan. 9, 2017 PPG Industries recently awarded Sierra Nevada Journeys a $10,000 grant to support their Classrooms Unleashed program. Through this grant, Sierra Nevada Journeys will deliver Classrooms Unleashed to 324 northern Nevada students in second through fifth grade during the 2016-17 school year.  

"Sierra Nevada Journeys is proud to have the support of PPG Industries,” said Karen Senger, director of development for Sierra Nevada Journeys. “We applaud their commitment to enriching children’s live through outdoor science education.”

Students will receive three hands-on classroom-based lessons and one field-study experience to help increase their understanding of science standards and their interest in STEM subjects. 

Classrooms Unleashed uses hands-on, experiential outdoor education as a framework for children to study, think and learn. The program is aligned to state and national standards and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Guidelines for Excellence. 

Sierra Nevada Journeys is dedicated to improving Nevada’s below average science education ranking (44 out of 50) by bringing science to children and supporting the educators who teach them. In 2015, 90 percent of students attending our Classrooms Unleashed programming demonstrated improved understanding of science standards based on assessment data.

National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Wildlife Habitat in Portola, CA

Portola, CA (Dec. 14, 2016) — The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Sierra Nevada Journeys’ campus at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola, CA has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF celebrates the efforts of Sierra Nevada Journeys to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. Certification also makes your Certified Wildlife Habitat® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

“We are so excited to have another passionate wildlife gardener join us and create a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Over the last 40 years, nearly 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and helped restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and neighborhoods,” said Dave Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an apartment balcony or a 10-acre farm, a schoolyard or a business park, or anything in between, everyone can create a home for local wildlife. Turning your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife,” he added.

“We have a terrific campus and work to preserve and enhance the wildlife whose home we share,” said Mark Owen, campus executive director of Grizzly Creek Ranch. 

Sierra Nevada Journeys’ 1,500-acre campus at Grizzly Creek Ranch is home to many plants and animals. To name a few, a black bear, bobcats, whooping crane, osprey, bald eagles, rainbow trout, leopard frogs, hawks, a multitude of song birds and water fowl such as coots, mallards, blue heron and grebes. The campus is vegetated primarily by Jefferson or yellow pine trees as well as incense-cedars and sugar pines. The forest floor blossoms yellow and blue with mullein, mule’s ear and lupine. 

Sierra Nevada Journeys takes particular care to conserve and preserve this habitat for visiting youth. “The objective for them is to see nature and its inhabitants in their original, pristine condition,” said Owen. “Through observation, youth are then introduced to scientific principles and methods to transform what they see, smell and touch into ways to understand, communicate and engage with the world around them.”

NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provide food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, places of worship, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries. For more information on gardening for wildlife and details on how an entire community can become certified, visit www.nwf.org/habitat or call 1-800-822-9919.