Curriculum & Activities

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​The Power2Sustain project was first created by a small group of public school teachers and administrators to address the critical shortage of science and in specific environmental learning opportunities for K-12th grade students. Being on the front lines of daily learning for students, the group saw how science instruction time was slowly being reduced and in some cases pushed aside completely. Knowing the priorities and the ins and outs of the current K-12 systems in several states, the group set about to design a project that fit within the goals and realities of today's K-12 structure, but that also was more than a one-shot presentation or assembly. Important to the group was the internalization, solidification and critical thinking of environmental literacy that is needed for our current students to sustain our planet.

The Power2Sustain project offers a series of lessons (short unit of study - with inter-related concepts) that touch on key ideas in environmental stewardship, sustainability and personal responsibility for our environment and are integrated with math, English Language Arts, social studies and content related science. Most of the lessons are also Common Core Standards aligned.

About the Project

The lessons and projects were created by teachers for teachers. The entire project is easily accessible, stream-lined and can be plugged into a teacher's daily schedule with ease. The hands-on aspect of most of the lessons and the culminating activity where each student receives a reusable shopping bag on which they illustrate a message or something that they have learned  - serve to engage and empower students with the environmental stewardship and sustainability key concepts. We have also found that as most of today's K-12 students seem to have been born with a natural ability to understand and use technology, this current generation also has an innate ability and desire to be more connected to their natural world and offer up solutions to current issues.

 

​Current research shows, that while students are aware that there are problems with our planet, and have a desire to do something they do not seem to know how they can take action and begin to solve these issues. The Power2Sustain project gives students concrete ways that they can begin taking immediate action at school, at home and in their communities.  This has become apparent in our project feedback and measures and comes even despite current discussions of children not having an interest in nor exposure to nature and their outside environments.

The Domain of Environmental Literacy - Framework 

by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

We have adopted NAAEE's wonderful Domain of Environmental Literacy Framework to guide the thinking and learning of our projects. Developed for educators this framework utilizes a  continuous learning loop that allows students to reflect on their own learning and growth in the area of environmental literacy -- throughout their lives.​

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Knowledge

What you know about:

  • Physical and ecological systems

  • Social, cultural and political systems

  • Environmental issues

  • Multiple solutions to environmental issues

  • Citizen participation and action strategies

Competencies

Skills and abilities that you know how and when to apply:

  • Identify environmental issues

  • Ask relevant questions about environmental conditions and issues.

  • Analyze environmental issues

  • Investigate environmental issues (scientific, and social and emotional aspects of issues using primary and secondary sources.)

  • Evaluate and make personal judgments about environmental issues (the interaction between environmental conditions and sociopolitical systems)

  • Use evidence and knowledge to select and defend one's own position(s) to resolve issues

  • Create and evaluate plans at various scales/levels to resolve environmental issues.

Environmentally-Responsible Behavior

Skills and abilities that you know how and when to apply:

Involvement in intentional and habitual behaviors, individually or as a member of a group, that work towards solving current problems and preventing new ones.

  • Physical and ecological systems

  • Social, cultural and political systems

  • Environmental issues

  • Multiple solutions to environmental issues

  • Citizen participation and action strategies

Dispositions
How you respond to environmental issues:
  • Sensitivity

  • Attitudes and concerns toward the environment

  • Assumption of personal responsibility

  • Loss of control/self-efficacy

  • Motivation and intention to act

Contexts

Personal, social and physical