Guest post by Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green School Network Coordinator Romina Sola
All across the country, students of all ages are participating in environmental projects at their schools, learning the importance of a healthy and stable environment. But to take lessons further than the classroom and to make a lasting effect on Florida’s education system, students need role models to look up to. Students need a “big brother” or “big sister” to show them the importance of keeping Florida’s environment in tip top condition. This is where Florida’s educators come in to play.
I’ve heard of many Florida teachers who have made a point to ignite a passion for environmental stewardship in each of their students, planting a seed for the future. Most recently, Key West High School physics teacher Josh Clearman, the teacher-category winner at the 2010-2011 Florida Green School Awards Ceremony, was able to use green projects as a way to get the attention of his students.
Mr. Clearman’s class produced power via a wind turbine, saved more than 1,000 gallons of water, reduced carbon emissions, planted trees and more. He was able to incorporate design, environmental stewardship, physics concepts and problem solving to create green projects with his students.
Green projects teach lessons that go beyond school curriculums and classrooms. But in order to get these lessons and tools, students need ‘green’ role models to guide them. Once that “green seed” has rooted, they will be uniquely prepared to target the planet’s environmental challenges. In fact, these same students might even become environmental leaders to make positive changes in their children’s schools, homes and communities.
As an educator, are you planting a “green seed” in your students? If so, how do you incorporate environmental awareness into your lesson plans?