Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Sustainable Product Design Templates


Sustainable Product Design Templates document sample

More Info
									Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual

                                                               Prepared by
            Gilda Wheeler, OSPI, Education for Environment and Sustainability
                   Kristen Clapper Bergsman, Laughing Crow Curriculum LLC
                                Colleen Thumlert, Cascadia Consulting Group
                                   Beth Kelly, OSPI Learn and Serve America

                                                           Project Partners
                          Environmental Education Association of Washington
                                                       Puget Sound Energy
                                                   Learn and Serve America

                                             Version 2.0    September 2010

Prepared by
Gilda Wheeler, OSPI Education for Environment and Sustainability
Kristen Clapper Bergsman, Laughing Crow Curriculum LLC
Colleen Thumlert, Cascadia Consulting Group
Beth Kelly, OSPI Learn and Serve America

Project Partners
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Environmental Education Association of Washington
Puget Sound Energy
Learn and Serve America

The following individuals reviewed all or part of the 2008 version of this manual:

JoLynn Berge, OSPI                                   Sheryl Shapiro, City of Seattle
Martin Fortin Jr., AWSP                              Ben Wheeler, Explorer West Middle School
Katie Frevert, UW                                    Greg Williamson, OSPI
Crina Hoyer, ReSources                               Katie Atkins, Cascadia Consulting
Beth Kelly, OSPI                                     Susie Richards, SEA
Jessica Levine, Seattle Public Schools               Chris Burt, SEA
Mary McClellen, OSPI                                 Mike Maryanski, Tahoma SD
Abby Ruskey, EEAW

Teachers and administrators from the following schools and districts reviewed Version 2 as
part of their participation in the Learn and Serve Sustainable Design Project grant program:

East Valley School District, Spokane                 Franklin High School, Seattle Public Schools
Kettle Falls School District                         Pasco School District
Highland School District                             South Whidbey School District
West Valley School District, Yakima                  Coupeville School District
Davis High School, Yakima                            Central Middle School
White Salmon Valley School District                  St Charles Catholic School
Komachin Middle School, North Thurston               High Tech High School, Quincy
Chimacum Middle School, Chimacum                     Seattle Academy, Seattle
Sequim School District                               Whittier Elementary,
Spanaway Elementary, Bethel                          Eckstein Middle School
Clover Park High School, Clover Park                 Cheney Middle School
Seattle Public Schools                               Chimacum Pi Program, Chimacum
Sustainable Design Project Steering Committee Members
Apryl Brinkley, Mercer Slough Environmental               Kathy Kimball, Board Member, Pacific Education
Education Center-Pacific Science Center                   Institute
Sheila Brown, Environmental Learning Centers,             Carole Kubota, UW Bothell
Seattle Parks and Recreation                              Jessica Levine, Eckstein Middle School
Sally Brownfield, OSPI Center for the Improvement         Karen Matsumoto, Seattle Aquarium
of Student Learning                                       T.A. McCann
Christie Fairchild, Komo Kulshan Outdoor School           Nan McNutt, Indigenous Science Consultant
Lynne Ferguson, Pacific Education Institute               Gretchen Muller, Seattle Public Utilities
Katie Frevert, NIEHS Center for Ecogenetics and           Victor Nolet, Western Washington University
Environmental Health, U of W                              Pat O'Rourke, Islandwood
Peter D. Finch, West Valley School District, Yakima       John Pope, OSPI
Marty Fortin, Association of WA School Principals         Kevin Powers, WSU Extension
James R. Freed, WSU Extension                             Steve Robinson, Northwest Indian Fisheries
Jacqueline Fuller, EnviroChallenger, City of              Commission
Tacoma                                                    Tom Sanford, Olympic Park Institute
Sharon Gilbert, Lakewood Middle School                    Sheryl Shapiro, Seattle Public Utilities
Michael Hagmann, Ferrucci Junior High                     Jon Sharpe, NIEHS Center for Ecogenetics and
Debbi Hardy, Olympia School District                      Environmental Health, U of W
Jack Horne, Science ESD 171                               Bob Sotak, Everett School District
Crina Hoyer, ReSources for Sustainable                    Mike Town, Redmond High School
Communities                                               Margaret Tudor, Pacific Education Institute
Peter Hubbard, Lawton Elementary                          Cathy Tuttle, Sustainable Ballard
Rhonda Hunter, Department of Ecology                      Laura Tyler, MESA
Denny Hurtado, OSPI                                       Greg Williamson, OSPI
John Inch, EnviroChallenger, City Of Tacoma               Clancy Wolf, Islandwood
Rachael Jamison, Department of Ecology                    Eric Wuersten, Former OSPI Science Supervisor

Recommended Citation:
Wheeler, G., Bergsman, K., Thumlert, C and Kelly, B. (2010). Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual.
Olympia, WA: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Although the information in this document has been funded in part by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency under assistance agreement 96090701-0 to the Environmental Education
Association of Washington, it may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official
endorsement should be inferred.

About the Sustainable Design Project
The Sustainable Design Project (SDP) is a K-12 statewide initiative lead by the Office of
Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), The Environmental Education Association of Washington
(EEAW), and Puget Sound Energy to engage students in designing solutions to challenges in their
community within the context of systems and sustainability. This project received support from
Learn and Serve America.

About the Education for Environment and Sustainability Program
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction‘s Education for Environment and Sustainability
program supports academic success and life-long learning, and develops a responsible citizenry
capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current
and future needs. Learn more about the program at
Preface: Education for Sustainability                                       6

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Sustainable Design Project                   8

Chapter 2: Approaches to Learning: Project-Based and Place-Based Learning   16

Chapter 3: Student Engagement and Working as a Team                         20

Chapter 4: Structuring a Sustainable Design Project                         24

Chapter 5: Content Area Connections                                         29

Chapter 6: Connecting to Community Resources                                40

Chapter 7: Project Funding and Resources                                    46

Chapter 8: Showcasing the Projects                                          52

Chapter 9: Resources for Teaching Sustainable Design                        54

Appendix A Teacher Planning Tools                                           61

Appendix B Student Planning Tools                                           65

References                                                                  86
Education for Sustainability: A Vision for the Future

Where We’ve Been: Environmental Education in Washington State
Washington State has a rich history of environmental education. Since the early 1900s, the state has
developed landmark environmental education efforts which have served as models for the United
States, ranging from one of the first outdoor schools in the 1920s to a nationally recognized
Environmental Education Assessment Project in the 1990s. Washington State has benefited from the
dedication and hard work of many environmental educators and natural resource professionals who
recognized the importance of a deep, holistic understanding of our total environment, our place in it,
and our responsibility to it.

Where We’re Going: Education for Sustainability
Today, our students are encountering a rapidly changing and interconnected world. Because of this, it
is time to broaden environmental education to a more comprehensive view of the world that includes
teaching about the environment, as well as the social constructs of culture, society, governance, and
economics. Our quality of life, now and in the future, will ultimately depend upon humans‘
comprehension of their role in a world of interdependent environmental, economic, and social
systems. The goal of education for sustainability is to develop the capacity for society to meet the
needs of today while assuring intergenerational equity – that is, creating opportunities for a positive
present and a hopeful future.

Roots of the Sustainable Design Project
The Environmental Education Association of Washington (EEAW) is Washington‘s professional
association for environmental educators and stakeholders dedicated to increasing the awareness of
and support for environmental education (EE) in the state of Washington. EEAW lead the
development of a Comprehensive Environmental Education Plan for Washington state (E3

An outgrowth of the E3 Washington initiative to           The systems approach to understanding how the
identify ―politically and institutionally powerful        world works includes inputs, outputs, and
                                                          transformations of both constructed and natural
initiatives,‖ the Sustainable Design Project was
                                                          systems and the interplay between these
launched through a partnership of the Office of           systems. Describing how humans are affected
Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the          and in turn affect both constructed and natural
Environmental Education Association of Washington         systems is a goal of education for sustainability.
(EEAW), and Puget Sound Energy.                           One result of formal education is that students
                                                          graduate without knowing how to think in whole
What is Education for Sustainability?                     systems, how to find connections, how to ask big
Sustainability is a broad construct that usually refers   questions, and how to separate the trivial from the
to a concern for intergenerational equity, an idea that   important. Now more than ever, we need people
can be traced to a number of ancient cultures. The        who think broadly and who understand systems,
                                                          connections, patterns and root causes.
organizing premise is that when sustainability has
                                                                   ~ David Orr, Earth in Mind, 1994
been achieved, the current generation would be able
to meet its needs without jeopardizing the ability of
future generations to meet their needs. In the field of ecology, sustainability usually refers to the
capacity of an ecosystem to sustain interdependent forms of life by balancing the rate of resource
removal with the rate of resource regeneration. In the broader context in which the term is used today,
sustainability often refers to a balance among various human systems that influence and are
influenced by the natural environment. Ultimately, sustainability represents an ideal that will be
achieved when human-caused environmental degradation has been reversed and overconsumption

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 6
and economic injustices that deprive future generations of the ability to meet their needs are
eliminated (Nolet, Preparing Sustainability Literate Teachers, 2009).

