Highlights from the 2019 Green Schools Conference and Expo

Published on: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Amanda Sawit

Earlier this month, more than a thousand attendees gathered at the Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE) in St. Paul, Minnesota, to celebrate the role of schools in fostering the next generation of sustainability leaders.

The event offered two days of educational sessions, case studies, hands-on workshops and lectures from today's green school experts. For those that missed it, here’s some exciting news from the conference. Also, check out photos from the event in our slideshow below.

USGBC unveiled a new program for teaching STEM in K–12 schools.

The Building Learners program is equipped with standards-aligned lessons from Learning Lab about sustainability and the state-of-the-art online building management dashboard in Arc. It brings together a core team of school facilities personnel, educators and volunteer green building professionals to engage students in real-world energy, water, waste, transportation and environmental health investigations of their school.

Teachers, administrators and facility managers can get started for free now. Schools can also now begin using the Arc digital dashboard for tracking building performance.

The program builds on a previous beta program that was conducted with a handful of schools and districts across the nation. There are currently 110 schools using Arc to measure and teach sustainability.

The first student-led LEED v4.1 project in Minnesota achieved LEED Gold.

Students and alumni of the School of Environmental Studies of Apple Valley, Minnesota, celebrated the LEED certification of their school building with a plaque ceremony during the GSCE opening plenary. The multi-year effort was ultimately led by 45 students, with the assistance of 25 local green building professionals. This was the first Minnesota project certified under LEED v4.1 to be driven by students.

“The project overall has given a voice to students, inspiring advocacy and action,” said Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president at USGBC, during the ceremony. “They are truly a shining beacon of what’s possible when you let students take the lead.”

The location of the 2020 GSCE and the call for proposals will be announced soon. Learn more at greenschoolsconference.org.

View our slideshow of photos from GSCE: