Summer Sustainability Institute for Educators


The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation

July 19 – 23, 2010

8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Hosted by Simmons College School of Education, Boston, MA


Morning Session

8:30 Welcome/Introductions/Workshop Overview

9:00 Establishing the Context: What really matters? What supports our well-being?

Introduction to “The Commons”: ecological/human created resources and relationships that support human needs

Where are we headed? Overview of global and national trends

Activities: exploration of foundation concepts (systems, interdependence, community)

10:15 Break

10:30 Continue activities

12:00LUNCH BREAK – Registration for Simmons graduate credits [cost $300 payable to ‘Simmons College’]

Afternoon Session

1:00Ecological Footprint: a framework for understanding sustainability

Human-environmental interactions

Life cycles/input-outputs

Land use types and ecosystem services

Sustainability vs. overshoot; regeneration

3:00 Reflection and Sharing

3:15Needs/suggestions for Day 2


Morning Session

8:30 Sign in/Connections/Review Agenda

9:00 Commons and Policies

10.30 Breakout sessions. Select one:

a) Creating Curriculum for the Outdoors

Jane Hirschi, Executive Director, CitySprouts

Lisa Scolaro, Science Curriculum Coordinator, Cambridge Public Schools

Non-profit organization CitySprouts works with schools to develop school gardens, find curriculum connections and inspire teachers, students and the community to form a deep, hands-on connection to the food cycle, sustainable agriculture and the natural environment.  Since 2000, CitySprouts has been working with the Cambridge Public Schools to create a thriving, district-wide school garden program serving over 4,000 urban students.  In this session, CitySprouts Executive Director Jane Hirschi and Cambridge Public Schools Science Coordinator, Lisa Scolaro will share their experiences of developing inquiry-based science units using school gardens and training teachers in their implementation.  Participants will work in small groups to begin developing outdoor connections with their own teaching practice.



b) Carbon Market 101

Lisa Hodes, Director US markets, Gold Standard Foundation

Though well-established in Europe, the carbon economy is a relatively new concept for US customers. New policies, increased consumer awareness, and the work of those such as Gold Standard’s Director of US markets, Lisa Hodes, are set to change this.  The Gold Standard Foundation is a Swiss-based non-profit organization providing carbon credit certification for sale for both compliance and voluntary offset markets.  It verifies carbon reduction projects and ensures that they make a measureable impact on sustainable and social development in local communities.  Lisa will describe her career path and current role certifying renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the burgeoning carbon market.


Afternoon Session

1:00Global vs. regional footprint; global population and equity issues.

Activities to demonstrate connections between science, economics, equity and   civics topics

2:00Ideologies and sustainability

3:15Needs/suggestions for Day 2


Morning Session

8:30 Connections/Review Agenda

8:45 Goal setting for curriculum integration and identification of methods

Integration approach (unit/course makeover? New insert unit? Curriculum mapping/identifying “big picture” integration points)

Desired outcomes for students

10:15 Break

10:25 Breakout Sessions. Select one:

a) Black, Green, or Somewhere in Between:

Using China as a Case Study for Understanding Global Environmental Issues

Lina Yamashita, Program Coordinator, Primary Source

This workshop examines China’s complex record with regards to sustainability. On the one hand, China continues to suffer from serious environmental problems, but on the other hand, China is leading the way in making clean, green energy. Through images, videos, and small- and large-group discussions and activities, teachers will explore the implications of this paradox, both for China and the world, consider questions that it raises, and learn about ways that the world can move forward in achieving sustainability. Teachers will also learn strategies and activities that they can use to incorporate this content into their teaching.


b) Life Cycle Assessment: Designing Green

Grant Kristofek, President, Kristofek Engineering & Design Consulting Group

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to measure the environmental impact of a product or process throughout the entirety of its life, from creation to disposal, or ‘cradle’ to ‘grave’.   Grant Kristofek is a MIT-trained mechanical engineer who specializes in using LCA to promote a more sustainable ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach to design, reducing waste and damage to the environment and/or human health. Grant will outline the concept and relevance of LCA, introducing key stakeholders and their roles within the design process.   He will highlight common negative health/environmental impacts of consumer goods and services and show how the LCA can be used to identify and mitigate these.  Armed with this knowledge, educators will work in groups to design their own sustainable products.


Afternoon Session

1:00Resource Exploration, Unit Planning mini-session, or Curriculum Mapping mini-session

Computer lab time to explore resources OR

Unit design and Big Ideas: the process and details OR

Curriculum mapping; identifying insertion points

2:30 Cate Arnold  Faculty Advisor, BLS Youth CAN:  Review of EfS Curriculum Development Guidelines for Inclusion in EfS Curriculum Pilot

3:00Curriculum check-in: What is my approach?  What do I hope to accomplish by Friday?  What will I continue beyond this? 

*  Reminder to Bring Bag Lunch for Thursday


8:30 Connections/Review Agenda

10:00Continue guided curriculum work


OPTIONAL: Youth Activism Multimedia Presentation by Alan Palm, Alliance for Climate Education followed by presentation from BLS Youth CAN students

1:00BLS Youth CAN Students Presenting About the Youth CAN EfS Campaign

Robert Keller, President, National Grid Foundation – on funding and promoting EfS

1:30 Continue curriculum work


Morning Session

8:30 Sign in/connections

9:00Tour of Green Roof on Simmons School of Management by Steve Gusmini, Director of Building and Grounds

10:00Work session implementation. Access available to computers, curriculum resources.

Activities: Participants work individually or in pairs/teams on their curriculum


Afternoon Session

12:45 Work sessions wrapup

1:30Participants’ presentations of their work

Share and discuss completed unit makeovers and teaching strategies.

Activities to assess factors influencing teaching (parents, standards, community culture, etc.); identify barriers and opportunities based on these influences; and generate strategies or personal goals for maximizing the opportunities. Identify on-going support needed from peers and CELF.


The Boston CELF Summer Institute was generously supported by National Grid.

National EFS Standards DocumentSummer_Sustainability_Institute_for_Educators_files/NationalEfS%20Standards.doc
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