Sustainability can be understood by even the youngest students, as evidenced in this definition from a
class of first graders from Geneva Elementary in Bellingham, Washington, ―Sustainability means
thinking not just about yourself but about the world and
everything in it, on it, and around it - taking care of these things
for the future. Everything is connected.”                            When we try to pick out something by
                                                                      itself, we find it hitched to everything
                                                                      else in the universe.
                                                                                                  ~John Muir
Three Domains of Education for Sustainability:
Environmental, Economic, and Social
The three domains that are addressed in Education for Sustainability are ecology/environment,
economy, and society/culture. We often try to come at sustainability from one direction based on our
own predisposition—from an ecological viewpoint, an economic viewpoint, or a social/cultural
viewpoint. To successfully engage in education for sustainability we must consider all three domains
together. Education for Sustainability is about learning to understand the connections and interactions
between these three domains.

   Environmental and ecological systems include the interactions between the biotic and
   abiotic components of both constructed and natural systems. These systems also
   include the interactions and influences between the two that create a web-like
   network of interactions. In this domain, sustainability includes stewardship and
   preservation of ecological systems.

   Economic systems include the economic opportunities that open gates for the flow of
   energy, materials, and information in constructed systems. A consideration of
   economic sustainability includes a viable economy in which all people are able to
   contribute, work, and have their basic needs met.

   Social systems include: the cultural values and norms of a society; the rules, laws, and
   workings of governance to regulate, protect, and provide for civilization; and, the
   quality of life indicators that we use to define and measure our well-being.
   Sustainable practices in this domain emphasize protecting the commons (natural
   commons such as air, water, and soil, as well as human constructed commons such as
   radio waves and the Internet) and seeking a fair distribution of resources.

Education for Sustainability provides students with opportunities to engage in complex problem
solving from multiple perspectives. It provides opportunities for students to gain deep understanding
of the interdependence of ecological systems, economic systems, and social systems. Both complex
problem solving and deep knowledge of interconnected systems of the world will be required to
develop sustainable solutions to human challenges that build hope for the future.

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                  7
CHAPTER 1: Introduction to the Sustainable Design Project
Purpose and use of this manual
This manual is designed to assist schools and teachers in integrating sustainable design projects into
their current teaching. It contains a variety of information and resources for this purpose. Some
teachers new to the concept of sustainability may want to read it from cover to cover, while others
who are familiar with this concept and approach to teaching will likely want to review the table of
contents and then go directly to sections of particular interest or of which they have questions. This is
a ―living document‖ and therefore will be updated periodically to meet the needs of teachers.

What is the Sustainable Design Project?
The Sustainable Design Project (SDP) is a Washington statewide K-12 initiative in which students,
together with community partners, study environmental, economic, and social systems and their
interconnectedness and address issues in those systems. The goal of the SDP is for students to
design sustainable solutions to real-world challenges while
increasing their level of civic and student engagement.
                                                                          The care of the Earth is our most
PLEASE NOTE: In this manual, ―Sustainable Design Project‖ will            ancient and most worthy, and
reference the initiative whereas ―sustainable design project‖ will        after all, our most pleasing
                                                                          responsibility. To cherish what
reference the actual student project/experience.
                                                                          remains of it and to foster its
                                                                          renewal is our only hope.
Solving real-world problems through interdisciplinary project-                              ~ Wendell Berry
based learning and/or service-learning
Project-based learning allows students to interact with a rapidly
changing and dynamic world. In response to recent favorable research on interactive learning, many
schools are beginning to integrate project-based learning into their curriculum. Service-learning is a
teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and
reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.
Furthermore, the SDP can be used as a means for students to complete their ―culminating project‖
graduation requirement. Through the culminating project, students become experts—with the help of
people in their community—and then share what they know with others.

Engaging students in their learning
Effective learning takes place when it is relevant to students‘ lives. The SDP is about connecting
students to their world today, their future, and to future generations. Through projects students
grapple with real-world systems, starting in their local communities. They design solutions to issues
such as water and energy use, resource conservation, climate change, clean air, sustainable food and
product design, all the while seeking to maximize the health of their communities, social equity, and
sustainable economy.

Empirical research demonstrates that student achievement is greater when learning is relevant,
hands-on, applied, interdisciplinary, and based in the real world. By its very nature, environmental and
sustainability education bridges schools and the natural and human-built environments. As students
work towards being change-agents, there is often a transformation that takes place within the student.
It can be a deeper sensitivity, increased awareness, more compassion towards others, in-depth
thinking and reflection on issues, and an urgency to be more engaged in the community.

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 8
School and community connections
Through sustainable design projects, students can work with people in their communities who bring
expertise into the classroom and give students opportunities to learn in real-world contexts. The SDP
relies on partnerships between students and business, industry, government agencies and
municipalities, faculty, staff, and students in colleges and universities; and community–based
organizations. Using an online database of project resources,,
students can call upon the technical expertise of community members to gain perspective, more fully
understand the systems they are exploring and develop sustainable solutions to the challenges they
discover. This new online resource is discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 6: Connecting to
Community Resources.

To reach the collective goal of preparing students to successfully live, learn, work, and play in the
twenty-first century, schools today must tap into existing community resources. There is a wealth of
exceptional, relevant learning opportunities for students in our communities. For more than thirty years,
our state agencies, after-school programs, zoos, aquaria, and the business community have invested in
developing programs and opportunities for youth.

A new vision for education
The Sustainable Design Project has the potential to take education in a new direction—one that focuses
on providing students with a ―leg up‖ in their experience, confidence, knowledge base, and skill level,
preparing them to be active participants in helping Washington be the national leader in sustainability.
Sustainable Design is a promising initiative that leverages the new requirement for teacher preparation
programs to prepare students for an ―environmentally sustainable, globally interconnected, and diverse
society.‖ Education leaders see that the Sustainable Design Project offers a way forward for education
that integrates academic disciplines, meets state standards, and responds to a moral imperative –given
global warming and the rapid environmental, economic, and social changes underway in our
communities, state, and world.

             Key Principles of a Student Sustainable Design Project include:

     1. Consideration of whole systems, addressing the interconnections between ecology,
        economy, and society.

     2. Authentic student engagement and cooperative group learning.

     3. Alignment with core content standards and performance expectations.

     4. Connection with community resources and stakeholders‘ perspectives.

     5. Design of a solution to a real-world challenge.

     6. A plan to implement the design solution and, if feasible, the actual development of the
        product or service.

     7. Sharing of the project.

     8. Evaluation and assessment of student and project impacts.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            9
Sustainable Design Project Goals and Objectives
The project partners along with the steering committee for the Sustainable Design Project developed
the following goals and objectives to serve as a guide for support and implementation of this statewide

                    Goals                                              Objectives

Engaging and Effective Learning for            Involve students in the development and planning of the
All Students.                                   SDP Program.
                                               Align study units and projects to standards.
Create meaningful, real-world teaching         Target underserved students including: African American,
and learning and increase academic              Indian (Native American), Hispanic, migrant/bilingual,
achievement for all students.                   Pacific Islander, and Southeast Asian.
                                               Increase the number of schools and districts with
                                                sustainable design programs targeting young people at
                                                disproportionate risk.
                                               Provide support materials for the design process such as
                                                templates and project examples.
                                               Design a process for regional and statewide presentation
                                                of exemplary projects.
                                               Provide teacher professional development on Sustainable
                                                Design projects at a variety of venues.

Learning Communities and                       Work with all sectors of the community taking into
Partnerships.                                   consideration the different values of each member.
                                               Provide mechanisms, including a website of project
Create and support effective learning           opportunities, through which community members can
communities in and outside the                  connect and offer technical support to students.
classroom and create long-lasting              Showcase student projects in local community spaces and
partnerships between K-12 teachers/             events. Invite key community leaders, businesses,
students and the community including:           parents, and others.
higher education faculty and students;
industry and business experts; resource
agencies; community-based
organizations; and families.
Teacher Preparation, Professional              Provide professional development opportunities for
Development and Support.                        teachers to learn all aspects of the SDP, receive technical
                                                training, and connect with local community resources.
Provide teachers with adequate                 Provide access to additional resources and networking
information and support to teach and            abilities on the SDP website and database.
implement SDPs with their students.            Provide project-related materials in different languages.
                                               Offer continuing support throughout the school year.

Sustainability-Literate Citizens.              Embed the concepts of sustainability in core content area
                                                teaching and learning.
Build ―sustainability literacy‖ in students    Connect students to their local environment and
who will go on to build environmentally,        communities in a meaningful way.
socially, and economically sustainable         Use the total school environment as a learning
communities in Washington State.                environment and showcase of sustainability. For example,
                                                school gardens, solar panels, wind turbines, healthy
                                                playgrounds, and rain gardens are created and used as
                                                living laboratories for learning.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                    10
Systems and Sustainability
The SDP aims to have students study issues specific to various systems and design solutions within
the context of sustainability. This next section provides definitions of systems, sustainability, and
sustainable design, and concludes with some project examples.

