Underwood and Mason-Rice were the Newton winners of The Green Team Prizes! We are proud of the hard work and dedication of all students, educators, and parents who teamed up to improve recycling (and composting) in their schools.
“Congratulations on all of the wonderful environmental activities you and your students completed this year! We have posted the full list of GREEN TEAM activities accomplished at schools across the state. Even with schools closing early this year, your work and results are amazing and inspiring! Check out the new photos in the GREEN TEAM Photo Gallery and stories in the GREEN TEAM Spotlight to see some of our amazing GREEN TEAM students in action!”
This week’s topic is Air Pollution. THE GREEN TEAM has created or collected the following activities and resources to teach students about air quality and the ways that they can make an impact to reduce pollution:
May 15 is Massachusetts Plant Something Day! By planting just one flowering plant, students can help provide pollen and nectar for pollinators. These beneficial birds and insects pollinate gardens, which allows fruit – like juicy tomatoes, apples, and squash – to grow later in the season.
THE GREEN TEAM has gathered the following resources to teach students about gardening and pollination:
Longwood Gardens’ Pollination Activities include printable math and science worksheets that teach students about the importance of pollination and ways the community can help the pollinators. These activities were created to be used at Longwood Gardens but can easily be adapted for use in home gardens or neighborhood walks.
This week’s featured topic is ReducingEnergy Consumption. Teaching students to conserve energy introduces them to the value of energy efficiency. Students can see how reducing their energy consumption can have a daily impact on their school and home energy use.
Here are some activities and lesson plans that THE GREEN TEAM has created or collected around Reducing Energy Consumption:
Cambridge Energy Alliance Energy Efficiency Lesson Plans: This document compiles a number of activities and lesson plans on energy efficiency, organized by activity length and topic. Easily adaptable for home use, these lesson plans engage students with hands-on projects on subjects such as wind energy, energy conservation, and insulation. Though there is mention of CFLs being energy efficient, students should know that LEDs can be more efficient.
Welcome to the first edition of our weekly eblast sharing environmental education resources that your students can do from home. We hope these emails will help support efforts to engage your students in remote learning while schools are closed.
This week’s featured topic is Food Waste Reduction. Many families purchased extra food in the rush to stay well stocked at home, or are trying to stretch the food they have available to last longer. Now is a great moment for your students to learn about methods of reducing wasted food and composting food scraps.
Here are some activities and lesson plans that THE GREEN TEAM has created or collected to teach your students about the importance of composting and food waste reduction:
Waste-Free Snacks Challenge: As part of the Green Education Foundation’s Waste Reduction Challenge, this activity asks students to think critically and analyze the waste produced from their daily snacks and lunch, and invites them to explore alternatives that generate less packaging and food waste.
Save the Food: This website, sponsored by the AdCouncil and National Resource Defense Council, includes tools, tips, practical guidance on how to reduce food waste through proper planning and storage techniques, and impactful videos.
Follow the journey of a strawberry from the farm to the refrigerator to understand all that it takes to bring your food to you. Did you know that 40% of our food ends up wasted? Wasted food is the single largest contributor to landfills in the US—not to mention that it wastes water, labor, fuel, money, & love!
Mass DEP’s The Green Team will be hosting an informational webinar on January 29, 2020 from 3:30-4:30 pm. The webinar will discuss how schools and classrooms can benefit from The Green Team resources, including free curricula, lesson plans & activities, composting & idling reduction equipment, and recognition & prizes for students. You can register for this free webinar here.
What: The Green Team Informational Webinar When: January 29th, 3:30-4:30PM Where: At your desk, on your computer How much: Free
The Green Team is an interactive educational program that empowers students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention. Participating classes receive certificates of recognition and are eligible to win awards.
The Green Team is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Have your school joined yet? THE GREEN TEAM is a program of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection that offers many great resources for schools, including free curricula, lesson plans & activities, composting & idling reduction equipment, and recognition & prizes for students.
“At Whole Kids Foundation, we know that the more kids know and feel connected to their food, the more curious they become about how things grow or taste, and the more willing they are to try new foods. This is why we believe in edible garden learning spaces!”
The Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible educational garden at either a:
501(c)(3) Non-profit working in partnership with a K–12 school
The documentary Under Pressure was created by the 2019 senior class from Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, MA and covers the September 2018 Merrimack Valley Columbia gas explosions and the natural gas industry in Massachusetts and nationally. The documentary film explores the complex truth of natural gas as an energy source as well as the struggles of local families and small businesses as they attempt to rebuild their lives after a disaster. The expedition spanned all four core classes and lasted from September to the film’s premiere at the Greenfield Garden Cinema in February 2019.
We asked the teacher
What was compelling for your students about this? The most compelling aspects of this expedition were that the students themselves chose the topic of the film and that they were ultimately responsible for the quality of a film that they would show to a full theater here in Greenfield then distribute far and wide via the internet. They put their names and the name of the school on this product and many of them decided that they were not going to accept anything below what they thought was their best work.
What were the challenges? Having 30 people make one movie was the biggest challenge. This was the most intense group work experience many of them had ever done. It’s not easy to have a conversation with your colleague about a difference in opinion about what’s best for the project or to point out when you don’t think they are doing their share, especially when you’re 17 years old. We build learning targets into our lessons to help address these challenges and see them as part of the learning but recognize that it’s still tough.
What makes this particular piece a model for other students? Video is a medium that saturates our lives whether we like it or not. We are constantly bombarded by it but unless students take the time to learn what is behind these images and sounds they might not know how much effort it takes to produce a quality video of any length. This documentary shows other students what is possible with a small budget and equipment available at just about any community television station. There was so much thought and effort that went into our film, I can see future senior classes here at Four Rivers using this film as a model for everything from B-roll and archival footage use, to narration and script and storytelling.
What would be your advice to a teacher that is inspired by this project? Give yourself plenty of time. The act of making a movie is a great motivating factor, and with a compelling story, the students will be engaged and driven to get the story out there. The hard part is getting the film done on time. A few years ago our movie finished exporting while folks were already in the theater, and since then we’ve gotten a little better each year about the timing, but it always takes more time than you think. To quote a professional filmmaker that our students work with, “finish the film. That’s the goal.”
Ask for a screening
Contact Cindy Mapes ([email protected]) from Mothers Out Front if your school or organization is interested in a screening the film, as the anniversary of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions is coming up.