Professional Development

Be a Catalyst for Change…Become a Green Schools National Network Member

The green schools movement is the most critical education reform initiative of our time. Through the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) membership program, you can show your support and become a catalyst for change for green schools everywhere.

GSNN’s membership program is designed for leaders (like you!) who use sustainability to drive innovation in their classrooms, schools, or school districts. As a GSNN member, you will learn from and be inspired by the people who are transforming schools across the country.

Choose from five different levels of membership: Individual, Nonprofit, preK-12 School, School District, or Corporate. Each level comes with its own set of benefits and discounts, some of which include: professional publications, a subscription to Green Teacher Magazine, discounted Green Schools Conference and Expo registration, discounted and free professional development opportunities, networking opportunities, and discounted fees for GSNN school and district coaching.

Visit GSNN’s membership website to learn more and sign up.

Green Schools Conference and Expo

Early bird registration for the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo is now open! Make plans now to join fellow green schools advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota April 8 – 9, 2019 for the ninth annual conference and expo! Learn more about registration packages here.

The Biomimicry Institute

The Biomimicry Institute is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to innovation inspired by nature. Biomimicry offers an exciting project-based approach that helps teachers blend STEM and environmental education in creative, hands-on lessons students love. The Biomimicry Institute helps educators and organizations bring biomimicry into their teaching by providing curriculum and training, networking opportunities, and content development support. Learn more about our services and visit the online library, AskNature, for the resources and information you need to bring biomimicry into your teaching practice.

Children and Nature Network 2019 International Conference

Join the Children and Nature Network for the largest gathering of children and nature advocates in the world, May 16-18, 2019 in Oakland, California. From inspiring keynotes to hands-on workshops, this biennial conference will inspire and equip you with best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for the children, families, and communities you serve. Early bird rate ends on Nov 30, 2018.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education works with schools and school districts to help them integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into their curriculum. Core services include consulting and leadership development (on-site and off-site); professional development and faculty coaching; curriculum design, assessment, mapping, and alignment; and school and community partnerships. The Cloud Institute holds an annual Summer Design Studio that enables educators, administrators, and program designers to learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.

Community Works Institute

Community Works Institute (CWI) supports and promotes exemplary teaching strategies and practices for K-16 educators and community programs that support students in becoming caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. CWI offers a variety of professional development opportunities for K-16 and community-based educators in the United States and internationally, including on-site training, retreats, coaching, and consulting. Their signature offering is a series of summer institutes that integrate field-tested service-learning best practices and principles of sustainability to engage K-16 students in academically based service that contributes to sustainable communities.

Upcoming Programming

2019 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

JUNE 24 – 28, 2019 • Brooklyn, New York

The longest running Service-Learning training for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set in the heart of the uniquely diverse social fabric that is Brooklyn. Experience a week of inspiration, expert training, and powerful collaborations with an exceptional group of colleagues. Join like-minded K-16 and community educators from across the U.S. and beyond for a week to remember.

2019 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

JULY 22 – 26, 2019 • Los Angeles, California

Bring your vision, program, and project ideas to CWI’s acclaimed learning and design lab. Summer WEST is set in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most vibrant, culturally rich urban settings. Join us for a transformative week of project and program design, expert training and guidance, field work, and inspired networking.

Learn more about these opportunities and register online.

**CWI encourages schools to send cohort teams (minimum of four, max of eight per school) and is offering special rates to support this. School Cohorts will focus on their own practice while moving their school forward and learning deeper approaches to accomplish this, including a process for examining and advancing their practice. Cohort teams will continue working together when they return to school (not typical w/ teams).**

Creative Change

Creative Change is a national educational consulting firm based in southeast Michigan. Districts and universities turn to us when their curriculum isn’t working – when achievement is low, inequalities persist, or it’s time for fresh thinking. We provide professional development, curriculum, and consulting to help educators across grades and disciplines reframe instruction around sustainability and social justice.