What is a System?
                           A system is a group of interacting, interrelated, and interdependent
                           components that form a complex and unified whole. Systems are
                           everywhere. For example, a classroom, a predator/prey relationship, and
                           the ignition system in your car are all systems. Some systems are ―nested‖
                           within larger systems. For example, the circulatory system is nested within
                           the system we know as the human body. A system is a collection of ―things‖
                           in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

What is Sustainability?
The most well-known definition of sustainability – ―meeting the needs of the present without
comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs‖ – comes from the Brundtland Report,
which was the product of a United Nations commission in 1989.

For the purposes of the Sustainable Design Project we use this definition of sustainability from the
Washington State Department of Ecology‘s 2007 Field Guide to Sustainability:

       Sustainability is a holistic approach to living and problem solving that addresses social equity,
       environmental health, and economic prosperity. To be sustainable, the economy must support
       a high quality life for all people in a way that protects our health, our limited natural resources,
       and our environment over the long term.

What is Sustainable Design?
Sustainable design considers how to design the built               Native American cultures have a tradition
environment in a way that cultivates ecological, economic,         to consider each decision by asking: “What
and cultural conditions which support human and                    impact will this have on the seventh
environmental well-being, indefinitely (Ann Thorpe, The            generation?”
Designer‘s Atlas of Sustainability, 2007).                         ~ A Field Guide to Sustainability, WA State
                                                                   Department of Ecology, 2007
Sustainable Design offers the possibility of building schools,
office buildings, parks, transportation systems, and entire communities with an eye toward long-term
sustainability, rather than only seeking to solve immediate needs and desires. It supports city
planners, architects, and designers in approaching each project with the intent to reduce
environmental impacts, stimulate the economy, and provide opportunities for people to connect with
each other and the land.

Sustainable design takes a systems-wide perspective. It aims to solve current environmental
problems and prevent future ones from occurring while integrating a wise understanding of social and
economic factors and their impact on the environment.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                11
 If we understand that design leads to manifestation of human intention, and if what we make with our
 hands is to be sacred and honor the earth that gives us life, then the things we make must not only
 rise from the ground but return to it, soil to soil, water to water, so everything that is received from the
 earth can be freely given back without causing harm to any living system. This is ecology. This is
 good design.
                                   ~ William McDonough Architect and Author of ―Cradle to Cradle‖

Common Principles of Sustainable Design
There are some common principles associated with sustainably designed products and processes.
These include:

Use of low-impact materials: Chooses non-toxic, sustainable, or recycled materials, which require
little energy to process. Takes into consideration how the materials (visible and invisible) originate in
and return to the ecosphere (atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere).

Energy efficiency: Implements manufacturing processes that use less energy and produces products
which require less energy to manufacture and operate. Ideally, makes use of renewable energy

Quality and durability: Understands that longer-lasting and better-functioning products will have to
be replaced less frequently, thereby reducing the impacts of producing replacements and disposing of
worn-out products. Another option is flexible designs that have a core component, such as an
automobile chassis, that remains durable, but other components that can be replaced and upgraded
over time as better versions become available, such as the engine and transmission.

Cradle-to-cradle life cycle design for reuse and recycling: Designs products, processes, and
systems for performance in the commercial ―afterlife‖ of the product. This includes choosing materials
with a cradle-to-cradle approach, so that the materials themselves create clean water, clean air, or
can be composted to enrich the soil. This also includes design to facilitate the eventual separation of
―technical nutrients‖ for the industrial process of manufacturing from ―organic nutrients‖ that will
biodegrade and enrich natural systems.

Biomimicry: Designs products, services, and industrial systems to mimic biological designs and
cycles found in nature. Natural systems, large and small, are models of interactive functionality that
maximizes effectiveness and efficiency.

Service substitution: Promotes the sharing of products or services among groups of people. For
example, encouraging people to change from private automobile ownership to joining a car-sharing
service. Such a system promotes minimal resource use per unit of consumption (e.g., per car trip

Local renewable resources: Chooses materials from nearby (local or bioregional), sustainably
managed, renewable sources. Ideally, when their usefulness has been exhausted, biodegradable
resources can be returned to nature as biological nutrients, or alternatively, returned to manufacturing
as technical nutrients.

Carbon footprint: Reduces an individual‘s carbon footprint by choosing products and services that
have been sustainably designed, sustainably produced, and have the ability to be recycled or reused.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                      12
Environmental health: Aims to reduce or eliminate human health risks from environmental factors
(such as pollution, heavy metals, etc.) that can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.

Environmental justice: Aims to provide all people with access to a healthy environment and equal
access to decision-making processes. The development and enforcement of environmental laws,
regulations, and policies should fairly involve all people and should protect groups of people from
being disproportionately affected by environmental health hazards.

Human needs and quality of life: Considers how a design can promote human needs and quality of
life in terms of subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, and

Design for change: Considers what policy changes, behavioral changes, and technology changes
will enable a design to occur, and what changes will exert the greatest leverage for overall

Examples of Systems and Sustainable Design Projects
The following chart provides examples of different systems and a few corresponding sustainable
design project ideas. Additional project examples can be found in Chapters 4 and 5.


                                      Create a manual to help schools in your district choose green
                                       building materials and interior fixtures.
                                      Design and build a rain garden at your home or school.
                                      Conduct an energy audit of your home, school, or community and
                                       develop/implement an energy efficiency plan.
   Energy                             Compare solar, biomass, wind turbines, and geothermal energy
                                       sources and develop a renewable energy plan based on this
                                      Conduct a water use audit of your home, school, or community
                                       and develop/implement a water reduction plan.
                                      Conduct water quality testing at different locations within your
                                       watershed (e.g. creeks, rivers, Puget Sound, and marine
                                       estuaries) and design/implement a plan to improve water quality.
                                      Design an art piece that teaches about your local watershed.
                                      Conduct a solid waste audit of your home, school, or community
                                       and design a plan to encourage the reduction, reuse and proper
                                       recycling of waste.
   Waste                              Design a program to encourage school-wide recycling.
                                      Design and build a composting system at your home.
                                      Develop a system to encourage your teachers and school office
                                       workers to reduce their paper use.
                                      Conduct an ergonomics audit of a work station or process at a
                                       local job site and design a healthy worksite product such as a
   Workplace Health &
                                       chair, writing implement, or electronic device.
                                      Survey health and safety hazards at a local employer and offer
                                       recommendations on how to protect workers.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                13
                                 Survey registered voters who do not vote to find out what
                                  impediments keep them from voting. Design and disseminate
Social and Civic
                                  ideas to minimize those impediments.
                                 Work with a local non-profit agency to help design a system that
                                  encourages and rewards volunteerism in the community.

                                 Explore where food in your school/district comes from and design
                                  an incentive plan to encourage the procurement of products from
                                  local farmers.
                                 In partnership with local elementary school students and teachers,
                                  design and plant an organic garden for the school.
Food & Farm
                                 Develop an educational program about community supported
                                 Choose a food item (such as a pineapple) and map its pathways,
                                  and environmental impacts, from the farm to your plate and share
                                  that with community members.
                                 Map the cradle-to-grave (life cycle from development to waste)
                                  pathway of electronic waste and design a product that following
                                  the principles of cradle-to-cradle (a product whose life is
                                  continuous, never ending in a landfill).
                                 Identify a landmark, building, park, or other place that has cultural
                                  importance in your community. Design a brochure, interpretive
                                  sign, or other type of media to tell its story and to educate people
                                  about its importance.
                                 Film a documentary in which you interview community elders
                                  about local history.
                                 Organize a festival that features film, music, and art celebrating
Media, Music, and                 your community‘s environment, culture, or economy.
Art                              Develop an art program that inspires children to create
                                  sustainability-themed art.
                                 Conduct a rush hour count of carpools versus single-occupant
                                  vehicles along a local freeway or highway and then develop an
                                  incentive program to encourage people to bike, walk, bus, or
                                  carpool to school or work.
                                 Develop a cost/benefit assessment of transportation modes, such
                                  as car, bike, motorcycle, and bus and design an alternative
                                  transportation plan that is economically viable and socially
                                  appropriate for your community.
                                 Write an interpretive guide for a local nature trail or park.
Parks & Natural
Areas                            Develop a plan for removing invasive plant species from a local
                                 Investigate the effects of biosolid fertilizers on tree growth and
                                  design a plan or product to sustainably enrich forestry trees.
Forestry                         Calculate the amount of wood re-used and the reduction of
                                  environmental impacts by Urban Tree Salvage Program (e.g. in
                                  King County) and then design an outreach campaign that
                                  encourages builders to use salvaged wood products.
                                 Conduct a survey of a local immigrant group to find out what
                                  environmental health risks most concern them and then create
Environmental                     educational materials in languages appropriate for your
Health & Justice                  community.
                                 Create educational materials to encourage low-income women in
                                  your community to get mammograms.

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                    14
Chapter 1 Resources
Education for Environment and Sustainability
A program of the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, EES provides
tools and resources for teachers to implement environmental and sustainability education in their

Washington State Department of Ecology Sustainability Website
Learn about how you can choose sustainable practices in your own life, connect with educational
resources, and download a free copy of A Field Guide to Sustainability.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit
The Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit is an easy-to-use manual for individuals and
organizations from both the education and community sectors. This resource addresses the
potentially powerful alliance of school systems and communities working together to reach local
sustainability goals. Together they can reorient existing curriculums to create locally relevant and
culturally appropriate education.

UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development
The overall goal of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is to integrate the
principles, values, and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and
learning. This website identifies key action themes and highlights projects from around the world.

US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
The U.S. Partnership consists of individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States
dedicated to education for sustainable development (ESD). It acts as a convener, catalyst, and
communicator working across all sectors of American society.

EPA’s Environmental Justice Website
Provides background information on environmental justice issues.

The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability
Ann Thorpe‘s book is an important resource that will change the thinking of architects, product
designers, and design educators. Available from Island Press, 2007.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart‘s book issues a call for a new industrial
revolution that uses sustainable design principles to design buildings and products. Available from
North Point Press, 2002.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             15
CHAPTER 2: Instructional Approaches
Integral to the Sustainable Design Project are three related pedagogical approaches. By involving
students in a sustainable design project as described in this manual, teachers can bring service-
learning, project-based, or place-based learning into your classroom. These teaching and learning
methods are described below.

Project-based learning
Project-based learning is an instructional strategy that requires students to develop and use
substantive content knowledge and skills in real-world applications. High quality project-based
learning includes the elements of quality instruction, such as rigor, relevance, relationships, and
reflection, as well as quality assessment, such as the use of rubrics. Quality project-based learning
enhances student motivation by providing students with choice and ownership in the project.

A strength of project-based learning is that many
academic learning targets may be combined and
                                                             Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to
integrated into one project. This instructional
                                                             teaching in which students explore real-world
strategy can help students make connections                  problems and challenges, simultaneously
among content areas and provide students with                developing cross-curriculum skills while working
authentic problem-solving experiences and                    in small collaborative groups.
opportunities to collaborate with peers, teachers,           ~The George Lucas Educational Foundation
and experts.

Characteristics of Project-Based Learning
The Buck Institute for Education‘s Project Based Learning Handbook outlines the characteristics of a
successful, standards-focused project-based learning project:

   1. Recognize students' inherent drive to learn, their capability to do important work, and their need to be
      taken seriously by putting them at the center of the learning process.

   2. Engage students in the central concepts and principles of a discipline. The project work is central rather
      than peripheral to the curriculum.

   3. Highlight provocative issues or questions that lead students to in-depth exploration of authentic and
      important topics.

   4. Require the use of essential tools and skills, including technology, for learning, self-management, and
      project management.

   5. Specify products that solve problems, explain dilemmas, or present information generated through
      investigation, research, or reasoning.

   6. Include multiple products that permit frequent feedback and consistent opportunities for students to
      learn from experience.

   7. Use performance-based assessments that communicate high expectations, present rigorous
      challenges, and require a range of skills and knowledge.

   8. Encourage collaboration in some form, either through small groups, student-led presentations, or whole-
      class evaluations of project results.
                                         (Buck Institute for Education, Project Based Learning Handbook, 2003)

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                        16
Benefits of Project-Based Learning
Through their teacher research, the Buck Institute for Education found that project-based learning:
    Helps students both ―know‖ and ―do‖.
    Emphasizes problem solving, communication, and self-management skills.
    Encourages lifelong learning, civic responsibility, and personal/career success.
    Integrates content, themes, and community issues.
    Encourages accountability, goal setting, and improved performance.
    Creates positive communication and collaboration among groups of students.
    Meets the needs of diverse learners.
    Engages and motivates students.
                              (Buck Institute for Education, Project Based Learning Handbook, 2003).

Place-based learning
Place-based education takes the project-based learning approach and applies it to learning focused
on and engaged with the local community. By focusing on a local place, students are able to make
connections among themselves, their school, and the community.

Characteristics of Successful Place-Based Education
The principles of successful place-based education programs have much in common with the
principles of Sustainable Design Projects.
(PEEC, Principles and Best Practices of Place-Based
Education, 2003).                                         Place-based education immerses students in
                                                            local heritage, culture, landscapes,
   1. Learning takes place on-site on school grounds        opportunities, and experiences as a foundation
      and in the local community and environment,           for the study of language arts, mathematics,
      focusing on local themes, systems, and content.       social studies, science, and other subjects.
                                                            Place-based education encourages teachers
                                                            and students to use the schoolyard,
   2. Place-based learning experiences contribute to
                                                            community, public lands, and other special
      the community‘s sustainability quality,               places as resources, turning communities into
      environmental literacy, and support the role the      classrooms.
      community plays in fostering a healthy and            ~ Place-Based Education Evaluation
      connected global environment.                         Collaborative

   3. Learning is supported by strong and varied
      partnerships with local associations, organizations, agencies, and businesses.

   4. Learning is inter-disciplinary and custom-tailored to local needs and opportunities.

   5. Place-based learning serves as the foundation for understanding and participating
      appropriately in regional and global issues.

   6. Place-based learning is integral to achieving other educational and institutional goals.

   7. Learning is grounded in and supports the development of a strong and personally relevant
      connection to one‘s place.‖

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              17
Benefits of Place-Based Education
Through their research, the Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative has found that place-
based education:
    Energizes teachers.
    Transforms school culture.
    Helps students learn.
    Connects schools and communities.
    Encourages students to become environmental stewards.
    Invites students to become active citizens.
                                                   (PEEC, The Benefits of Place-Based Education).

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with
instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen

Characteristics of High-Quality Service-Learning
High quality service-learning includes the following principles of effectiveness:
   1. Meaningful Service
   2. Curriculum Integration
   3. Duration
   4. Diversity
   5. Reflection
   6. Youth Voice
   7. Reciprocal Partnerships
   8. Process Monitoring

Service-Learning benefits for students and young people:
    Improved academic engagement and expanded interest in furthering their education.
    Enhanced civic engagement attitudes, skills and behaviors.
    Increased sense of self-efficacy as young people learn that they can impact real social
      challenges, problems, and needs.
    Advanced problem-solving skills, ability to work in teams, critical thinking, and planning
    Increased awareness of career opportunities.

Service-Learning benefits for institutions and communities:
    Cultivates connections between the organization, schools, higher education, and other
      community groups.
    Improves school environments and broadens community support through new partnerships
      and resources.
    Provides an opportunity to expand the organization‘s mission and reach by engaging a cadre
      of competent, motivated young people who bring new energy, ideas, enthusiasm and
      specialized skills to the organization.
    Increases paid staff and volunteers‘ level of engagement, leadership capacity and satisfaction
      with their work.
    Allows residents to build positive relationships with young people when communities see youth
      in a different way – as resources instead of problems.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                           18
Chapter Summary
In project-based learning, the project is the medium through which learning happens. Service-learning
is a type of project-based learning. It is both a way of teaching and learning and an application of
learning. Service-learning has a highly motivating, emotional context. There is a direct link between
context for learning - motivation for learning and - student achievement. In school-based service-
learning, students apply educational curricula, demonstrate proficiency in standards based learning
and extend classroom learning through hands-on services they help design. Place-based and
service-learning are very similar in their focus on students understanding the importance of
"community", and their significant place in their own community. Education for Sustainability blends
these various pedagogical approaches of project-based learning with the localized, contextual focus
of place-based learning.

Chapter 2 Resources
Project Based Learning Handbook
This handbook from the Buck Institute for Education provides teachers with the tools to plan, manage,
and assess student-driven projects using a project-based learning approach. The handbook can be
ordered for $30 and excerpts can be downloaded for free at the following website.

Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative
The PEEC is a clearinghouse of research, reports, and tools for place-based education.

Standards and Indicators for Effective Service-Learning Practice

Bring Learning to Life: Service-Learning in Action Guide

Guidelines for High Quality Service-Learning Syllabi

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                          19
CHAPTER 3: Student Engagement & Teamwork
How to Make the Sustainable Design Project Student-Driven
The Sustainable Design Project is intended to be a student-driven endeavor, where students work in
teams to actively plan, produce, and present their own sustainable design solutions to real-world
problems. Engaging students in their own learning is a key to project success, academic
achievement, and personal satisfaction.

Student Engagement
Student engagement is the state in which students are actively involved in the planning,
implementation, and assessment of their own learning. Engaged students possess a sense of
ownership of their learning and find it meaningful because they know what is expected of them, why it
matters, and how they can use the skills. In addition, they see the efficacy of their work, and are
advocates for their and their peers‘ learning needs.

                                         Student engagement includes the following three
 Meaningful student involvement is the   elements:
 process of engaging students as               1. Behavioral: demonstrates active participation and
 partners in every facet of school
                                                   positive behaviors.
 change for the purpose of
 strengthening their commitment to             2. Emotional: shows motivation, attachment, and
 education, community, and                         relationship building.
 democracy.                                    3. Cognitive: creates investment in self and
 ~Adam Fletcher, Meaningful Student                responsibility for own learning.
 Involvement, 2005.

Student engagement occurs when students are able to:
    ―Answer questions such as:‖How do I learn best?‖ and "When I have something difficult to
      learn, what are my most effective strategies?‖‖

      Explain the relationship between a particular learning goal, the standard by which that goal is
       measured on assessments, the skill represented by the standard, and the relevance of that
       skill to the students‘ lives outside the classroom and beyond graduation.

