After 10 years of advocacy, all District 65 lunchrooms begin composting

Read the full story in the Daily Northwestern.

At the end of lunch in every Evanston/Skokie School District 65 school, students sort their waste into landfill, recycling and compost bins, stacking their compostable trays on the side.

Making composting part of students’ daily routines was no small feat. After a decade of work, District 65 Sustainability Coordinator Karen Bireta said all buildings in the district began composting in December.

During the last academic year, students composted 77,955 pounds of food, eliminating more than 34 metric tons of carbon emissions by keeping waste out of landfills.

After working to rapidly expand the program over the past several months, Bireta said she is excited to see the new composting system’s impact on students within and beyond the lunchroom.

2022 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Energy Improvements at Public K-12 School Facilities – Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – Renew America’s Schools

Applications due: Apr 21, 2023
View the full funding opportunity.

The Office of State and Community Energy Programs is issuing this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled Energy Improvements at Public K-12 School Facilities – Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – Renew America’s Schools.

The activities to be funded under this FOA support BIL section 40541 and the broader government-wide approach to support projects that enable replicable and scalable impacts, create innovative, sustaining partnerships, leverage funding and economies of scale, focus on disadvantaged communities, improve student, teacher, and occupant health, enrich learning and growth, assist schools that serve as community assets (e.g., neighborhood cooling centers or disaster recovery shelters), and are crafted thoughtfully within the context of public school facilities (e.g., procurement restraints, construction windows, etc.).

Topic Area 1 – High-Impact Energy Efficiency and Health Improvements

Proposals contemplated under this topic area will include energy improvements that result in direct reduction to school energy costs, increase energy efficiency, and lead to improvements in teacher and student health, including indoor air quality. Energy cost savings may be realized by reduced loads and/or by demand flexibility and demand response approaches.

Topic Area 2 – Innovative Energy Technology Packages

Proposals contemplated under this topic include innovative energy technology packages. Applicants may include any improvement, repair, or renovation to a school that incorporates two or more of the following energy improvements:

  • Energy efficiency measures
  • Installation of renewable energy technologies
  • Alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure on school grounds
  • Purchase or lease of alternative fueled vehicles to be used by a school

DOE expects to make a total of approximately $80,000,000 of federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. DOE anticipates making approximately 20-100 awards under this FOA. DOE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $15,000,000.

CDC provides science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skill development resources for K-12 teachers

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has innovative resources and trainings for K–12 teachers that support the teaching of public health. Resources focus on STEM skill development at all grade levels.

Incorporating public health into your classroom, club, or activity can give students hands-on experience doing science, which may boost their academic achievement, help them make science-backed choices throughout their lifetime, and set them on an early course for a promising STEM career.

CDC resources for K–12 teachers are designed to:

  • Teach disciplinary core content in public health sciences
  • Align with STEM disciplinary core content
  • Focus on essential skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, collaboration, and communication
  • Implement strategies that engage students in STEM through hands-on experiences and real-life epidemiology and public health scenarios

Topical areas that intersect with environmental science include cleaning the air, making water safe, getting the lead out, climate change & health, and mercury pollution prevention.

Explore 7 climate change solutions

Read the full story in the New York Times.

In this lesson, students will use a jigsaw activity to learn about some of the most effective strategies and technologies that can help head off the worst effects of global warming.

Teaching Climate Change Essentials

Course begins January 17. Instruction is

Teaching Climate Change Essentials, offered by the Presidio Graduate School, is a six-week teacher professional development program designed to engage and equip elementary, middle, and high schools teachers with the tools needed to successfully incorporate climate change into their classrooms, regardless of grade level, subject, or state standards.

Enrollment is free for PD hours or CEUs.

I Am Not a Science Teacher

Subject to Climate has compiled climate change information for non-science teachers: ESL, social studies, math, ELA, art, social science, HS subjects, health with easy ways to incorporate climate change into non-science classes.

Model Recycling Program Toolkit

The Model Recycling Program Toolkit is an interactive collection of EPA and other materials. Toolkit materials can help states, territories, local governments, tribes, schools, nonprofit organizations, companies, and public-private partnerships create effective programs for recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, repair, and waste reduction. Materials in the toolkit can help communities increase participation in recycling programs and reduce contamination in the recycling stream.

  • Case studies from communities who have created effective recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, reuse, and repair programs. 
  • Training materials on how to create educational messages and campaigns that drive behavior change. 
  • Examples of consumer education materials that states, tribes, and local government entities can adapt and use in recycling programs. 
  • Standardized terms with examples that may be used to describe materials that are accepted by residential recycling programs. 
  • A grantee evaluation guide to measure increased participation, reduced contamination, and change in volume of recyclables collected.

In one state, every class teaches climate change — even P.E.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Two years ago, New Jersey became the first state in the country to adopt learning standards obligating teachers to instruct kids about climate change across grade levels and subjects. The standards, which went into effect this fall, introduce students as young as kindergartners to the subject, not just in science class but in the arts, world languages, social studies and physical education. Supporters say the instruction is necessary to prepare younger generations for a world — and labor market — increasingly reshaped by climate change.

ERI brings expanded professional development opportunities to K-12 educators

Read the full story from Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute.

To help Indiana K-12 teachers better teach climate and environmental science in the classroom and meet new state science standards, Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) is offering expanded professional development opportunities, including single-day and multi-day workshops and greater access to teaching resources and IU scientists.

The offerings are part of Educating for Environmental Change (EfEC), a collaboration between ERI, IU faculty, K-12 educators, and the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology. Expanded programming in 2022-23 is made possible by two anonymous donors and the IU Center for Rural Engagement.

Many states omit climate education. These teachers are trying to slip it in.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Around the United States, middle school science standards have minimal references to climate change and teachers on average spend just a few hours a year teaching it.