Our work integrates project- and place-based learning and culturally responsive instruction. Topics include food systems, ecological economics, and multiculturalism. Evaluations show consistent gains in student achievement, especially in underserved communities. Grounded in scholarship, our approach was published by Routledge in August 2018.

Creative Change offers:

  • On-site and hybrid professional development combining interdisciplinary content and effective pedagogy.
  • Ongoing support and one-on-one coaching for educators.
  • A curriculum library featuring exemplary lessons, frameworks, and complete course modules.

Upcoming Programming

Changing the Story: Flipping the Script on Neoliberal Narratives in the Social Studies Curriculum

Workshop at the National Association for Multicultural Education

November 27 – 30, Memphis, Tennessee


Neoliberalism, an ideology based on unfettered markets and competitive individualism, is built upon racial and socioeconomic hierarchies (among others). In this session, Susan Santone will help participants will unearth neoliberal narratives embedded in the social studies curriculum and develop strategies to “change the story” by infusing the principles of equity and democracy into instruction.

New Online Course

Check out a brand new course by Susan Santone and Kim Reynolds on Kappa Delta Pi’s new online learning platform. Available now at

Education for Sustainability (an 8–10 hour intro course that offers a competency badge for display on your e-portfolio, which is free with course sign-up)

Sustainability education is an approach to learning that builds the knowledge, skills, and values needed to create lasting economic prosperity, environmental health, and social justice. This online course introduces sustainability as a context for learning, highlights connections to the science and consequences of climate change, and provides strategies for reframing curriculum to emphasize these connections. This course is designed to engage you, the adult learner, in an integrative and reflective learning experience that emphasizes application of course content to your teaching.


At EcoRise, we believe in the power of teachers to ignite innovation and the potential of students to design a sustainable future for all. Our school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship. Over 350 schools have implemented our full program and 1,800 teachers in 26 countries have accessed our educational materials. Our curriculum, classroom grants, ongoing training, and support engages educators and students in meaningful learning experiences. Our program empowers teachers to confidently champion sustainability and innovation in their classrooms, while students cultivate 21st century skills and sustainable living practices.

We offer:

  • Online and in-person professional development, curriculum, and self-paced resources for green industry connections to K–12 educators, STEM educators, and Project-Based Learning teachers.
  • For U.S.-based schools, we award micro grants to student-designed sustainability projects.
  • Our committed partnership with like-minded institutions and corporate supporters to expand reach and impact.

Visit to learn more.

Green Schools Alliance

Green Schools Alliance is an international organization that advances student success and saves schools resources by fostering whole school sustainability. Originally developed as a network created by schools for schools, the Alliance has evolved to provide integrated and organized support to students, school professionals, schools, and districts to foster sustainability work.

Alliance programs are scaled and developed from member ideas to make them more accessible for other member schools. The Alliance conducts work via its international coalition of schools, rooted in the idea that collaboration among schools brings the greatest change for sustainable learning environments and communities. They:

  • promote student success through leadership training, project-based learning, and a support system.
  • inspire school professionals through access to training, resources, and a community of fellow sustainability champions.
  • provide schools with tools to accelerate whole school sustainability efforts through collective purchasing power, access to resources, and reporting and recognition systems.
  • offer districts the programs to leverage high-volume purchasing power, foster collaborative communication, and gather systemwide information on school efforts.

Learn more about upcoming events.


Green Strides Webinar Series Calendar

The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools they need to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars.

Green Teacher Webinar Series

Exploring Learning Stories

Date:  January 16, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Lotje Hives and Astrid Steele

In the words of Loris Malaguzzi, “Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.” Join into a conversation about the value of documenting Learning Stories as experienced through a unique University and School Board research partnership. Webinar facilitators will discuss how observing and documenting learning in, about, and for the environment alongside learners, is slowing down the process of learning and offering a space for thoughtful reflection about relationships, stewardship, and global citizenship to inform pedagogy. Examples (artifacts, photos, narratives, and video), references, and practical strategies will be shared. As we know, learning moments are happening all around us all the time. Let your students help you tell the story of their learning. It’s not about getting the perfect photo, but rather about exploring the perfectness in moments of learning. Listen. Think about perspective. Focus. Enjoy and be prepared to be surprised! In the words of an inspired kindergarten scientist, “Observe. It’s like using your senses but in a fancier way.”