      Understand how their classroom writing has application for a project or for an authentic
       audience; how their behavior affects the learning of another student; how their participation
       builds a skill set they know to be useful (and they know this because they have used the skills
       to achieve a ‗real-world‘ result).

      Ask for help when they need it, find it when they need to, and advocate for the needs of
                                         (Adapted from: Greg Williamson, OSPI, Student Engagement, 2007)

The Ladder of Student Involvement. The Sustainable Design Project connects students, teachers,
and community experts as they work together to develop solutions to local, real-world problems. As
described in this manual, a Sustainable Design Project is project-based, place-based, and student-

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            20
The following illustration shows the Ladder of Student Involvement in School (adapted by Adam
Fletcher from the work of Roger Hart), a tool to help educators assess levels of student engagement
and involvement. Fletcher explains that, ―The higher the rung on the Ladder, the greater the
meaningfulness of student involvement‖ (Adam Fletcher, Meaningful Student Involvement Guide,

Sustainable Design Projects provide an opportunity for students, teachers, and community experts to
work together to move towards the highest rungs of the ladder. Regardless of where teachers and
schools are currently at, there is room to move up the rungs to a higher degree of student led decision
making. Moving up requires significant support and training.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             21
Characteristics of an effective learning group
Teamwork is an essential element of an effective Sustainable Design Project. At some point in the
process—if not throughout the entire project—students will work in teams with their peers and with
community experts. Having agreed-upon norms and protocols is essential for successful teamwork.

Guidelines for Teamwork
Have students generate a list of teamwork guidelines and/or use these guidelines as a starting point,
then post on the classroom wall to refer to throughout the project:

          Define roles and purposes for each team member (e.g.: facilitator, note-taker, time keeper,
           and reporter).
          Establish expectations for respectful listening and sharing.
          Ensure that each person has an opportunity to contribute.
          Rotate roles so that each member has the opportunity to take on new roles.
          Build in accountability for individual students so that the contributions of each group
           member are identifiable.
          Develop a rubric that defines successful teamwork.

Teamwork is an important part of SDP. The list of guidelines for teamwork is only the foundation.
Building effective teamwork in the classroom and cooperative learning requires a great deal of effort.

Chapter 3 Resources
Meaningful Student Involvement Guide
Adam Fletcher‘s Meaningful Student Involvement Guide to Students as Partners in School Change
provides educators with a framework for encouraging meaningful student involvement in school
classes, projects, and school improvement programs. The Guide can be downloaded for free from

50 Ways Adults Can Support Student Voice
Adam Fletcher provides fifty ideas for how adults can support student engagement and voice. This
website provides many other articles on this topic as well.

Education Northwest magazine – this issue is about student engagement, including projects
supported by the Washington State Student Engagement office at OSPI:

Washington State Career and Technical Education Student Organizations – these organizations
have a long history of engaging students in meaningful work for authentic school and community

Renton Teaching Academy – Renton High School effort to recruit students of color into the teaching
profession; students do classroom observations and practice teaching in schools:

Change Starts Now – Students at the Tacoma School for the Arts teach middle school students how
they can teach sustainability concepts to younger students:

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            22
Students Taking Charge – National project of Action for Healthy Kids that helps students analyze
and make a difference in healthy learning in their schools (ten projects in WA are part of this):

Raising Student Voice and Participation (RSVP) – Washington version of national project to help
young people hold forums and make a difference in the decisions that affect them in school:

WSU 4-H Know Your Government – Washington project to introduce students to civic education
concepts (this year‘s focus was on lobbying):

YMCA Youth & Government – Washington program where students come to Olympia and hold their
own session at the Washington State Legislature:

Junior Statesman Foundation – provides civic education and leadership programs, including
summer programs in Washington State and nationally:

Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) – 22-member Council that advises the
Washington State Legislature on bills of interest to young people across the state:

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                           23
CHAPTER 4: Structuring a Sustainable Design Project
Common attributes of a Sustainable Design Project across grade levels
The Sustainable Design Project can allow students the freedom and flexibility to choose systems and
problems that are of personal interest to them and that are situated in a community about which the
students care. The intent of the Sustainable Design Project is that teachers will integrate project
learning into an existing unit of study. While a student‘s individual project may look quite different from
another‘s depending on the grade-level, chosen system, and presentation format, all Sustainable
Design Projects should have some common attributes, as described below.

       May either work effectively in teams or individually (for example, the project could be used
          for a student‘s culminating graduation requirement).
       Choose a project that connects with core content GLEs.
       Identify and investigate a system in a real-world context.
       Design within the context of ecology, economy, and society sustainability.
       Work with community experts, including visits to the expert‘s work site or having the expert
          visit the classroom.
       Create a solution to the chosen problem and communicate that solution by the use of a
          model or by actually redesigning the system.
       Present their system solution in a public forum.

This chapter includes some specific suggestions on how to approach the Sustainable Design Project
at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In addition, there are a series of Teacher Planning
Tools and Student Planning Tools that correspond to this chapter which can be found in the Appendix.
The Chapter Resources listed at the end of this chapter provide additional resources for project

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                               24
Step-by-step project process
The flow chart below demonstrates the steps that students can take as they progress through the
Sustainable Design Project process. The steps are posed as questions that students need to answer
before moving onto the next step in the process.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                       25
Projects in the elementary school classroom
A Sustainable Design Project in the elementary school classroom is more likely to be at a smaller and
simpler scale than a project in a middle school or high school classroom. For example, an elementary
school project might focus on the use of compost in organic farming, rather than the entire food
production system. Similarly, a project might focus on corn-based packaging, rather than product
packaging in general.

An elementary school level project will need to have more teacher direction, which necessitates that
the teacher spend time planning the project, finding community experts, locating resources, and
identifying a presentation forum, rather than relying on the students to take personal initiative for these
steps in the process.

The chosen system and community for the Sustainable Design Project should be personally relevant
to the students‘ own lives. For example, it may be more appropriate to focus on the home or the
school as the target community, rather than your city or state. In addition, rather than working in small
teams, it may be more appropriate for an elementary school class to tackle a Sustainable Design
Project together as a whole class. While groups of students can be responsible for different
components of the total project, together the class will work together to investigate the system and
propose a solution.

                     Example Elementary School Sustainable Design Projects
       System                 Example Sustainable Design Projects
                              Conduct a nutrition audit of school lunches; compare school-
       Food & Nutrition       provided and home-provided lunches; and then plant a vegetable
                              garden on the school campus.
       Consumer               Design a child‘s toy that is safe, non-toxic, made from
       Products               environmentally-friendly materials, and educational.
       Parks & Natural        Design and construct a wildlife habitat area on your school campus
       Areas                  using the principles of the Backyard Wildlife Program.

At the elementary school level, it is especially appropriate to identify multiple entry points into the topic
so that students are provided with different ways to learn about a sustainability issue. For example,
read newspaper articles, watch a video, read a storybook, listen to guest speakers, visit a field site, or
interview an expert.

Elementary school teachers and their students can have fun thinking of creative, innovative ways to
present their class project. For example, if the entire class is working on the same project, together
the students could write and perform a skit, puppet show, or musical piece. The students could all
contribute toward the publishing of a newspaper, comic book, storybook, newsletter, website, wiki, or
blog. Together, the students could host a debate, an information fair, or an art show. By harnessing
the individual talents of an entire classroom of students, Sustainable Design Projects at the
elementary level have the potential to produce fun, creative, and educational presentations.

Projects in the middle school classroom
In middle school, students are developmentally focused on themselves and their own social
communities and have a growing awareness of issues of fairness and inequality. You can harness
middle school students‘ interest in these topics by encouraging them to choose sustainability issues
that are personally-relevant, that are focused on the local community, and that include issues of
injustices and inequality. For example, a student with asthma may be particularly interested in tackling
the topic of the use of diesel fuels in school buses. A student athlete might be interested in the health

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 26
risks of artificial turf grass that has lead in it. Students at this age often become impassioned about
issues of inequality, providing an in-road for discussing environmental justice issues such as the
proposed location for a medical incinerator in a low-income neighborhood or the higher rates of lead
poisoning among low-income children.

                       Example Middle School Sustainable Design Projects
      System                 Example Sustainable Design Projects
                             Analyze the costs and benefits of switching school buses to
                             biofuels, considering the economic, environmental, and health
      Energy                 impacts (including asthma).
                             Conduct an energy audit in your school and design an energy
                             system that relies on renewable sources such as solar and wind.
      Built                  Design a playground or school campus that increases social
      Environment            interaction and green spaces.
      Environmental          Create educational materials to help low-income parents
      Health & Justice       understand the risks of childhood lead poisoning.

The Sustainable Design Project provides an opportunity for teachers of multiple disciplines to work
together. For example, students might gather and analyze data in their science class, conduct
research from primary and secondary sources in their social studies class, and prepare an oral
presentation in their language arts class.

