Accelerate Learning Outdoors

Creating an outdoor classroom

Outdoor learning and hands-on STEM experiences are critical to accelerating learning through COVID and beyond. Out Teach helps school leaders and teachers with tools and expertise to help move instruction outdoors, equip every teacher to create engaging real-world learning experiences, and make science more real, relevant, and relatable to every student every day. Moving learning outside often raises questions for school leaders, including:

  • What kind of space is needed?
  • What about managing logistics?
  • What about the weather and safety?
  • What equipment/ supplies do we need?

Why it works

School districts across the country are investing in outdoor learning because it’s:


Access to STEM-skill building opportunities, such as those found outdoors, helps high need students forge a path toward one of many plentiful and rewarding STEM careers.


Short term investments in training teachers to use the outdoors improves their effectiveness for the rest of their careers, and improves teacher job-satisfaction.


Because all students, even those at home, can get outside for real hands-on experiences, outdoor learning makes schools more flexible, nimble, and responsive to future pandemics or other emergencies.


Outdoor spaces create an immersive and engaging three-dimensional learning environment proven to boost Science, Math, and ELA performance.


From sidewalks to soccer fields, most elementary schools have access to outdoor spaces that can be quickly and affordably activated to improve instruction.


Hands-on outdoor group projects help students develop 21st Century and social emotional skills that foster success in school and in any career.

Checklist for Campus

Moving learning outside can be intimidating, so we break it down piece by piece to help school and district leaders overcome common challenges and give all students and teachers more time outside. Download the handbook to start getting students and teachers more time outside.

  • Decide on desired purpose and frequency of outdoor time
  • Map your space
  • Create a rotation schedule
  • Gather supplies and resources
  • Plan the lessons
  • Recruit volunteers

Creating an equitable learning environment for all students

Outdoor learning and hands-on STEM experiences are critical to overcoming learning loss and re-engaging students in their learning. During this recent Out Teach webinar, district and STEM leaders shared why school leaders should include outdoor learning into their reopening plans to achieve academic benefits as well as social-emotional and health benefits during COVID-recovery. This webinar focuses on the value of providing real-world experiences on every school campus that inspire students and deepen learning across the curriculum.

Key Ingredients for Outdoor Spaces

Out Teach recently provided District Administration with a list of important ingredients for school leaders to consider when creating more formal outdoor instructional spaces.

Read the Article

SXSW Session

At the most recent SXSWEdu conference, Out Teach CEO Jeanne McCarty brought together Principal Reymundo Cervantes and Outdoor STEM Instructor Sean Splawski to discuss how ANY school can use simple outdoor spaces to improve academics, especially Science.

Watch the Webinar

Teaching methods to support outdoor STEM instruction

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards invited the head of the Out Teach instructional team, Scott Feille, to help teachers working remotely get students more engaged outdoors. 

Watch the Webinar

Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.