Using Progressive Skits to Teach Food Chains

Date:  February 13, 2019; 7:30 – 8:30pm EST

Presenter:  Emily M. Stone

Teacher-led progressive skits are a quick and engaging way to make food chains come alive for students aged six to adult. They provide a good mix of teacher control and student creativity and use repetition and humor to facilitate learning. They can be customized to work with any grade level or even mixed groups by purposefully selecting the level of vocabulary and detail you include. In her presentation, Emily will walk you through the basics.

Knowles Teaching Fellows Program

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation was established in 1999 to increase the number of high-quality high school science and mathematics teachers with the ultimate goal of improving STEM education in the United States. The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program, the Foundation’s signature program, one of the most comprehensive fellowship programs in the nation for mathematics and science teachers starting their first or second year of teaching. During the five-year program, Fellows receive professional development from experienced educators and financial support for professional development, classroom materials, and more. Applications for 2019 Teaching Fellowships are due November 25, 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program provides teachers with hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with world-renowned NOAA scientists, thereby giving them unique insight into oceanic and atmospheric research crucial to the nation. The program provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through college-level teachers to sail aboard NOAA research ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew.

Since its inception in 1990, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program has enabled nearly 700 teachers to gain first-hand experience of science and life at sea. By participating in this program, teachers profoundly enrich their classroom curricula, enhance their approaches to teaching science, and engage their local community with knowledge that can only be gained by living and working side-by-side, day and night, with scientists who contribute to the world’s oceanic and atmospheric scientific research.

Applications are now being accepted for their 2018 season. Learn more about the program, eligibility, and how to apply here. The deadline to submit applications is November 30, 2018.

Ocean Exploration Trust Fellowship

The Ocean Exploration Trust’s Science Communication Fellowship Program immerses formal and non-formal educators in the Nautilus Corps of Exploration and empowers them to bring ocean exploration – specifically in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) – to a global audience via the Nautilus Live website. Science Communication Fellows bring their expedition experience back to their own classrooms, organizations, and communities in the form of engaging lesson plans and activities centered around their time at sea aboard Nautilus and other vessels. Applications are due December 14, 2018.

Shelburne Farms 

Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Its home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.

Shelburne Farms’ school programs staff support student learning and professional development for educators. The ideas of place and sustainability are at the heart of its work. Shelburne Farms offers a variety of experiences that inspire deep connections to community and a commitment to a healthy future.

Upcoming Programming

Seasonal Educator Workshops

Shelburne Farms has taken some of your favorite school program topics and turned them into one-day, seasonal educator workshops! Join us on the Farm throughout the year for a series of programs designed to deepen your knowledge of a topic and enrich your curriculum. In fall, winter, and spring we will spend time outside connecting with the land, interacting with experts, and developing tools and techniques to take back to your students. Workshops can be taken individually or as a series.

Each workshop costs $30. Participants may sign up for one, two, or all three workshops. A $15 discount is available for those who register for all three! Register here.

Animals in Winter

Saturday, January 12, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

What strategies do Vermont animals use to survive winter? We will examine their methods and hone our tracking skills as we hike through fields and forests searching for signs of active animals in winter. Come network with other educators, experience our favorite activities and resources, and share your own.

Milk & More

Saturday, May 4, 2019; 9:30am – 12:30pm

Explore a Vermont tradition and build awareness of the importance that dairy plays in the farming landscape. You’ll experience a variety of fun, hands-on activities relating to cows and visit our own Brown Swiss herd. We will delve into activities that explore the roles that farmers and dairy products play in our local food system and in keeping our communities healthy and thriving.

