October 9th, 2012
The Center for Technology & School Change (CTSC) and The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) hosted 19 teams of educators from schools and non-profits at Teachers College for the Designing Community Projects Leadership Summit from October 6 – 8, 2012. With the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CTSC and CERC have awarded each team grant in amounts less than $5,000, as well as collaborative professional development opportunities, to help them plan and execute their ideas. The selected projects – which span waste reduction, plant and animal restoration, water conservation and gardening – are designed to promote academic achievement through project-based learning experiences that are hands-on and authentic.
“Designing Community Projects” was created through the EPA’s Environmental Education Sub-Grants Program, and is designed to support projects across EPA Region 2 (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The initiative emphasizes learning that engages the local ecosystem while reinforcing science, math and engineering skills, with a focus on environmental stewardship and sustainable change.
The conference featured activities led by Dr. Ellen Meier, Co-Director of CTSC, and Dr. Nancy Degnan, Director of Executive Education and Professional Development Programs at CERC. Attendees also enjoyed a keynote speech from educator Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine, an environmental education and green jobs program in South Bronx. Over the next year, the teams will continue to develop and implement their projects, communicating their progress regularly through a wiki page and online webinars.