SEDI Honors Local Teachers’ Sustainability Projects with 2013 TASC Awards
AUGUST 14, 2013
The Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) of Northern Arizona recognized seven teachers with a “Teacher Awards for Sustainability Curriculum” and no-strings-attached checks for $1,000 at an awards ceremony on May 21 at the 1899 Bar and Grill.
The awards are granted to teachers for the development and implementation of lessons, units, or projects that reflect and reinforce the three principles of sustainability: social equity, economic prosperity, and ecological health.
Jan Hayes, Emily Connors, and Becky Cox from Knoles Elementary School were granted awards for their Kinder Garden ABCs project, a cross-curricular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics) project for kindergarten students.
The outdoor experiential gardening project uses the unique process of “straw bale gardening” to create zones patterned after the Northern Arizona Arboretum. Supported by hands-on science projects, field trips to local nurseries, and a variety of children’s literature, the academically-integrated Kinder Garden ABCs project also comprises music, art and mentoring opportunities for students.
Linda Crawford from West Sedona School was granted an award for her Sustainable School Garden and Seed Library. The school garden, which has served as an outdoor classroom for the past five years, enables third- and fourth-grade students to connect to the earth by gardening, planting seeds, harvesting food and maintaining a science notebook to record findings throughout each step of the designing and gardening process.
Darren McCormick from West Sedona School was granted an award for his Wind Energy Project, which took seventh- and eighth-grade students on a weeklong, multidisciplinary wind energy unit in collaboration with NAU’s Wind for Schools program. Student activities included: a contest to design and build a windmill that would lift the most weight when placed in front of fan; calculation of the energy output and efficiency of the student-made windmills; exploration of the best places to capture wind on the school campus; and interactive presentations on windy energy and other renewable energy sources.
Jeff Scroggins and Lynda Zanolli from Clarkdale-Jerome School were granted awards for the “Top Ten Wanted Dead and Alive Species” project being implemented with seventh-graders. A partnership with Clarkdale-Jerome School and the Verde Natural Resource Conservation District, the project educates students about the economic, social, and ecological impact of native and invasive species in the Verde River watershed. Students create “Wanted” and “Found” posters in conjunction with a field trip to Montezuma Well to see and understand the impact of invasive species on our natural world.
SEDI is proud to offer such an important program that encourages and recognizes the development and implementation of innovative, multidisciplinary educational approaches that instill in students the importance, value and practicality of sustainability. It is essential to preparing the leaders of tomorrow.