Teach Earth Fellowship from Earthwatch Institute

Teach Earth is built upon the principle that every individual can contribute to a sustainable planet, regardless of scientific background or skill. Each year, Earthwatch Institute selects talented teachers from all subject areas to participate in a 7-14 day immersive learning experience, working side-by-side with world-class scientists on field research expeditions around the world. From the edge of the Arctic to the coast of Maine, these teachers collect data on climate change, ecology, wildlife, and more. Teachers have an opportunity to learn the scientific process first-hand and help to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Teachers return to the classroom with new perspectives and knowledge, invigorated and inspired to share the experience of real discovery with their students.

Visit Earthwatch’s Institute website to learn more about qualifications and award details and to fill out an interest form. The 2018 Fellowship Application period runs from October 1, 2018 to January 10, 2019.

General Resources

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an updated 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit to improve lead reduction implementation practices, to clarify intent, and to make the toolkit more user-friendly. This toolkit includes modules, customizable templates, and tools to help implement a lead testing program, as well as supplemental fact sheets for water utilities, child care facilities, tribal schools, and day cares.

Carton 2 Garden Contest

The fifth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Packaging, is now accepting registrations! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria.

Fifteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Entries are due by Monday, March 25, 2019, but will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Center for Green Schools School Board Advocacy Toolkit

The School Board Advocacy Toolkit from the Center for Green Schools is a free resource that helps green schools allies address sustainability issues and impact greener policies at the school district level. It is designed to make local green schools advocacy approachable and actionable. The toolkit contains talking points, template letters and presentations, sample policy language, and more for you to use to promote greener policy options related to any school sustainability issue.

Experiential Tools: Resources for Teaching and Group Facilitation

Experiential Tools was founded by author and educator Jennifer Stanchfield to provide educators with quality, unique, and user-friendly methods to enhance learning, increase engagement, build community, facilitate group development, and engage learners in meaningful reflection and dialogue.  Resources offered include consulting, professional development programs, workshops, books, and teaching and facilitation tools. Visit the website for a list of upcoming workshops.

Facing the Future 

Facing the Future is an international program, based out of Western Washington University, creating tools for educators that equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future. The curriculum is organized around eight sustainability big ideas:

  • Connecting with Nature
  • Equity and Justice
  • Health and Resiliency
  • Interconnectedness
  • Local to Global
  • Peace and Collaboration
  • Respect for Limits
  • Universal Responsibility

Facing the Future curriculum materials and resources are available for K-12 teachers, teachers in colleges of education, and for some community college and undergraduate classes. All materials are developed for teachers, by teachers, with best teaching and learning practices in mind and are aligned with Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and most state standards frameworks.

Green Apple Day of Service

Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects. Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online. Register by March 15, 2019 to be eligible for a Green Apple Award.

Learning Lab

A product of the U.S. Green Building Council’s The Center for Green Schools, Learning Lab provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action.

Discover best-in-class content, training, and tools. Access their curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards and were created by educators, for educators.

Real World Design Challenge

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams address a challenge that confronts our nation’s leading industries. Students utilize professional engineering software to develop their solutions and generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply classroom lessons to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.

Registration is open until November 17, 2018. Students on the national winning team will receive $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Recycle to Rebuild Contest

Students in grades K-12 are invited to participate in a national recycling awareness contest sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning. The theme of this year’s contest is, “Recycle to Rebuild.”

Students are challenged to apply the knowledge, ideas, and skills they have gained from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to research, imagine, prototype, and test ways to use recycled materials to help rebuild infrastructure.

Students are invited to create an original video or poster that tells the story of their “Recycle to Rebuild” solution and how they can up with it and tested it. Videos or posters should educate others about the challenge we face to rebuild infrastructure and inspire them to explore recycling solutions – both big and small – that will bring our infrastructure into the 21st Century and beyond!

