Lesson Plan: Progressive City Planners

Grade levels: 3-5, 6-9
Download the plan at http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/progressive-city-planners

Environmental and civil rights activists discovered more than two decades ago that, in comparison with affluent white communities, people of color and working-class communities are disproportionately subjected to toxic waste, resource depletion, waste disposal sites, pollution of air and water, and natural disasters. (See Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty 1987—2007 for an in-depth analysis.)

Day One of this lesson will introduce students to the ways in which people of color often suffer disproportionately from environmental burdens. Day Two empowers students by asking them to propose solutions to issues of environmental racism.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers grant to support green chemistry intern

The MPCA is offering a grant to support an intern at a Minnesota facility undertaking a green chemistry and engineering-related project next summer (2017).

See https://www.pca.state.mn.us/waste/grant-connect-ecology for a summary of this past summer’s intern project.

  • The host companies benefited with initial product designs and comparisons of greener and more sustainable materials for prototypes.
  • The intern added experience in product design within a company’s decision making context, and is using that experience in her new job!

While eligible companies may be headquartered outside the state, the work much take place in Minnesota.  One grant of up to $9,500 will be awarded to the applicant best meeting MPCA’s criteria.

MPCA will recruit recent college grads with science, technology, engineering or math backgrounds for the successful company to interview in early 2017.

More information and application materials are available on this MPCA web page: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/waste/green-and-safer-product-chemistry-grants.

Questions may only be addressed to p2.pca@state.mn.us; answers will be posted on the web page above.

The deadline for applications is January 13, 2017, at 2:00 Central time.

Chicago teens explore climate resilience

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Chicago high school students will soon be projecting environmental data onto a large globe thanks to a half million dollar federal grant received by the city’s Museum of Science and Industry.

It’s part of a program to help them visualize, understand and respond to climate change. The museum recently received an Environmental Literacy Grant for the climate change awareness project, called Teen Advocates for Community and Environmental Sustainability, or Teen ACEs.

Ontario recycling initiative issues school challenge

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Average fourth-graders generate their weight in lunch room garbage annually, according to the Recycling Council of Ontario.

Bringing that number down is one of the environmental issues the province’s Back to School challenge is asking students to tackle this school year.

The initiative, championed by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, is a set of 10 eco-friendly ideas that students and parents can follow to reduce their eco-footprints.

Presidential Environmental Youth Award (PEYA)

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. Up to two awards – one for Grades K-5 and one for Grades 6-12—will be selected from each of EPA’s 10 regions for national recognition. Projects are developed by young individuals, school groups, summer camps, and other youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship.

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE)

This award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning.   Award winners receive up to $2,500 to continue their professional development in environmental education. Additionally, the teacher’s local education agency will receive up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Read about projects by previous winners at https://www.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators-piaee-winners.

Farm to cafeteria table: The new local food frontier

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The next time someone points to the need for more farmers’ markets as a way to help move local food from a trend to a substantive cultural shift, you might consider telling them about the power of institutional purchasing. It may sound less interesting and, on the surface, it certainly is. (Who doesn’t love buying purple carrots to the sound of a didgeridoo?) But bear with us.