Day 22

School

PARTNERS

Guayaki
Guayaki
Guayaki

OVERVIEW

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary, statesman and philanthropist

Schools are where we live, learn, and develop the intellectual foundation for the rest of our lives. At Turning Green, we believe school campuses and communities are one of the best starting points for change. All of us have the potential to bring more sustainability, equity, and justice into our school environments. Chances are, other students and teachers are already interested — and waiting for someone to reach out and make things happen. That person could be YOU! Sparking change on a massive scale begins by starting with one campus, then branching out to nearby schools and beyond. Step by step, together with classmates, leaders and partners, we can build the capacity necessary for real, lasting, positive impact. 

The COVID-19 pandemic completely shifted schools and education, requiring everyone to adapt to a new reality of online learning with countless challenges, as well as opportunities. Suddenly, your classroom was at your fingertips, connecting with teachers, mentors and peers happened by logging onto a call, and virtual mobilization proved not only possible, but uniquely powerful. As we slowly move toward a world with increased gatherings in person, new uses of technology have opened doors for young climate activists around the world.

Student-led movements have always been powerful catalysts for societal change. Motivated young people have limitless potential and immense capability! From school strikes for climate to divesting from fossil fuels to standing for racial justice in higher education, March for Our Lives to movements to ban glyphosate on campuses, students just like you are rising up locally and globally in support of a safe, healthy, just planet. Your work on one campus can lead to growth, even national and international momentum. Every movement begins with taking the first step. Youth leaders have been and remain vital in fighting for social justice. The civil rights movement, especially in the 1960s and onwards, relied heavily on young activists. The Greensboro Lunch Counter sit-in, a historically crucial moment, was led by students. Even if your actions feel individual or small, know that a better future begins with you.

In the face of COVID-19, schools adapted, pivoted, transformed rapidly, decisively and massively. Now ask yourself: what other changes might make your school a better, more just and sustainable place? Push those issues! Schools, like any institution, change because of people power, because of our voices, demands, coalitions and collaborative action. This can take many forms, including the work of organizations like our partner AASHE, empowering faculty, administrators, staff and students to advance sustainability throughout higher education and equip leaders to solve sustainability challenges. Our partner Captain Planet Foundation provides students, educators and schools with project-based curriculum like Project Hero around local species and ecosystems, as well as onsite learning laboratories through Project Learning Garden, and much more to engage and empower K-12 problem-solvers for the planet. Our partner RW Garcia ensures students have access to snacks that are healthier and irresistible on campuses and beyond that contribute to the health of people and planet.

And change can be enacted through direct academic channels. Programs, majors and departments dedicated to environmental studies, sustainability across disciplines, and social justice are becoming more common. New areas of education are rising to rightful prominence, and schools are responding to meet the interests and priorities of the next generation.

Before you begin today’s challenge, please join the 2021 PGC Facebook group. You’ll need to use it in the next few days!

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

THINK

For the past year and a half, school has looked different; classrooms became video meetings and we were immersed in a virtual reality. Now, you may be slowly moving back to in-person academic settings, though the role of technology and digital platforms continue to shape our lives, connections, and both formal and informal education.

 

CHALLENGE

Tell us about what “learning” has meant to you in the past year and a half.

  • Did you find that your education was given new dimension through virtual classrooms? Was it difficult for you?
  • What forms did learning take away from video calls, online portals or digital class meetings? What roles did social media, conversations with family or self-guided activities play? How could these and other forms of knowledge-sharing be a part of your academic life?

Craft a response in 100 to 200 words.

Now, share ONE insight about how your understanding of education has changed since the start of the pandemic. Post words, a graphic or image on Instagram. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2021, as well as any school accounts to ensure young voices are heard!

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF Document with your response, including a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2021.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg, Facebook @Turning Green, Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and use #PGC2021
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greener

40 POINTS

THINK

It’s time to reverse the roles. Give your school a report card!

 

CHALLENGE

Look back at the PGC challenges you have completed and consider these themes in the context of your campus. How is your school performing? In what areas does it excel? Where is there room for improvement?

Pick five PGC themes and give your school a grade, along with specific comments and recommendations for ways to improve what exists, as well as introduce new programs, classes, clubs or campus initiatives.

Post a visual depiction of this report card on Instagram. Tag your school (any and all relevant accounts!), @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2021.

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF Document with your response, including a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2021.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg, Facebook @Turning Green, Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and use #PGC2021
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greenest

60 POINTS

THINK 

Schools across the United States and around the world are responding to student interest in majors and minors related to the environment, climate, food systems, environmental justice, and more by offering classes, seminar series, programs and opportunities dedicated to the subjects. Let’s look into what’s out there!

 

CHALLENGE

Find 3 to 5 colleges or universities with strong sustainability-focused majors or minors.

  • What draws you to each program?
  • What makes it unique, compared to other schools?
  • Can you find out why and when it launched?
  • If possible, identify a specific class at each that interests you. Is there a syllabus you can share?

Using this research as inspiration, how would you adapt these programs to make your dream class — one that you would love to take next semester? Write a detailed overview with as many specifics as possible.

Share your guide on social media, making sure to tag your school administration. Let’s drum up excitement around relevant, sustainability-related education we want to see in schools! Tag @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2021, as always.

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF Document with responses to the questions, as well as a course outline (minimum 300 words). Include your name (or team name), username, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2021.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg, Facebook @Turning Green, Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and use #PGC2021
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest outstanding submissions will be selected as winners.

Each Greener Winner will receive:

  • A collection of organic gluten free snacks from our partner, RW Garcia. Not only do they want to make the world’s best and healthiest snacks, they also want to make the world a little better place to snack in.
  • Set of recycled notebooks from Soul Flower.
  • Pencils from Sprout. The plantable Sprout pencils can grow into plants like luscious flowers, fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables once they’re too short to use.   
  • Naked Binder 1” binder made from post-consumer waste binders board and lined with recycled paper, Set of tab dividers and pocket folders made from post-consumer waste chipboard.

Each Greenest Winner will receive:

  • A collection of organic gluten free snacks from our partner, RW Garcia. Not only do they want to make the world’s best and healthiest snacks, they also want to make the world a little better place to snack in. 
  • Each of Paravel’s foldable nylon backpacks is made from 15 upcycled plastic water bottles. At Paravel, sustainability is at the core of every decision and they fight against climate change. 
  • Save thousands of paper cups and plastic tops from wasting resources and polluting landfills by carrying this beautiful, reusable, dishwasher safe, to go cup from Ecoffee Cup.  The top looks like conventional plastic but it’s made of silicon and the cup is made from upcycled materials.
  • Equator Coffees’ Organic Mocha Java Blend.
  •