Students can enter the contest as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. One video and one poster will be selected as a finalist from each of three grade bands: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Up to two grand-prize winners will be selected. Grand-prize winners will receive a trip for one team representative and a parent/guardian chaperone to ISRI’s Annual Convention and Exposition to be held in Los Angeles in April 2019.

Entries are due December 15, 2018.

Scaling up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success

Friends of the Earth’s latest report—Scaling Up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success––spotlights a growing movement of pioneering school districts using their massive purchasing power to provide plant-forward, climate-friendly food that is healthier for students and the planet. This report, which includes four detailed case studies, is based on lessons learned from 33 interviews with school food professionals. It documents specific climate benefits of menu shifts and provides valuable resources, detailed strategies, examples, and best practices from 18 school districts. The report also points to major policy and structural barriers and highlights policy actions that can help flip institutional incentives from an emphasis on highly processed, industrial animal products to healthy, fresh, climate-friendly, plant-forward meals.

Teaching Our Cities Practice Toolkits

Teaching Our Cities, a project of Common Ground, is creating a collection of toolkits that share best practices that are working at partner schools. Toolkits include videos, blog-style reflections, resources, and practice descriptions. Current toolkits cover teaching a sense of place, learning expeditions, green exhibitions, environmental leadership portfolios, and magnet theme days.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses text, video, photography, and interactive experiences to help educators, students, and advocates learn how food and climate interact and how personal choices can make a difference. Ideal for sixth- through twelfth-graders and general audiences and connected to Next Generation Science Standards and the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies themes, the guide offers activities for student research and provides extensive resources for further investigation.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective

The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective explores the links between food systems and our changing climate with an emphasis on systems thinking. A systems approach helps to illuminate how seemingly disconnected phenomena are often dynamically linked and can be understood best when viewed in a larger context. This collection of essays contains an extensive bibliography that provides resources for further investigation. Available as a free iBook for Mac and iPad users. A web version is also available for all computers and tablets.

World’s Largest Lesson 2018

The World’s Largest Lesson was developed by Project Everyone to introduce the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development to children and young people and unite them in action to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. This year’s Lesson started on September 24. Visit the website to learn more about this project, find resources and lesson plans for each of the 17 goals, and learn how you can join this global effort.

Net-Zero Energy and Waste Related Resources

Cafeteria Culture

Cafeteria Culture works creatively and collaboratively with government, other environmental organizations, and entire school communities, including students, to achieve zero waste schools. Their Sort2Save toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for school cafeterias to go zero waste, and their Arts + Action Zero Waste School Program provides cafeteria and school solid waste reduction, recycling, composting, and sorting education for preK-12 students.

Collaborative for High Performance Schools

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) provides resources to schools, school districts, and professionals about all aspects of high performance school design, construction, and operation. CHPS develops tools that help make schools energy, water, and material efficient; well-lit; thermally comfortable; acoustically sound; safe; healthy; and easy to operate. These resources include a well-respected six-volume best practices manual, training and conferences, a high-performance building rating and recognition program, and other tools for creating healthy, green schools.


Education @ USGBC – Pathway to Net-Zero

This “learning pathway” on the U.S. Green Building Council’s education platform offers a collection of online courses and resources related to net-zero buildings. School specific online courses include Why Schools are Embracing Net-Zero Energy; Sustainable School Design – From Passive to Transformative Education; and A Living Laboratory: Strategies Employed to Achieve LEED Platinum and Net-Zero Certification.

Energy Hog Challenge Teacher’s Guide

Energy Hog is an energy efficiency campaign developed by the Ad Council and run by the Alliance to Save Energy. This teacher’s guide includes a series of classroom activities that guide students through lessons about different sources of energy, how we use energy at home, and actions they can take to save energy.

