2019 – Present
Environmental Education engages with students in the Chicago Public School system and spreads knowledge about various topics related to the environment, our relationship with it, and sustainability as a whole. The goal is to enlighten students about ways that they can interact with and help our planet.
Our project group recognizes the importance of turning awareness into pro-environmental behavior. Thus, we also aim to provide students with the tools and resources to more easily engage them in sustainable living and to help them become environmental advocates.
We partner with public and charter schools (K-12) through the Neighborhood Schools Program and teach mini-lectures on climate change, sustainability, food security, natural gardening, and permaculture complemented by hands-on activities (e.g., poster-making, indoor and outdoor gardening, blind-taste tests).
This year, we taught tailored lessons to a 25-student, 6th grade class in Ray Elementary and a 10-student, high school class in Gary Comer Youth Center. Our high school curriculum includes lessons over environmental careers.
Project group leader Defne leads an interactive soil activity (2019)
Students at Ray Elementary School participated in a bean sprout growing activity. The students measured the plants' growth over time (image left), and they planted their sprouts in the school's garden along with other vegetables.
Environmental Education also lead water testing activities, where students tested the pH and other chemical properties of various water bodies in Hyde Park.
In December 2021, we had the opportunity to present our work to UChicago President Alivisatos at the inaugural Sustainability Town Hall.
Project Group Leaders Defne and Ally present Environmental Education's poster to President Alivisatos.
Environmental Education members pose with their poster at the Sustainability Town Hall Poster Fair.
A student's work during in-person instruction (2019)
Environmental Education lead Garden Club virtually in 2020-2021, where meetings focused on a variety of sustainable topics:
global impact of food production,
sustainable innovations and technologies
Environmental Education members for the 2021-2022 academic year.