Educator • Scientist
Growing Green Hearts is science education to play, learn, and love nature. Heidi Ferris started Growing Green Hearts in 2011 because it allows her to use her passions for earth’s interconnected systems with creative talents in the teaching of children and educators. Through environmental STEM education with GGH, community groups and schools are boosting their science literacy and creating on-site solutions for today’s environmental issues: climate change, local nutrition, clean water, childhood health, habitat and creation care.
Environmental STEM (science technology engineering and math), along with interdisciplinary teaching and field experiences…this is the way we teach at Growing Green Hearts. The Minnesota Center for Professional Development has certified Ms. Ferris as a science content expert and approved many Growing Green Hearts workshops for their Parent Aware teacher education programs. Environmental STEM (eSTEM) projects range from curriculum and classes with the Minnesota Institute of Talented Youth to MELSA hands-on STEM programs, and Connect-the-Dots: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership church workshops with the Minneapolis Area Synod ELCA. Ms. Ferris is a member of the National Science Teacher’s Association and the Minnesota Association of Environmental Educators. Nature questions from kids keep her exercising her degree Master of Arts in Natural Science and Education from Hamline University along with the chemistry, physics, and earth science labels on her current Minnesota teaching license. Organizations like the EcoFaith Network MAS, Climate Generation-A Will Steger Legacy, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, Success Beyond the Classroom, local nature centers, and many church preschool and child care centers have all helped Growing Green Hearts to grow and thrive with a diverse angle outside a traditional public school classroom.
Prior to Growing Green Hearts, Heidi gained over a decade of first-hand experience through teaching middle and high school level science courses and curriculum writing for classrooms, faith-based groups and secular non-profits. She’s worked with teachers and students from preschool to high school from Minnesota to Hawaii. For Growing Green Hearts educators, teaching is an opportunity to empower the learner in their problem-solving skills and unique talents through a real-world scientific lens.