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Sustainability Education Resources

sustainable green globeFrom climate change to energy to ecosystems, sustainability is among the main multidisciplinary themes stressed by the Next Generation Science Standards. Here are some resources for teachers.

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National Environmental Education Week 2013

EEWeek photo contestAs mobile devices become increasingly embedded in daily life, they can enhance children’s experience of nature. This year’s National Environmental Education Week, which falls on April 14-20, 2013, reflects that idea in its theme – Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors.

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Sustainability Counts! Math Awareness Month

math numbers and symbolsSustainability is the theme of this year’s Mathematics Awareness Month. Teachers will find plenty of activities, contests, and other free educational resources that link math with environmental applications, including the Energy Challenge, which teaches students the mathematics of their school’s energy use and then has them develop and implement an action plan to reduce energy consumption.

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Plagiarism Education Week

plagiarism weekLaunched to help educators help their students understand that originality matters, Plagiarism Education Week offers free webinars with tips for teachers, new resources for students on conducting better online research and proper citations, and a student poster contest.

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What a Dump!

landfillIn this activity, teams of students in grades 5 to 7 learn about environmental, civil, and sanitation engineering by designing and building model landfills that hold the most garbage, minimize costs, and prevent trash and contaminated “rainwater” from polluting the nearby “city.” Teams test their landfills, and graph and compare designs for capacity, cost, and performance.

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Edible Green Screen

green screenHave you ever thought about those bare, exterior walls of your home or school? If so, you would be current with one of the hottest trends in civil and environmental engineering: Redesigning buildings to take full advantage of solar energy, like this “edible green screen” created by students at the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments.

The idea behind green walls, or vertical gardens, can be traced back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In Babylon, plants were said to have been cultivated at a height above ground level. In modern times, the idea of similar gardens has become a way to bring more greenery to cityscapes while also making urban areas more environmentally friendly.

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Next Generation Science Standards, Finally

science classroomThree years, two drafts, and many comments later, the much-anticipated final set of Next Generation Science Standards was released on April 9. They emphasize cross-cutting concepts and “storylines” such as energy or Earth’s systems over specific content, and include engineering design and practices. If adopted by states, many of which helped develop the common standards, the NGSS could mark a sea change in the way science is taught across disciplines and grades.

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Environmental Photo Contest

girl taking picturesUpload inspiring photos that show how you and your school are engaging students in environmental education by May 31 and maybe win a prize in the 2013 National Environmental Education Week Photo Contest.

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