EfS Middle School Lab: Educating for Sustainability Across the Middle School Curriculum
Time & Location
About the Event
Funded in part by Cascade Water Alliance and The Russell Family Foundation
Problem Statement: How can we build a school culture around the principles of educating for sustainability? Can our students be collaborators? Our parents? The community? How does our school align with the Washington State Environmental Literacy Plan?
Why you should attend…
- You teach middle school.
- You love it when your students are authentically engaged.
- You want more time with your colleagues to deeply integrate learning across subjects.
- You think the structure of school should catch up to 21st century learning.
- You value a sustainable future.
About the Lab: Sustainability Ambassadors is leading a bioregional movement around the principles of educating for sustainability. There are already a range of middle schools developing parallel strategies. Teams from these schools will be at the Lab. Elizabeth Schmidtz, OSPI Environmental and Sustainability Education Program Supervisor, is currently updating the state-wide Environmental Literacy Plan. She is seeking case studies. Elizabeth will be at the Lab. This Lab is an ongoing practicum, convening teacher leaders, educational leaders, student leaders, and community leaders in building a new model for how educating for sustainability can engage students in problem-based, placed-based learning, systems thinking across the curriculum, and civic action in the communities where they live, especially as aligned with city climate action plans and equity outcomes. This makes learning real, teaching fun, and grading in context of community problem solving. The EfS Lab will be highly interactive as well as collaborative, led by teams of teachers already charting the path. Join us.
PRACTICE The fundamentals of problem-based, place-based learning
ANALYZE School culture and student engagement through EfS
APPLY Systems thinking to identify solutions, track impact, report to stakeholders
COACH Student Impact Projects aligned with community sustainability goals
DESIGN Lessons for application in your classroom
EXPLORE Career profiles of people who are working on solving this problem
Associated Standards and Frameworks
- OSPI - Environmental Sustainability Standards
- NGSS - High School Human Sustainability Standards
- OSPI - Social Studies Standards for Civics, Economics, Geography, History,
- College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies
- Common Core State Standards - English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics
What is the 2050 Workout?
Student leaders participate in the PBL Lab along with teachers, but through a parallel, youth-led track focused on a fascinating thought experiment, “What would it be like to achieve 100% sustainability in our communities by the year 2050, including the design for what school will be like by then?” Students self-organize in research, facilitation, and presentation teams to prepare for the 2050 Update on August 26, our annual livestream event attracting thousands of viewers from across the nation. Student Ambassadors, invited peers, and our team of Sustainable Systems Coaches facilitate a different focus associated with each of the summer PBL Labs. In exploring one system in depth, the intersectionality among systems is revealed with a special emphasis on equity outcomes and climate change action. How fast can we generate the best solutions? What are the prototypes and tipping points already in play? What would it actually look like if we succeed?