green schools

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Chartiers Valley School District is charting new territory for school design and construction

At a recent Green and Healthy Schools Academy event, representatives from the Chartiers Valley School District administration, facility designer IKM Inc., and the Green & Healthy Schools Academy spoke about what makes the new Chartiers Valley Middle and High Schools project innovative and unique, and why all schools should be considering this type of approach. […]

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Green Schools Prepare Students for 21st Century Challenges

The Pittsburgh region’s health and vitality is inextricably connected to the quality and effectiveness of our education system. Not only is it critical to fostering the homegrown talent that makes our region thrive, but it also cultivates employees and citizens who are prepared to tackle 21st century challenges. “Green schools” can help transform our schools […]

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Spectrum Charter School: A Local Success Story of a Culture of Sustainability

At first sight, Spectrum Charter School seemed like many other schools, albeit smaller. As we followed Spectrum’s Principal Jenni Carpenter into our first class visit of the day, we realized that Spectrum Charter School approaches education differently, and calling Spectrum ordinary or traditional would be a serious mistake.  If you have ever spent much time […]

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Green Schools Conference & Expo – Get Involved!

  Volunteer and attend the conference for free!  The conference is looking for 15 to 20 volunteers to assist the conference with wayfinding and education session monitoring. This is a great opportunity to help out, and also be able to attend the conference free of charge! Volunteers are required to volunteer for one shift of […]

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Green & Healthy Schools Academy Celebrates 2014 Accomplishments

The Green & Healthy Schools Academy (GHSA) helps schools become engaging, inspiring, and thriving places where students and staff can reach their full potential. Its work is critical to pursuing GBA’s vision that “everyone from every socioeconomic background is able to live, work, learn, and play in healthy and high-performing places.” In 2014, GHSA added workshops […]

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Leave the LEED and Green Globes incentives in HB 210

A big vote is coming up on Tuesday February 24 that we need your help on.  Please contact your state representative and ask them to leave the LEED and Green Globes incentives in the bill so that we can have more green schools. HB 210 goes to vote on Tuesday the 24th. This bill makes  […]

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Green & Healthy Schools Academy announces FREE green workshops for schools

Join the Green & Healthy Schools Academy for our upcoming workshops, where we will provide school facility and business managers with guidance and strategies to make schools healthier and higher performing with little to no capital investment. These workshops are open to everyone, but are FREE for school personnel! Top Ten Reasons Why We Need […]

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Workshop with David Sobel: Program Development Based on Childhood and Nature Design Principles

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“Give children a chance to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” –David Sobel

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Green Building Alliance’s Green Schools Academy and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are very exciting to present this workshop with David Sobel, the “father of place-based education.”  It is a great opportunity to work closely with David and other local environmental educators in an intimate setting at the beautiful and inspiring Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

About the Workshop
The seven Children and Nature Design Principles are Special Places, Adventure, Fantasy, Small Worlds, Hunting and Gathering, Animal Allies and Maps and Paths. These design principles are based on recurrent play patterns in childhood, and can serve as ways to rethink programming and exhibitry at your organizations and schools. This workshop is excellent for environmental educators interested in discovering ways to construct new and innovative approaches to:

  • Curriculum design in schools,
  • Program design for summer and vacation camps, nature center programming and even birthday parties, or
  • Exhibit design in your education centers, museums, and institutions.

We’ll look at examples of applying the design principles in school and outside of school. Then we’ll all work on a design challenge—using the design principles to do program design in the local setting. Finally, in small groups, we’ll use the principles to innovate your approach to curriculum or a program you need to design in your personal or professional life.

Program participants are encouraged to come prepared with a design challenge, and to think about the workshop more like a design charrette. Examples of possible design challenges include:

  • We want to do a program on connecting children to local forests
  • We want to do more programming focused on educating about global warming with local schools
  • We want to install a new nature play area at our environmental center
  • We want to connect better with the African American community regarding getting kids outside
  • We have a vacation week camp in February and we want to redesign the program focused on tracking animals
  • We’re developing a new exhibit at the zoo and the main objective is getting young children and parents interacting with live animals

Teams of more than one individual from each organization/school are encouraged, however individuals can still attend.

Upon registration, attendees will receive materials in order to adequately prepare their design challenge for the workshop.

Attendance is very limited, so please register ASAP.

