Liberating Structures for Teachers, Institutes, Parents, and Students on Pest Management and Chemical Use Reduction in Homes

Mission Statement: Educate and collaborate to address the key topics of pest management practices and chemical use reduction to promote a healthier home and a reduction in adverse health outcomes.

Our group focuses on training teachers, young K-12 students and parents about keeping a healthy home where the focus is on chemical use reduction and integrated pest management in the home. We use a new format for training, where we demonstrate the use of liberating structures during our training with teachers and in our interaction in the classroom with teachers and students. It is a method of communication and sharing that embraces the idea of engaging everyone in the process of learning and making a change in their environment.

We have completed our first year of program training a number of teachers from different school districts in Arkansas and working more closely with young students on science projects. Many of these science projects focus on keeping a home healthy and protecting health. In the process children are reminded of the scientific method and make a connection between science and health. Visit our pages to the left to learn more about our topic areas and to get help on your science project. Look at our science competition winners from 2013-2014. We are proud of them and all the children that participated to make a difference for their schools and their lives. Brochures on all our topics are available for download and class curriculums for K-5 through K-8 are coming soon!!!

Collaboration rooms are available for teachers and students to communicate about the topic areas and for completing their science projects. Click through to teachers and student links!

Challenge yourself! Enter your classroom in your regional science fairs. Contact the local STEM centers in your state.

INTEL ISEF Rules and Guideline for Science Fair Projects

Integrated Pest Management: IPM is a combination of activities to control pests in your environment. It starts with the least toxic method first such as being clean and excluding the pests.

Integrated Pest Management in Schools

Chemical use Reduction: Chemical use reduction is lowering the amount of chemicals used for the environment and for personal needs. Chemicals consist of those we use for laundry, cosmetics, pets and pests, and house repair, maintenance, and cleaning.

Liberating Structures: Individuals, and especially children, remember the learning messages because of and in the context of their experiences. Therefore, the method of delivery of environmental education is crucial for retention and action. Students that receive early education and training on environmental issues in an inviting and exciting atmosphere are more likely to choose science careers and become more involved in community environmental issues and important issues that concern their personal health.

Science Projects: To have an effective science project, a student should develop a question, do thorough background research on the project, develop a hypothesis, conduct necessary experiments or observation, conduct analysis, and then draw conclusions (Yes-the scientific method) . The student should then form a written report with detailed information about the project. The student should make sure they select a topic that is of his or her interest and work on presenting the information to an audience. Oftentimes that format is through a dynamic engaging science board.


Ferguson, A. Kavouras, I. Harris, K., Ulmer, R. Helm, R., and Bursac, Z. “Environmental Health Education for Teachers: Results of Pre and Post-Surveys from a Pilot Study Addressing Chemical Use Reduction and Integrated Pest Management in Homes”, Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education, 4:5, 2014.

Applying Liberating Structures to Improve Teaching: Study Results” has been published in the Journal of Health Education Research and Development.

Current News

EPA’s new Proposed Label Options for Safer Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  redesigned it Safer Product Label to better convey to consumers that products bearing the label meet the program’s rigorous standard to be safer for people and the environment.

“We want consumers to be able to easily find safer products that work well,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The agency wants to hear from the American people on which designs will help people identify household cleaning and other products that are safer for families and the environment.”

The redesigned label is intended to help consumers, businesses and institutional buyers recognize products that have earned the EPA Safer Product Label. All ingredients in products that earn the logo have undergone a thorough evaluation to ensure they meet high standards for safety and performance. When people use these products, they are protecting their families and the environment by making safer chemical choices.

Over the past 15 years, the voluntary EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Product Labeling Program has grown significantly. More than 2,500 products have earned the DfE label because they are formulated with the safest possible ingredients for human health and the environment based on the best available science and protective criteria. The program helps partners drive change by providing technical tools, methodologies, and expertise to move toward safer, more sustainable formulations.

Find safer products here:


  • 2014 Teacher Trainings Completed
  • COMING SOON!  Pictures and Schools enrolled in Extended Program for 2014

2014-2015 Graduate Students, Teachers, and Schools in Our Program this Year. Congratulations!!!!

Students Teacher
Hannah Baroni Michelle Vire: Pulaski Heights Middle
Amanda Lemp Sondra Bray, Ridge Road Middle
Ignazio Morales Stephen Bronskill: Pine Bluff Highschool
Kripa Patel and Amy Jennings Mindy Bissett: Ridge Rd Middle
Dr. Ferguson Melissa Jennings: Clarksville High
Matthew Wilkins Jennifer Davis, Pine Bluff High School
Neeraj Dayama Maralea Gourley: Lisa Academy High


EPA Grant Number: NE-00F65601-0