First graders tracking energy consumption

First graders tracking energy consumption

Update from our work in Oberlin, OH: First grade students are learning about forms of energy, and then tracking energy consumption at the school using a real-time environmental monitoring display at the school. Thanks so much to the teachers for their work on this! Be sure to visit our website to learn more information about this project or many others at www.creativechange.net...
Ypsilanti Community Schools Sustainability Summit

Ypsilanti Community Schools Sustainability Summit

Calling all of our local friends: Save the date – Thursday June 11, 2015. Middle schools students in the Ypsilanti Community Schools are hosting a Sustainability Summit. The event will bring together community leaders and organizations involved in local sustainability efforts, ranging from food to health and public safety. The event is the culminating project of the students’ history course, in which they are studying ancient civilizations and how to apply lessons from the past to plan for the future. Learn...
What does it mean to be “educated”?

What does it mean to be “educated”?

In a world facing enormous environmental and social challenges, what does it mean to be “educated”, and what measures will we use to gauge this? This was the question Executive Director Susan Santone posed to an international group of educators at the recent Institute for Global Education Diplomacy held Washington, DC. The Institute, sponsored by the Association for Childhood Education International, is a collaborative learning event focused on the emerging field of education diplomacy–the “cross-disciplinary, transnational sharing of theories, ideas, and concepts that advance education.” The three-day event brought together educators from every continent to share their expertise. Santone’s session challenged participants to compare two views of education: one defined by test scores, and another that encompasses a child’s academic, social, emotional and physical development. Participants then examined indicators of success in each paradigm and how this drives educational policies. The consensus? Test-driven curriculum is an international problem, and educators want to see broader measures of success that emphasize global readiness, health, and emotional wellbeing. The challenge ahead is to get policymakers to...
STEM That Matters

STEM That Matters

         STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a hot area in K12 education . Schools all over the country are introducing STEM courses, curriculum and programs. Here in the Detroit region, these programs often emphasize cars and manufacturing. Such approaches are valuable. They can introduce students to future career opportunities and get them excited about learning.          But what about students’ immediate lives and communities? How can we get kids interested in STEM using issues that are affecting them now?          A high school in Baker, Oregon is answering this question with a STEM-focused course that involves students in community redevelopment.  The course focuses on a contaminated property (an old machine shop) located on school property. This “brownfield” site has become the focus of a multi-year project that leads students through the same process engineers, scientists and policy makers use when working to revitalize such sites.          The course began by exploring fundamental questions about the community and the impacts of brownfields. The students then investigated soils and water quality, the impacts on human health, and the historical factors affecting the location of contaminated sites. The students presented at the Oregon Brownfields Conference, and are exploring the reclamation process and possible uses for the site.          The unique course yielded substantive gains in scientific knowledge and its applications in the community. Check out our website for the full report.          The brownfields course is an example of how to put STEM in the context of students’ communities.  See more examples of connecting content...