At the middle school level, it is appropriate for students to approach their Sustainable Design Projects
in small groups or in pairs. In addition, after-school clubs may provide an opportunity for students to
conduct research and connect with community experts, or may provide a forum for student

Projects in the high school classroom
High school level Sustainable Design Projects should be driven by the students‘ own interest and
should help them acquire the new knowledge and skills. Students should also be encouraged to
choose project topics that can have a positive impact on their chosen communities. At this stage in
their cognitive and social development, high school students are ready to consider the global
community and may want to design a solution that addresses a global issue such as poverty, climate
change, or loss of biodiversity. The Sustainable Design Project provides the opportunity to investigate
an issue using skills and resources from different disciplines. As students work with community
experts, they also are learning about careers in the community.

Consider structuring the Sustainable Design Project so that it is intergenerational. Encourage students
to work with younger students at the middle school or elementary school level. This could be achieved
by encouraging students to choose topics that affect younger children, that use younger students as a
source of data (such as for surveys), or by making final presentations to younger students. Another
option is to encourage your students to work with older community members, such as professionals,
workers, experts, or community elders.

At the high school level, students can use the Sustainable Design Project as a way to meet the
culminating project graduation requirement. In this case students may need to work individually rather
than in teams depending on your school district‘s policy in regard to this graduation requirement. The
connection between the Sustainable Design Project and the culminating project is further discussed in
the next chapter. If students do conduct their Sustainable Design Projects while working individually,
you may want to organize students into support groups. These support groups allow each student to

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                27
present progress reports throughout the duration of their project and to receive feedback,
suggestions, and help from their peers.

High school students need the opportunity to record and reflect on their learning progress. You can
structure opportunities for metacognition (thinking about your thinking and learning) into the
Sustainable Design Project by requiring students to keep a reflective journal that tracks their learning
throughout the process of completing their projects.

                        Example High School Sustainable Design Projects
      System                 Example Sustainable Design Projects
                             Design a sustainable forest management plan for a county, state,
                             or federal owned forest and present it at a stakeholders meeting.
                             Develop guidelines outlining how local farmers and food banks
      Food & Farm
                             could work together to get surplus crops to low-income families.
      Consumer               Create a buyer‘s guide for teenagers to help them choose non-
      Products               toxic cosmetics and personal care products.
                             Design and construct a system that captures and reuses gray
      Water Quality &
      Conservation           water.

Teacher planning tools
                                                                 For additional project examples, see
The Teacher Planning Tools are offered to help teachers          Stories from the Field: Examples of
develop a plan for engaging students in Sustainable              Integrated Environmental and
Design Projects. In addition, elementary school teachers         Sustainability Education in
who are planning whole-class projects can use the Student        Washington State
Planning Tools, to help them plan their class projects. The
Teacher and Student Planning Tools appear in the       
Appendix.                                                        ainability/Curriculum/Examples.aspx

Chapter 4 Resources

Project Planning Form for Teachers
The Buck Institute for Education‘s Project Based Learning Handbook offers a Project Planning Form
to help teachers plan successful student projects. This tool could be especially helpful for teachers
who are planning a Sustainable Design Project that will include large groups of students or an entire

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              28
CHAPTER 5: Content Area Connections
Integrating the Sustainable Design Project with current curriculum
It is possible that your students are already involved in projects which, if extended and structured
according to the guidelines outlined in this manual, would be Sustainable Design Projects. Consider
some of these ―projects‖ that often occur in Washington State schools:
          Student-organized recycling program.
          Worm bins for composting food waste.
          School vegetable garden.
          Rain garden and/or cistern installed on school grounds.
          New school construction or remodeling incorporating principles of green building.
          EPA‘s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program.
          Use of green cleaning products by custodial staff.
          Food service program utilizing local farm products.
          Energy-use or waste stream audit.

Many of these existing programs and projects tend to emphasize, or start with, the environment.
Consider how such projects can be expanded to encompass and address related social and social
equity or justice? For example, regarding community or school vegetable gardens, do people living at
different economic levels eat differently, or eat different kinds of foods? If so, how? Do different ethnic
or social groups eat differently, and how? Who stands to benefit most in terms of both human health
and the economy if local and organic foods are more accessible and affordable?

Using the Sustainable Design Project to meet education mandates
The Sustainable Design Project is not intended to be an add-on to the existing classroom curriculum.
Rather it is a way for students to meet standards, as well for schools to meet requirements and
mandates, including:
        Subject-area Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and Grade Level
            Expectations (GLEs).
        Washington State environmental education mandate.
        Culminating Project graduation requirement.
        Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) and High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE).

Washington State environmental education mandates
Environmental education is mandated by the State Board of Education to be included in public school
instruction at all grade levels and across all subject areas. The history of these mandates goes back
to 1988 when education about the environment and living things was first included in legislation.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                               29
  Legal Authority for Environmental and Sustainability Education

  Common School Curriculum. Requires that all schools provide instruction in ―science with special
  reference to the environment‖ and that ―the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land‖ be
  stressed in school curriculum. RCW 28A.230.020 (1988).

  Mandatory Areas of Study in the Common School. ―Instruction about conservation, natural resources,
  and the environment shall be provided at all grade levels in an interdisciplinary manner through science,
  the social studies, the humanities, and other appropriate areas with an emphasis on solving the problems
  of human adaptation to the environment." WAC 392-410-115 (2000). Formerly WAC 180-50-115 (1990).

  Teacher Education Approval Standards. In 2007, the WA Professional Education Standards Board
  revised the Teacher Education Approval Standards requiring teacher education programs to prepare
  candidates so that they can help their students become ―responsible citizens for an environmentally
  sustainable, globally interconnected, and diverse society.‖ PESB Standard V (2007).

In addition to these legal requirements and mandates, the state legislature created two grant
programs to support the integration of environmental education in K-12 classrooms and outdoor
education that supports student achievement.

  Legislative Support for Environmental and Outdoor Education

  Washington Natural Science, Wildlife, and Environmental Education Partnership Program established a
  grant program to support ―natural science, wildlife, and environmental education programs‖ to be
  administered by OSPI. RCW 28A.300.445 (2003).

  ―No Child Left Inside‖ grant program established an outdoor education and recreation program
  administered by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. HB 1677 (2007)

Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Standards
In 2009 OSPI adopted the Washington State K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability
Education Learning Standards which describe what all students should know and be able to do in the
area of Environmental and Sustainability Education. Consistent with the intent of the law governing
environmental education in Washington State, these standards are intended to be integrated into core
content areas and across all grade levels. The Sustainable Design Project provides a framework and
resources to meet these integrated standards. The three ESE Standards address:
        ESE Standard 1: Ecological, Social, and Economic Systems
        ESE Standard 2: The Natural and Built Environment
        ESE Standard 3: Sustainability and Civic Responsibility

The Sustainable Design Project meets these standards by focusing on real-world problems and
developing solutions, by engaging students in skills and knowledge building across disciplines, and by
investigating the relationships between humans and the natural systems on which they depend.

Culminating project graduation requirement
All high school students are required to meet the culminating project graduation requirement, which is
mandated by House Bill 1209 and WAC 180-51-061 Minimum Requirements for High School

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                    30
Each school district is required to develop guidelines for meeting this graduation requirement. The
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction outlines the following statewide goals for the
culminating project:

       Encourage students to think analytically, logically, and creatively and to integrate experience
        and knowledge to solve problems.
       Give students a chance to explore a topic in which they have a great interest.
       Offer students an opportunity to apply their learning in a ‗real-world‘ way.

For more information on Washington State Graduation Requirements, visit:

The Sustainable Design Project provides students with the knowledge, skills and framework to meet
the culminating project graduation requirement. If you are a high school teacher, begin by reviewing
your district‘s guidelines for culminating projects. As you start planning your Sustainable Design
Project, align it with the district guidelines so that the Project is an opportunity for your students to
meet the graduation requirement.

                         Example: Everett School District

The Everett School District‘s approach to the culminating project graduation requirement is called the
Culmination Exhibition. It encourages students to work with a mentor and to become involved in their own
community. The Culmination Exhibition involves the following four components:

1. Argumentative Paper: involves researching and examining a topic and applying knowledge from core
   content areas.

2. Reflective Letter: involves metacognitive reflection on what the student has learned in his or her schooling
   and how they will apply it to their future career and schooling.

3. Self-Directed Project: involves a complex, student-driven project based on the student‘s own interests.

4. Culminating Presentation: involves creating and making a presentation, and answering questions.

The Sustainable Design Project is an opportunity for Everett students to focus their Argumentative Paper, Self-
Directed Project, and Culminating Presentation on a sustainable design topic in their own community. In
addition, it encourages students to work with a mentor, which could be a content area expert from the local

~ Adapted from: Everett Public Schools, Culminating Exhibition Graduation Requirements Handbook, 2005-

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                    31
                                Example: Bellingham School District

The Bellingham School District‘s Culminating Project encourages students to investigate a
community issue and to work with a community advisor. The project includes the following five

1. Overall Proposal: involves outlining a plan for the project, reflecting on what the student already knows
about the topic, and obtaining permissions.

2. Scholarly Paper: involves demonstrating proper English writing skills by investigating a topic of personal

3. Portfolio: involves documenting their project by collecting artifacts of the students‘ work, ideas, journal, and
community involvement.

4. Written Reflection: involves metacognitive reflection on what the student has learned about his/her
community and self.

5. Presentation: involves demonstrating communication skills and bringing together all elements of the overall

The Sustainable Design Project is an opportunity for Bellingham students to choose a sustainable design topic
from their local community, team up with local experts and community advisors, and use that topic as the focus
of their entire culminating project.

                      ~Adapted from: Bellingham School District, Culminating Project Graduation Requirements.

Meeting Core Content Standards through the Sustainable Design Project
The Sustainable Design Project has the potential to help student meet Essential Academic Learning
Requirements (EALRs) and Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) from core content areas, including
science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. In addition, depending on how a student
chooses to approach and present their project, a student may also have the opportunity to meet
learning standards in arts, health and fitness, and career and technical education.

Preparing students for the MSP and HSPE
By meeting learning standards, the Sustainable Design Project is one way to prepare students for
standardized testing including the MSP and HSPE as well as Classroom-Based Assessments in
social studies and health and fitness.

Subject-Area Connections
The remainder of this chapter provides examples of how the Sustainable Design Project may meet
EALRs and GLEs in various content areas. The information is organized by content area. However,
the Sustainable Design Project can be implemented such that students use skills and knowledge from
multiple subject areas. The following information may be useful both in finding potential topics for your
students‘ sustainable design projects as well as determining how the projects will help meet learning

Science Connections
By completing a sustainable design project, students apply the principles of scientific inquiry, which
includes identifying a problem, developing a focus question, gathering resources, developing and

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                       32
testing a solution, and evaluating their results based on evidence. In addition, students develop
solutions to real-world problems. By working with community experts, students may have the
opportunity to learn about different science careers.

Connection to Science Kits
Sustainability topics can also be linked to the science kits that are often taught in elementary and
middle school classrooms. The following table provides an overview of how sustainability topics
(bulleted items following the kit name) can be interwoven into the teaching of FOSS, STC, Insights,
SEPUP, and NSTA science kits. (The tables were developed by Kathryn Kelsey, a science coach for
Seattle Public Schools).

                                    Grades K-2 Science Kit Framework
Biology                               Chemistry             Physics                          Earth Science

Kindergarten Theme: Exploring the Living World Around Us
Students make observations of living organisms that are visible without a microscope,
including plants, animals, and fungi. They are guided to notice how living organisms share the world with us.

           FOSS                           FOSS                        FOSS
      Animals 2 X 2                       Fabric                Wood and Paper
 Diversity of animals          Living sources of           Diversity of trees
                                  fabrics, such as cotton    Plants used by
                                  and silk                     different cultures to
                                                               make paper
  st      nd
1 & 2 Grade Theme: Water in Our World
Living organisms depend on water. This natural resource is all around us. Discovering water sources,
including fresh and saltwater, and water uses helps us understand the
importance of water for living organisms.
            STC                                                   Insights                      STC
        Organisms                                            Balls and Ramps                 Weather
 Needs and sources of                                    Planning an               Phases of water in
   water for organisms                                      investigation (fair        weather
                                                            test)                    Looking for weather
                                                          Using quantitative          patterns
                                                            observations to
                                                            understand the world

                                          Insights                    STC                           STC
                                          Liquids                  Balancing                       Soils
                                Properties of water,            and Weighing           Importance of water in
                                  such as floating &         Using quantitative          soils for plants
                                  sinking, phases (ice,        observations to          Different types of soils
                                  liquid), ability to          understand the world       hold different amounts
                                  dissolve some solids                                    of water
                                                                 Developed by Kathryn Kelsey, Seattle Public Schools

       Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                    33
                                    Grades 3-5 Science Kit Framework
              Biology                 Chemistry            Physics                          Earth Science
3 Grade Theme: Interactions of Living Organisms and the Environment
Living organisms depend on the non-living environment for many needs. Living organisms can change the
non-living environment. The non-living environment can influence where certain types of plants and animals
            STC                                                       STC                          STC
        Plant Growth                                                 Sound                Rocks and Minerals
     and Development                                        Animals‘ use of sound      Minerals in soils can
 Plant dependence on                                         for communication           determine which plants
   soils                                                    Natural sounds, such         will grow
 Seed sprouting and soil                                     as thunder, can           Rocks break down over
   temperature                                                influence behavior          time and become soil
 Plants create habitat for                                                             Examples of natural
   animals                                                                                resources used by
 Effects of light energy                                                                 humans
   from the sun on plants
 th      th
4 & 5 Grade Theme: Human Impacts on the Natural World
Humans alter living and non-living parts of the natural world. We can look at the impacts of each individual or
as a population of a city, state, or country. Most of the changes have both advantages and disadvantages.

             STC                           STC                      Insights
        Ecosystems                  Food Chemistry                  Circuits
 Effects of pollution on       Agricultural methods           and Pathways
   living and non-living          can alter habitat and     Changes in
   parts of our world             introduce chemicals         technology in the last
 Effects of introduced         Family and corporate         100 years
   species                        farming                   Natural resources
 Effects of habitat change     Organic and non-             needed to generate
   on living organisms            organic farming             electricity and
                                                              impacts on the

             STC                                                    FOSS                           STC
        Microworlds                                         Models and Designs              Land and Water
 Roles of microorganisms                                   Changes in                 Habitat loss due to
   in our world                                               technology in the last      human practices
 Antibacterial products,                                     100 years                 Human actions that
   water pollution, and soil                                Use of natural               increase and decrease
   pollution can adversely                                    resources for               erosion
   affect microorganisms                                      technology                Impacts of erosion on
 Effects of water quality                                                                natural systems and
   on life                                                                                human systems
                                                                                        Water cycle

                                                                Developed by Kathryn Kelsey, Seattle Public Schools

      Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                      34
                                          Grades 6-8 Science Kit Framework
              Biology                        Chemistry               Physics                               Earth Science
6 Grade Theme: Environment Through the Eyes of Different Cultures
Throughout the history of civilization, cultures have explained natural phenomena in different ways. Living organisms and
non-living features have specific roles in the daily lives of people. Cultural values can determine a person’s relationship to
the environment.
             FOSS                              SEPUP                             STC
       Diversity of Life                      Solutions                Magnets and Motors
 Importance of different                  and Pollution              Technology can force
   organisms to different            Decisions on treating the         people to reevaluate
   cultures                            ―Acme Wastewater‖ could          their values concerning
 Food rituals in different            depend on cultural values        the environment and
   cultures                          Social justice issues with        living organisms
 Ethical treatment of animals         regard to the environment      Historical explanations
                                                                        of magnetism
               NSTA                                                   Role of magnetism in
       Truth About Science                                              different cultures
 Interface of culture and
     results from systematic
     science experiments in
     decision making
7 Grade Theme: Climate Change
Global warming has become a major concern for all people on Earth. Understanding our relationship to climate and our
influences on climate systems can help us find solutions to decrease predicted risks to earth systems.

            STC/MS                                                             STC/MS                          STC/MS
    Human Body Systems                                                Energy, Machines, and             Catastrophic Events
 Role of carbon dioxide in                                                     Motion               Differences between
   living organisms                                                   Energy use and                  climate and weather
                                                                        dependence                   Water cycle
                                                                      Sources of energy for         Greenhouse gases and
                                                                        human use                      their presence in Earth‘s
                                                                      Alternative energy              atmosphere
                                                                        sources                      Influences of climate
                                                                      Reducing energy use in          change on weather
                                                                        our lives                      systems
                                                                      Law of conservation of
8 Grade Theme: Sustainability
How do we continue to meet the needs of today’s human societies without compromising the needs of future generations?

          SEPUP/SALI                          STC/MS                                                         STC/MS
            Ecology                         Properties                                                   Earth in Space
         and Evolution                       of Matter                                             Idea of spaceship earth
   Influences of introduced      Law of conservation of matter                                   Effects of seasons on
     species on natural           Law of conservation of energy                                     climate
     systems                      Carbon and nitrogen cycles                                      Interconnections of earth
   Advantages and                Reusing and recycling                                             systems
     disadvantages of               materials
     genetically modified         Water treatment and water
     organisms                      quality
   Impacts of global
     climate change on
     living organisms and
     where they live
   Carbon and nitrogen
                                                                   Developed by Kathryn Kelsey, Seattle Public Schools

         Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                    35
Social Studies Connections
The Sustainable Design Project is about getting students involved as citizens of their local community.
The Project aims to challenge students to dig deep into an issue or problem that is of personal
importance. By examining that issue or problem through the lenses of environment, economy, and
society, students can focus on key social studies content areas, including civics and economics.

Social Studies Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs)
The Sustainable Design Project may be structured so that it can be used as a CBA in social studies.
The basic CBA structure shares common elements with the Sustainable Design Project process,
including: forming an essential question; researching an issue, problem, or event; preparing and
                                                  analyzing information; and reporting.
  Humans and the Environment CBA for High
  School Students                                    You may be able to guide students in choosing
  Responsible citizenship requires understanding     topics for their Sustainable Design Project that are
  how humans interact with the environment.          in line with the requirements of a CBA. In addition,
  You will EITHER propose a solution to a            you will need to be to follow the directions in the
  current environmental issue that will improve      CBA support materials and use any tools (such as
  the health of the system OR analyze a              graphic organizers and rubrics) provided in the
  historical situation in terms of the environment   support materials. The following table lists some
  and propose a reasonable alternative that          CBAs which potentially align with the Sustainable
  would have improved the health of the system.
                                                     Design Project.

