Green STEM Grows in Greenpoint at Several National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools

Where can you find scoops of soil, compost, and worm castings waiting to be examined under a microscope? How about prototypes of a rain water catchment system made out of upcycled cardboard, paper clips, and pipe cleaners? Or sketches of robots that feature innovative designs for capturing litter before it enters a storm drain as harmful pollution in our waterways?

You can find all of these items and more by visiting one of the four Greenpoint Eco-Schools in Brooklyn, N.Y. These Green STEM classrooms combine environment-based education with traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills-building to emphasize real world problem-solving. When used in K-12 education, Green STEM enables students to learn and experiment with the tools that scientists, engineers, and other professionals use during their careers. Most importantly, in these Green STEM classrooms, dozens of students have an opportunity to combine their innate curiosity about nature with new skills, new ideas, and the newfound confidence that comes from shaping their own learning experiences.

From January 2016 to December 2017, Greenpoint Eco-Schools staff facilitated an afterschool program for approximately 250 students at several partner Greenpoint Eco-Schools. Known as the Eco-Schools Green STEM Afterschool Club, the program engaged students in nearly 500 hands-on, place-based lessons during the two-year period. The program was divided into four eight- to 10-week modules with educational content about waste, water, wildlife, and watts (green technology and robotics). During each of these modules, students spent four hours each week researching and exploring each Green STEM topic in both their classrooms and their community. Read more here.

NWF’s Eco‐Schools USA program is a nationwide program that engages PreK‐12 students, faculty, administrators, and community volunteers in a comprehensive, environment‐based program to improve student environmental literacy and skills. The schools themselves become greener and cleaner and students learn more science and technology. The Eco-Schools USA program serves more than 4,700 schools throughout the United States, reaching 2.7 million students and over 130,000 educators. Visit Eco-Schools USA to learn more. For schools just starting their sustainability journey – or looking to refresh their programming – the Eco-Schools USA Handbook offers easy access to some of the most frequently asked questions.

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