About David Sobel

David Sobel, a celebrated educator and writer who advances and promotes the philosophy of place-based education. By helping to establish the reciprocal relationships between our environments, our schools and our communities, David teaches us an educational approach that enhances student achievement, revitalizes our schools and communities, and promotes human and ecological health. David has a very long list of accomplishments, including:

  • Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University New England
  • Consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education to schools, environmental organizations, and the National Park Service
  • Has authored seven books and more than 60 articles on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists, and school administrators
  • Was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the United States in 2007 by Edutopia magazine
  • Has served on the editorial boards of:
    • Encounter
    • Community Works Journal
    • Orion

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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: David Sobel and Jane Werner

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How Schools and Community Institutions Can Utilize the Surrounding Community to Enhance Education and Engage Our Youth

“Give children a chance to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” –David Sobel

This Inspire Speakers Series features:

  • David Sobel, a celebrated educator and writer who advances and promotes the philosophy of place-based education. By helping to establish the reciprocal relationships between our environments, our schools and our communities, David teaches us an educational approach that enhances student achievement, revitalizes our schools and communities, and promotes human and ecological health.
  • Jane Werner, the Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, a local cultural gem, who is inspired by the connection between science and art as well as the co-education of children and families. The award-winning, LEED-certified museum delights and inspires children through “real stuff” experiences for play and learning. Named one of the nation’s top ten children’s museums by Parents Magazine in 2011 and recognized nationally for its work in the community, it offers a great regional example of where kids and families can find opportunities for wonder, exploration and action.

Both leaders have a vision for healthy communities and the enrichment of learning for both students and adults. Join us as the speakers guide us along a path from wonder and joy towards social action and inspiring education. Attendees will discover the:

  • Value of place-based education in celebrating local history, art, and the environment through play, wonder, exploration and hands-on learning.
  • Opportunity for environmental education to provide an escape from the “ecophobia” that posits the natural world as a tragic problem, and for inspired curriculum to serve a social purpose.
  • Positive impact on student achievement and engagement when education is designed like the local farmers’ market, drawing on the resources and diversity of the local community.
  • Children’s Museum’s commitment to community locally and nationally, and their exciting programming that goes beyond the museum’s borders.
  • Role of children’s museums and other community institutions to inspire and innovate as they work on the edge of formal education.
  • Possibility for connecting our schools, community institutions, and businesses to create a culture of thriving community collaboration and learning.

More About David Sobel

  • Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University New England
  • Consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education to schools, environmental organizations, and the National Park Service
  • Has authored seven books and more than 60 articles on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists, and school administrators
  • Was recognized as one of the Daring Dozen educational leaders in the United States in 2007 by Edutopia magazine
  • Has served on the editorial boards of:
    • Encounter
    • Community Works Journal
    • Orion

More About Jane Werner

  • Has 31 years of museum experience, including 23 years at The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh where she served as Program Director, Deputy Director and currently Executive Director
  • Led the The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s 2004 expansion, a $29M capital campaign that resulted in the first LEED certified children’s museum in the country with a Silver designation, the 2006 American Institute of Architects National Award and 2006 National Trust for Historic Preservation Award. This expansion led to the museum’s attendance growing from 83,000 to over 260,000 visitors per year.
  • Under Jane’s leadership, the Museum has received:
    • The 2009 National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its work in the community
    • Parents Magazine’s Top Ten children’s museums in the country in 2011
    • One of five Magnetic Museums in the museum industry by American Alliance of Museums in 2013
  • A graduate of Syracuse University, Jane currently is President of the Association of Children’s Museums. She sits on and is past president of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Board and New Hazlett Theater. She is on the advisory boards of the Maker Education Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University’s Studio for Creative Inquiry, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Forbes Fund, Kids and Creativity Working Group, Fred Rogers’ Center and Winchester Thurston School.
  • Her awards include:
    • ASTC’s 2007 Leading Edge Award for Experienced Leadership in the field
    • 2012 Westmoreland gold medal for Museum Leadership
    • 2012 YWCA Woman in the Arts Leadership Award
    • Named on of 2013 Pittsburgh Businesswoman Leaders

Come grab dinner and enjoy an opportunity for networking in Phipps Cafe starting at 5:00 p.m. Inspire Speakers presentations will follow at 6:00 p.m. Register here to join the speakers for dinner after their talks.

Partner organizations for this event are:

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