PLT logo

South Carolina Forestry Commission

Project Learning Tree

What is PLT?
PLT Workshop Information
PLT Educator of the Year

Project Learning Tree


Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning international environmental education program designed for teachers and informal educators who work with students from early childhood through high school.

PLTPLT uses the forest as a "window" into the natural world, helping young people gain an awareness and knowledge of the environment and their place within it.

PLTPLT teaches students "how to think, not what to think" about complex environmental issues.

PLTPLT activities supplement existing curricula.

PLTPLT activities are action-oriented.

PLTPLT activities easily adapt to many settings: classroom, outdoors, the home, city, forest etc.

PLTPLT activities are correlated to national and state academic standards, as well as Girl Scout and Boy Scout standards.

PLTPLT is multi-disciplinary—it is not just science!

PLTPLT materials are designed for teachers by teachers, and do not require expensive kits or equipment.

PLT Works!Michele Powell (kneeling) with students


The North American Association for Environmental Education evaluated 240 teachers and 5,000 students in the U.S. and Canada who used PLT over a period of 12 months and found that short term exposure to PLT produces positive, long term effects when it comes to improving environmental knowledge and attitudes. Researchers further concluded that PLT increases knowledge in surprisingly little time. In fact, the average knowledge growth for students in grades 2-8 who were exposed to PLT for two to three weeks was no less than the equivalent of seven months. * Further national research has concluded that using the environment as a multidisciplinary medium increases student achievement, involvement, and lowers discipline problems (*Closing the Achievement Gap—Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning”, 1998).


Visit the National PLT website for more about PLT!




SC PLTWorkshops

Project Learning Tree offers 9 activity guides: 1 for early childhood, 1 for preK-8th, and 7 secondary modules. Learn more about the activity guides. How can you obtain one of these great resources? Attend a PLT professional development workshop!


Teachers Learn

Workshops offered:


PLTEarly Childhood Workshop: for those who teach ages 3-6; minimum of 2 hours
PLTPreK-8 workshops: 6 hour workshop
PLTSecondary workshops: for high school teachers, minimum of 2 hours; choose from 7 secondary activity guides


In South Carolina, there is a $20 per participant workshop fee. The fee is waived for pre-service students who take the workshop as a part of their course curriculum. A minimum of 15 participants is desired for any workshop.

Want to attend a workshop?

Find out about PLT workshops in SC here.

How can I arrange a workshop for my staff?

            Stephanie Kolok - SC PLT Coordinator
            PO Box 21707
            Columbia, SC 29221
            Phone (803) 896-8855
            FAX (803) 896-8896

Since 1981, over 19,000 educators have participated in SC PLT workshops!


Join the list of volunteer professionals who conduct workshops throughout the state. If you have participated in a PLT educator’s workshop, you may want to become a SC PLT trained facilitator.
Facilitator training is a two-day leadership workshop where participants learn how to conduct workshops. Once trained, facilitators can organize and conduct workshops throughout the state. All materials and help will be provided. Volunteers can be reimbursed for travel expenses and substitute’s pay if the facilitator is an educator. Contact the State PLT Coordinator for more information.




Jerry L. Shrum Outstanding Educator of the Year Award


Each year South Carolina Project Learning Tree (PLT) recognizes one PLT trained teacher for exemplary or outstanding PLT projects or use of PLT in the classroom. Nominations may be from schools or self-nominations are accepted.
The award winner is presented a plaque recognizing their contribution to environmental education and an all expense paid trip to the S.C. Forestry Association’s Annual Conference. Winners are also offered admission to the S.C. Teachers’Tour - an all expense paid four-day summer tour of the forests and forest industry in South Carolina, a two-year position on the state Steering Committee, as well as possible nomination for the National PLT Outstanding Educator’s Award.

Benefits for the
S.C. PLT Educator of the Year

Recognize one of your teachers for their Excellence In Environmental Education Award Nominations (pdf file)

Michele Powell

2012 Winner: Michele Powell

The 2012 S.C. Project Learning Tree Jerry L. Shrum Outstanding Educator of the Year* award winner is Michele Powell, a teacher at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant. Powell serves as the Dean of Math, Science, and Engineering School of Study at Wando High School.

Her initiative has lead her to seek out real-world learning experiences for her students, and her students love the hands-on aspect of her classes. “Project Learning Tree is extremely important to students as it incorporates real-world plus project based learning,” she says. “The enthusiasm of my students going outside and getting excited about learning is what motivates me!”

In addition to incorporating PLT into her lessons, each class that she teaches selects, plans, and develops an environmental project.  “What I hope most to achieve is for my students to learn about their own community:...our local  ecosystem, the impacts humans have on these systems, the management, conservation, protection of our forests, and finally an intrinsic appreciation of our resources,” she says.

Ms. Powell was presented her award at the South Carolina Forestry Association’s 44th Annual Convention in North Charleston.  Congratulations to Michele Powell!




PLT’s National Homepage

Some links on this page require Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don’t have Acrobat Reader you can get it free from Adobe Systems Inc. Get Acrobat Reader Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Copyright © 2013 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.


Environmental Education / Reference Resources / Harbison Education Programs