The Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE) taking place in Portland, Oregon, from March 2–4, 2020, is the only national event to convene all of the various professionals involved in making green schools a reality: people who lead, operate, build and teach in U.S. schools.
Following two days of informative educational sessions, GSCE is offering a variety of full-day workshops and tours on Wednesday, March 4. From biophilic design to whole school sustainability, there is a topic for every green schools stakeholder.
Some workshops include an off-site tour that will take attendees to sustainable school grounds and buildings, creating a full immersion in proven green school practices.
Read about each of the five workshops below:
Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry as a Framework for GreenSTEM Education
Offsite Tour and Workshop Location: Oregon Zoo
Led by the Biomimicry Institute and Global GreenSTEM, attendees will learn all about biomimicry (nature-inspired design) as an innovative method that looks to examples in nature to solve design and engineering problems. The day begins with tour of the Oregon Zoo for a hands-on look at how educators can use biomimicry as a framework to teach standards-aligned content while empowering our next generation of problem-solvers to think differently about nature, engineering and a sustainable future.
Getting to Zero Energy and Carbon Over Time in Schools
Offsite Tour: Oregon Episcopal School
Workshop Location: AIA Portland
Getting your facility to net zero can seem insurmountable. But a "Zero Over Time" approach can help districts address barriers and develop a cost-effective plan to achieve those goals. Starting with a tour of Oregon Episcopal School, led by the design team and school administrators, attendees will see firsthand a net zero energy facility and learn more about their journey to zero. Next, participants will dive more deeply into the Zero Over Time approach, applying it to both public and private institutions, with facilitators from the New Buildings Institute and other net zero experts.
Green Schoolyards Tour with Learning Landscapes and Growing Gardens
Tour: Franciscan Montessori Earth School, Bridlemile Elementary School and Lent K–8 School
Workshop Location: Franciscan Montessori
Led by Learning Landscapes Design and Growing Gardens, this tour and workshop will feature three unique schoolyard visits to sites where gardens, nature play and native landscaping are designed to enrich student learning. The tours will highlight the sites’ approaches to learning on their school grounds, inclusion for all students, and partnerships for successful implementation and maintenance throughout the life of the project. The workshop will explore opportunities to transform the outdoor learning, health and play experience for your students using native materials and low-cost strategies.
Transforming Curriculum and Instruction for Sustainability
Location: Hilton Portland Downtown, Pavilion West
In this workshop, Jaimie Cloud from The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education will lead a mini Education for Sustainability (EfS) Design Studio that will offer educators an opportunity to explore how to transform curriculum, teaching and learning to support student understanding of sustainability. Using a “backward design” approach, Jaimie will help educators choose and embed EfS standards and performance indicators into existing core units of study. Workshop participants should come equipped with a unit of curriculum to “sustainabilize.”
Whole School Sustainability
Location: Hilton Portland Downtown, Pavilion East
This workshop is led by the Colorado State University Institute for the Built Environment and the Green Schools Alliance. The Whole School Sustainability framework contains nine principles that top schools and districts are implementing to focus action toward achieving holistic green schools. Through lectures, exercises and brainstorming, participants will understand the steps to instill practices and policies, improve operations and discover ways to engage the whole school community in sustainability. Attendees will also be introduced to START (Sustainability Tracking and Roadmap Tool), which supports ongoing green school activity planning and tracking.
Registration is now open for GSCE. Register by Dec. 20 to receive early bird pricing.