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Water Quality and Puget Sound Ecosystem Integrity

Practicum for PBL exploring policies, plans and performance data related to the phenomena: “If Puget Sound were taken to the emergency room, what would be its vital signs?” July 28-30, 8:00-12:00 For secondary teachers in all disciplines. Teams strongly encouraged. 12 STEM Clock Hours.

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Water Quality and Puget Sound Ecosystem Integrity
Water Quality and Puget Sound Ecosystem Integrity

Time & Location

Jul 28, 2020, 8:00 AM PDT

Zoom Meeting

About the Event

Our exploration will include lesson ideas on how to engage student interest and agency through understanding the Puget Sound Vital Signs Dashboard, the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, and King County’s Clean Water Planning Process, including the six key responsibilities of the Wastewater Treatment Division. We will share a model unit for physical science following the problem statement: “What can we do to ensure that our wastewater is not harmful to the Puget Sound Ecosystem?” We will also examine the economic value of Puget Sound’s ecosystem services and how we might realign both policies and behavior to sustain the ecosystem that sustains us. Read on for Learning Outcomes..

Puget Sound is beautiful, but it’s in trouble. Participants will develop, adopt, or refine one or more problem-based lessons through which students directly participate in improving the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Lists of inspiring ideas for student impact projects on climate change, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment will be shared along with instructional strategies for coaching effective project design. We will emphasize the authentic integration of meeting academic standards in context of meeting local community performance measures.

The Lab features interaction with technical experts from local government, academia, industry, and the nonprofit sector, and supports intergenerational learning by engaging a team of highly capable students from the Sustainability Ambassadors Youth Leadership Program. This is not a workshop or a training. It’s a lab. The learning environment is problem-based, collaborative, and applied to increasing rigor in the classroom by tracking impact in the community.

EXPERIENTIAL AGENDA (It’s a Lab!) Our daily work will include…

  • Explore distance learning strategies around problem-based design
  • Integrate NGSS, authentic STEM experiences, and career pathways
  • Integrate literacy, history, civics, economics, and geography
  • Integrate systems thinking: climate, ecology, water quality, stormwater, wastewater


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Educating for Sustainability. (Problem solving for  positive ecological, economic, and equitable outcomes across systems and for all people.)
  2. Develop, adopt, or refine one or more lessons that authentically integrate academic standards in context of local community performance measures. (Emphasis on students designing impact projects that meet academic standards in context of community performance measures.)
  3. Apply STEM literacy across disciplines and promote college/career pathways to inspire students.

Questions?  Email: Peter Donaldson

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