EPA’s Indoor Environments Division Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades

Indoor air quality (IAQ) plays a critical role in the health, attendance, and academic performance of students and staff. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades (the Guide) is designed to help K-12 stakeholders navigate the construction and energy retrofit process using an integrated approach and with IAQ, occupant health, and safety protections in mind. The Guide includes 23 IAQ priority issues and related assessment protocols, recommended and expanded actions, and resources and tools for project planning and communication. It is accompanied by the customizable, time-saving, and actionable Energy Saving Plus Health Checklist Generator (Microsoft Excel) that enables stakeholders to create IAQ checklists for specific upgrade or construction projects to protect and enhance IAQ. Schools districts can use the Guide to manage, design, and implement school facilities construction plans that maximize energy efficiency and minimize financial losses and negative health effects on students and staff.


The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient, and Inspiring Learning Spaces

This U.S. Green Building Council report, available for free through the Center for Green Schools, is designed to help school stakeholders advocate for renovations, retrofits, and upgrades that improve student and staff well-being, enhance learning environments, conserve resources, and foster sustainable communities. In an action-oriented and accessible format, the guide helps to demystify the often-complicated processes of identifying building improvement opportunities and finance and implementation strategies. Using the tips, tools, and charts provided, any school stakeholder – from parents to teachers to school board members and more – can link opportunity with strategy to maximize the benefits of green school improvements and advance their school and community priorities.

National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project

Over 35 years ago, the NEED Project began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. Since its founding, NEED has kept its Kids Teaching Kids philosophy as a fundamental principle of NEED programming – encouraging students to explore, experiment, and engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students.

The NEED Project offers curriculum resources and professional development for educators; energy information and resources, activities, and leadership programming for students; and an annual energy conference (open to students who participate in the Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement).

New Buildings Institute Zero Net Energy Resource Hub

The New Buildings Institute’s Zero Net Energy Resource Hub is a one-stop-shop for everything zero net energy. Here, you will find sample codes and policy; current research; case studies; and a variety of guides and toolkits, including a Zero Energy Project Guide, Zero Energy Schools Stakeholder Engagement and Messaging Guide, and Zero Energy Schools Charrette Toolkit.

Northeast Recycling Council School Waste Reduction Resources

Resources cover composting, paper use reduction, rural school recycling, cafeteria waste reduction, reuse tips, and school waste assessments and audits.

Powering Down: Behavior-Based Energy Conservation in K-12 Schools

This U.S. Green Building Council report, available for free through the Center for Green Schools, follows the experiences of five public schools that have reduced electricity use by an astonishing 20 to 37 percent through behavior-based strategies alone. The report looks to these schools as models for others and examines common strategies for every school to reduce its energy usage.

Recycle Across America

Recycle Across America (RAA) is dedicated to expediting environmental progress by creating the world’s first and only society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins to make it easier for people to begin to recycle right, wherever they might be. RAA works with corporate partners to make it possible to donate free standardized labels to K-12 schools. Schools and school districts can request free standardized labels through RAA’s website. They can also download a free toolkit for creating a successful recycling program.

Seeing Green through Waste Prevention: A Guide for School Districts

Assembled by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, this guide illustrates waste prevention practices that school districts have found effective in reducing waste and, with few exceptions, in cutting costs. Topics cover getting started, developing a waste prevention strategy, how to conduct a facility walk-through, waste prevention ideas, evaluation, and measuring success.

Stop Waste

Stop Waste is a public agency in Alameda County, California that helps government, businesses, schools, and residents reduce waste. For schools, the site offers resources and information on preventing waste and recycling including case studies, activities and projects, lesson plans, and videos. Although lessons and projects were developed to meet California-based standards, they can easily be adapted for use in other states.

TeachEngineering Lesson: 3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Compost)

In this lesson, contributed by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program at the College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC: reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost. They look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Through an associated activity, they observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).

