Generation Green Spotlights Treasure Coast's Best Schools, Students and More
The Treasure Coast Branch of the USGBC South Florida Chapter and its sponsors are proud to announce Generation Green 2013. This annual event recognizes and honors individuals, classrooms and schools in the Treasure Coast region for their commitment to greening schools and our community. This year's event will take place on Saturday, April 13. To learn more, including registration and sponsorship particulars, click here.
Everglades Elementary and Northboro Elementary Achieve LEED Gold Certification
Everglades Elementary and Northboro Elementary achieved a LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System was designed by the USGBC to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings. The Certification requires all aspects of the campus to be evaluated for Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. LEED aspects and green initiatives were at the forefront during the planning, design and construction of these two Palm Beach County schools.
What Can You Do at Your
School District or Campus?
• First of all, create a team of representatives from all groups and departments to brainstorm and discuss green strategies ... and implement curriculum that deals specifically with sustainability.
• Sell your school board and administration on energy-efficiency projects by demonstrating results and using metrics that they can understand such as relating green change to the number of teacher salaries per upgrade. For example, "We can pay for "x" number of teacher salaries with the savings" is language that school Boards, elected officials and parents can understand.
• Implement sustainable operation and maintenance strategies such as green cleaning and recycling programs.
• Pay particular attention to upgrades that allow flexibility in the future.
• Take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate and teach students how to live more energy efficiently. In university and college settings, work with the student life office to get out the green message. You'll be pleasantly surprised how many of our campuses already have a student green group already in place. Utilize your biggest, least expensive resource by getting students involved. They may very well have already started green projects.
Future Green Schools Events
Check back here for a listing of South Florida's upcoming green-schools events, programs and meetings. For a listing of the Chapter's upcoming programs, click here.
PB County Green Schools Blog
Check out the new blog created for those interested in greening Palm Beach County Schools. Created by Audrey Dalton, Chair of the Palm Beach Branch's Green Schools Committee, it offers a new twist on communications concerning this important initiative. Please send announcements, photos, etc., but only if they pertain to Palm Beach County Schools.
Other Local Green Schools Websites
Information is power. And green-building information is, seemingly, everywhere. Below you will find links to resources to help you learn more about the importance of greening our schools, new and existing. Many more can be found by searching such key words as high-performance green schools, healthy schools, LEED for Schools, energy-efficient schools, greening K12 curriculum, etc.
If you wish to add a resource website to this listing, send your suggestion to Lee Cooke, our Chapter’s Executive Director. Your submission will be vetted by the Chapter’s volunteer leadership.
The links provided below are shown for reference only. The USGBC South Florida Chapter is not responsible nor can be held liable for any linked content, claims or representations within the websites listed.
Of course, we start our Green Schools Resources List with the US Green Building Council. The USGBC provides a wealth of resources and education tied to this critically important subject. Here are three outstanding pages well worth a click and your time:
Our region's respective school districts' green schools initiatives can be found by clicking below on the name of the district or the bullets underneath it. If there is no hotlink provided, the Chapter hasn't sourced that particular district's website tied to green schools. Please send requests regarding posts to Lee Cooke.
School districts in the following counties have not submitted green-schools websites: Indian River, St. Lucie. Okeechobee, Martin, and Miami-Dade.
Palm Beach -- The PBCounty School District's Green Schools and Sustainability Website; The PBCounty School District's Green Schools Recognition Program; PBCounty Schools Go Green;
PBCounty's Green Schools Initiatives and Lessons Learned
Broward -- Broward County Schools -- Environmental Stewardship
Our State of Florida's green schools initiatives can be found here: Serve to Preserve; Sustainable Florida; Florida Green School Network
The Green Education Foundation provides lots of free, green curriculum, signage, etc., and is a terrific network for educators.
The Environmental Protection Agency has several webpages devoted to elementary-aged children, their parents and teachers: Environmental Kids Club; Energy Star Kids
The US Department of Energy offers green energy K-12 lesson plans and activities that are downloadable here. Topics include Energy Basics, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Environment, Solar Energy and more.
The US Department of Energy also has an EnergySmart Schools section of its excellent website. Also, check out: Alliance to Save Energy's Green Schools Program; US Energy Information Administration -- Energy Kids
Green Competitions for Schools
• National Junior Solar Sprint/Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Competitions -- This DOE program challenges student teams in grades 6-8 to construct model solar and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
• Campus Conservation Nationals is a nationwide resource use-reduction competition that challenges college and university campuses to achieve the greatest electricity and water use reductions during a 3-week period. Race back to a Gigawatt!
• National Science Bowl -- This DOE-sponsored academic competition brings teams of high school students together to answer questions on scientific topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, earth, computer and general science.
• Council of Educational Facility Planners, International (CEFPI) Design Competition -- This annual competition (open to middle school students) challenges students to design their schools to enhance learning, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive, and engage the surrounding community.
• Igniting Creative Energy Challenge -- This educational competition encourages K-12 students to learn more about energy and the environment.
• ExploraVision -- This competition, administered by the National Science Teachers Association, encourages K-12 students to create technologies of the future.
• JETS: Junior Engineering Technical Society -- This annual engineering design competition challenges students in grades 9-12 to design and build an assistive technology device to help a person with severe disabilities succeed in his or her workplace.
• The Real World Design Challenge (Grades 9-12) -- This annual event provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment.
Green Schools Challenge
The Green Schools Challenge (GSC) is Dream in Green’s flagship program. Currently in its seventh year, it serves more than 160,000 K-12 students, teachers and staff members in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the nation. The program educates students about environmental and energy challenges by getting them involved in real-world, no-cost solutions at their schools and at home. During the program's first six years, participating students saved $4.5 million in energy costs and conserved 9.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity through simple initiatives like turning off lights and unplugging electronics. Combined with other green projects like planting trees and recycling, the program has helped to reduce or offset 22.5 million pounds of carbon emissions. Over the years, countless students have applied the lessons of the GSC at home and in their communities, magnifying the positive impact of the program.
Dream in Green is a South Florida-based nonprofit organization that partners with schools, local governments and businesses to address the challenge that climate change poses to the South Florida community. Dream in Green has been inspiring and empowering youngsters to take action and become part of the solution, and the USGBC South Florida Chapter is proud to partner with and support the Green School Challenge and Dream in Green.