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Program Overview


Our Teacher Fellows Program empowers master teachers at the secondary level (grades 6-12) to lead a district-wide process on educating for sustainability through problem-based learning.


Teacher Fellows are paid a 12-month stipend to study local, regional and global sustainable system challenges including, climate change, equity and environmental justice, water, energy, food, transportation, zero waste, and green buildings.


Teacher Fellows curate Living Textbook resources including annotated links on local policies, plans and performance data to support student inquiry and problem solving at the nexus between classroom rigor and community relevance.



Develop real world context for standards-based curriculum.

Master Problem-Based Learning instructional strategies.

Engage students in measuring community impact and reporting to stakeholders.

Support district-wide peer coaching and dissemination of successful models.

Contribute to a learning community of other Fellows across school districts. 

Water Systems Teacher Fellows

The program is funded by Cascade Water Alliance, King County Wastewater Treatment Division, and others.

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Problem Statement

“How can we meet educational standards in context of measurably advancing local and regional water resource goals.”


Teacher Fellows in this program are building a menu of exceptional classroom case studies and impact project ideas for science, engineering, math, social studies and language arts through problem-based learning. 


Units engage students, teachers and community stakeholders in real-world problem-solving around one or more water systems challenges: (1) water supply systems (2) wastewater treatment systems, and (3) stormwater management systems. 


Each of these systems is analyzed through several drivers including, watershed and Puget Sound ecosystem integrity, Salmon and Orca recovery, climate-driven changes in snowpack and water cycle patterns, population growth, land use policy and infrastructure engineering, as well as resiliency planning for local system disruptions such as earthquakes, forest fires and sea-level rise.

Green Duwamish Watershed Teacher Fellows



Problem Statement


“How can we meet educational standards in context of measurably advancing the health of the Green Duwamish Watershed including salmon, people, and the land, water and air we share?


Teacher Fellows in this program, representing Kent, Auburn, Highline, Tukwila, Federal Way and Seattle, are building curriculum units around the Green Duwamish Salmon Recovery Plan. Additional Living Textbook frameworks include Puget Sound Vital Signs, as well as King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan, Clean Water Plan and Equity and Social Justice Plan.


Classroom case studies and impact projects are in development for science, engineering, math, social studies and language arts.


Adopt-a-site place-based learning units engage local schools in ongoing field investigations and service learning. One adopt-a-site program matches schools in proximity to priority salmon habitat restoration sites. A second adopt-a-site program focuses on green infrastructure projects in which classrooms conduct site assessments of local commercial crossroads, engineer virtual solutions, and offer recommendations to policy makers.

As a result of these field studies, academic standards are met, watershed and community improvement goals are met, and students gain ownership of their watershed address.
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Green Building Teacher Fellows

Our common agenda is to engage more students in the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the built environment and to ensure that more people are living, learning and working in the greenest possible buildings.




Problem Statement

“How can we meet educational standards in context of measurably advancing green building standards, affordable housing, sustainable community development and urban planning.”

Teacher Fellows in this program are focused on developing units for meeting educational standards while advancing the green building sector. 


We explore high performance homes, schools and commercial buildings, as well as the landscapes and communities they impact or interact with. 


This includes innovations in technology, water and energy resource efficiency, the use of certification programs, improved policy frameworks, growing the market while ensuring affordable housing for all, urban planning and transit oriented development. 

The Program is a collective impact initiative facilitated by Sustainability Ambassadors and jointly funded by a coalition of green building and green business sponsors and advocates. Early sponsors include Miller Hull Partnership and Dykeman Architecture + Design.

New Fellows Programs




We are developing new Teacher Fellows Programs around Climate Change, Sustainable City Planning, Zero Waste and the Circular Economy, Transportation, and Food. Contact Peter Donaldson to help build interest and capacity for these programs. The shared goal is to meet academic standards in context of rapidly advancing local conditions for a more sustainable future. This is what we mean by learning how to educate for sustainability.

PBL Problem Design Labs

Learn more about our inspiring range of Curriculum Design Labs on Problem-Based Learning

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