This engineering curriculum is intended for grades 3 – 5 and meets Next Generation Science Standards.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce select industrial wastes. Program partners, including K-12 schools, demonstrate how they reduce waste, practice environmental stewardship, and incorporate sustainable materials management into their waste-handling processes. Learn more about requirements for new participants, levels of participation, and benefits (including annual awards and recognition).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program provides facility managers, building owners, and other stakeholders (including K-12 schools) with a variety of resources and initiatives to help them save water, energy, and operating costs. Resources include tools, case studies, webinars, and WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and manage their water use, help facilities establish an effective water management program, and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use.

Grants and Awards

2019 KidsGardening Youth Garden Grants

The 2019 KidsGardening Youth Garden Grant is designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. Twenty-five programs will be awarded grant packages and become members of the KidsGardening Fellows Program, receiving opportunities to promote their programs, network with other grant winners, and seek personalized guidance from KidsGardening education specialists. Winners are selected based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability.

Applications for 2019 KidsGardening Youth Garden Grants must be submitted by December 17, 2018.

Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution Grants

The Captain Planet Foundation’s ecoSolution Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of the organization’s work over the last 25 years. The Foundation has funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling its mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change agents.

ecoSolution Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions and to fill out an application. The next deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

Captain Planet Foundation ecoTECH Grants

Originally developed in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and with ongoing support from Voya Financial, ecoTech Grants are specifically offered to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. ecoTech Grants were created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. ecoTECH grant projects must:

  • Be based in the U.S.
  • Integrate the use of technology to address environmental problems (not iPads or other tablets)
  • Be project-based
  • Be youth-led
  • Result in real, demonstrable environmental outcomes

ecoTECH grants are available as cash grants of up to $2,500 and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses. The deadline to submit an application is January 15, 2019.

Fund for Teachers 

Fund for Teachers provides educators the resources and funding they need to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grant awards support a variety of projects, all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students, and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $30 million in nearly 8,000 teachers. Applications for 2019 are being accepted through January 31, 2019. Learn more about the application process and what current and past fellows have accomplished on the Fund for Teachers website.

FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award up to $7.5 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in fiscal year (FY) 2019. Each grant helps implement Farm to School programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, providing students with quality meals at a reasonable cost while also supporting local producers. In FY 2018, USDA awarded 73 grants across the United States.

The 2019 Request for Applications includes three tracks—Implementation, Planning, and Training. Each track provides funding for a specific range of activities:

  • Implementation grants are intended to help schools, school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities working with schools or school districts to scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Implementation awards range from $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Planning grants are for schools or school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities working with schools or school districts that are just getting started on farm to school activities. These funds are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations. Planning awards range from $20,000 – $50,000.
  • Training grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities to support trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains or trainings that provide technical assistance in the areas of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture‐based curriculum. Training awards range from $20,000 – $50,000.

Deadline for application submissions is December 4, 2018.


GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals. Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily. Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy. Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.

NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Program 

Shell and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have partnered to recognize outstanding middle and high school programs for their exemplary approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources. The Shell Science Lab Challenge showcases the work of teachers who submit innovative, replicable strategies to deliver quality lab experiences with limited equipment/resources, and award teachers/schools with additional tools, resources, and rich professional development opportunities needed to support high-quality science teaching and strengthen their existing capabilities. To be eligible:

  • Applicants may be individual teachers or teams of teachers of science in grades 6-12, in the United States and Canada, representing their schools.
  • A teacher is limited to one application per year (whether submitting as an individual or team applicant).
  • A school may submit an unlimited number of applications.

The Shell Science Lab Challenge national winners will be honored during a black-tie dinner gala at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. The grand-prize winner will receive a lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.

Applications are due by 12PM EST on December 21, 2018 via online submission.


The Shell Science Teaching Award

A partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), this award recognizes one outstanding classroom teacher (grades K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and the community through exemplary science teaching. The recipient of the Shell Science Teaching Award will receive $10,000, as well as an all-expense-paid trip (along with the two finalists) to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. All three will be honored at the Awards Banquet. The recipient will also be recognized at the Teacher Awards Banquet. The 10 semifinalists will receive certificates of distinction. Completed applications must be received by December 17, 2018.