CBAs that Align with Sustainable Design Projects
 Subject Area        Elementary School              Middle School             High School
                   You Decide                  International Relations   U.S. Foreign Policy
                   Whose Rules?                Constitutional Issues     Constitutional Issues
                                                                         Technology Through
History            What‘s the Big Idea?
                                                                         the Ages
                   Humans and the              Humans and the            Humans and the
                   Environment                 Environment               Environment
Economics                                      International Relations

Mathematics Connections
The Sustainable Design Project offers students the opportunity to use math skills in real-world
applications. The EALRs and GLEs in mathematics that can be met in a student‘s Sustainable Design
Project will depend on the chosen topic or system and how much mathematical information needs to
be collected, analyzed, and presented.

The following mathematical content areas are likely to be included in a Sustainable Design Project:
         Collecting data
         Analyzing data
         Taking measurements
         Using units of measurement
         Interpreting and creating graphs and tables
         Estimating and surveying
         Using statistics

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                  36
Language Arts Connections
The Language Arts standards include developing knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and
communication. The Sustainable Design Project engages students in reading as they research their
focus question and seek out sources of information. Students may gather information from nonfiction,
informational texts, which may include technical texts and web-based resources.

The project also engages students in communication as they work with community experts, cooperate
with team members, and prepare a presentation to share their project with others. Students delivering
their presentation orally may use effective delivery methods such as gestures, style, eye contact, and

The extent to which the project includes writing skills depends on how the project is structured. For
example, students may write a persuasive essay or a research paper on their Sustainable Design
Project. As they progress through the stages of their project, students will need to take notes and cite
their sources. They may need to write a grant or a fundraising letter. There are many forms in which a
student may choose to present their final project, which could take shape as a written document, such
as a paper, a brochure, a website, a presentation to the School Board or parent group, a display at a
science fair, or a wiki. A written final project will likely include the following writing skills:
         Pre-writing
         Producing drafts
         Revising
         Publishing final text

Arts Connections
Encourage students to be creative about the medium they choose for the presentation of their
Sustainable Design Project. Depending on the chosen topic and the intended audience, students may
choose to incorporate dance, music, theater, poetry, or visual arts into their presentation.

Health and Fitness Connections
Depending on the system and focus question that a student chooses, health and fitness EALRs and
GLEs may align with a student‘s project. The Health and Fitness EALRs most likely to apply to a
Sustainable Design Project include the following topics:
        Nutrition
        Disease
        Personal health
        Environmental health.

Career and Technical Education Connections
Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses can be closely aligned with the Sustainable Design
Project. These courses are:
         Situated in a real-world context
         Integrated across disciplines
         Connected to careers
         Make use of community experts.

In addition, many CTE courses challenge students to provide solutions to real-world problems,
including technology and design problems. From agriculture to transportation technologies, there are
many connections between CTE courses and Sustainable Design Project topics. The table provides
examples of how Career Pathways in CTE programs may connect to Sustainable Design Projects.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             37
                           Example Sustainable Design Project
                   CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) Connections
                    Specific Topic Area                    Sustainable Design Project Ideas
                                                     Organic farming
               Agricultural production and crop      Community supported agriculture
               science                               Integrated pest management
                                                     Genetically modified food safety
                                                     Manure management
Agriculture    Animal/livestock husbandry            Livestock diseases
and Science                                          Safe food supply
                                                     Soil erosion
                                                     Water quality protection
               Landscaping and                       Pesticide free zones
               Groundskeeping                        Use of native plants
               Turfgrass Management                  Reduction of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
                                                     Socially responsible business practices
               Business Law                          Environmental law and policies
Business and                                         Energy regulations
Marketing                                            Cost/profit analysis of business decisions
               Marketing                             Health and safety regulations
                                                     Product promotion and messaging
                                                     Nutrition
               Food Production and Services;
                                                     Food safety and sanitation
               Nutrition and Wellness
                                                     Family food budget
Health and                                           ―Green‖ interior elements and furniture, such as
               Housing, Interiors, and
Human                                                 wool carpets, low VOC paints, cork floors, and
Services                                              fluorescent lights
                                                     Resource conservation
               Parks, Recreation, and Tourism        Carbon footprint and carbon credits
                                                     Eco-tourism
                                                     Product packaging
               Architectural Drafting and
                                                     Environmental impacts of design
                                                     Environmental health and safety codes
                                                     Green building and LEEDs certification
                                                     Technologic systems interact with social,
               Construction Technologies
                                                      environmental and scientific systems
                                                     Technologies to conserve water, soil, and energy
               Energy and Power                      Renewable and non-renewable energy sources
and Industry
               Technologies                          Energy conservation
                                                     Cradle-to-Cradle design approach
               Manufacturing Technologies
                                                     Materials science
                                                     Emissions and noise footprint of airline travel
                                                     Diesel emissions from ships at port
               Transportation Technologies
                                                     Oil and fuel spills from ships
                                                     Mass transit systems

The Sustainable Design Project is a teaching and learning strategy that can be used to meet multiple
requirements and mandates, prepare students for assessments, and meet grade level learning

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 38
Chapter 5 Resources
WA State K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards
This document describes what all students should know and be able to do in the area of
Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) and includes an alignment of the ESE Standards
with Washington State K-12 standards for science and social studies.

Online Grade Level Resources (EALRs and GLEs)
On this website, you can search the EALRs and GLEs, and download free copies or order print copies
of the subject-area GLE handbooks.

Social Studies CBA Resources
The OSPI website provides support documents for the different CBAs, as well as bridging documents
prepared by local education organizations.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                         39
CHAPTER 6: Connecting to Community Resources
A principle of the Sustainable Design Project is to extend students‘ learning outside of the classroom
by connecting to and working collaboratively with their community. This chapter provides a description
of an online database that can be used for connecting with community experts, as well as specific tips
for working with businesses, community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and
government agencies.

“Student Project Space” Online Database
―Student Project Space‖ is an online resource developed to assist students and teachers with their
Sustainable Design Projects. This statewide online database, can help students find project
opportunities through connections with community-based and government agency resources. The
database also provides students with a place to post their own projects and build upon the work of
other student projects.

Student Project Space Online Database

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            40
Tips for Connecting with Community-Based Organizations
The community beyond the classroom offers a host of expertise and resources to help students
design solutions to environmental and sustainability issues. Consider the neighborhood community
gardening group that is growing organic produce to donate to their food bank, or the state chapter of a
national environmental organization. Your community is ripe with people who can help your students
learn, explore, and get involved in their Sustainable Design Projects.

Encourage students to think broadly when they identify experts within their targeted community.
Community-based organizations include some of the following categories:

          Museums, nature centers, zoos, and aquariums.
          Youth organizations, such as EarthCorps, YMCA, or WSU Extension such as Master
           Gardeners and 4H.
          Environmental organizations, such as People for Puget Sound, RE Sources for
           Sustainable Communities, and Washington Toxics Coalition.
          Religious organizations, such as Earth Justice Ministries.
          Service organizations, such as Rotary or Lions.
          Industry, trade, and professional organizations, such as Built Green or Master Home
          Local community gardens.

There are many ways that a student can get involved with a community-based organization. Some
suggestions are provided below:

          The organization may have a speaker‘s bureau or an individual who will come to the
           classroom to talk about their area of expertise.
          The organization may allow students to tour a behind-the-scenes area, such as a metal
           shop or wildlife rehabilitation center.
          The organization may need volunteers.
          Students may be able to present their Sustainable Design Projects at a membership
           meeting or a board meeting of the organization.
          The organization may be able to provide resources related to a student‘s chosen topic,
           including interviews, reports, and data.
          Students may be able to write to and in advocacy for a community-based organization.
          Students may create blog campaigns to create awareness of the priorities of their
           community based organizations.
          Students may create art in their classrooms to support the clientele of hospitals or
           homeless organizations.
          Students may create websites and wikis for community based organizations.

Community-Based Organizations Resources
A small sample of community-based organizations in Washington:

American Lung Association of Washington
The ALAW works on issues related to clean air, asthma, smoking, and lung disease.

Environmental Education Association of Washington
Washington‘s professional association for environmental educators and stakeholders.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            41
 Institute for Children’s Environmental Health
ICEH works toward ensuring a ―healthy, just, and sustainable future for all children.‖

People for Puget Sound
People for Puget Sound is working to protect the health of Puget Sound.

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities
RE Sources offers education and advocacy programs focused on waste reduction, air pollution, global
warming, and marine waters in the greater Puget Sound region.

Seattle Tilth
Tilth offers education and programs on organic gardening, local food systems, and natural resources

Washington Toxics Coalition
WTC works on improving product safety, home and garden health, and sustainable agriculture.

Tips for Connecting with Business and Industry
The business community is a rich source of experts from different industries and fields, with a wealth
of diverse networks of connections and resources. One way to connect to the business community is
to approach a professional association, such as the Washington State Bar Association or the Seattle
Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. These professional associations may be able to
recommend specific members who would be interested in working with students on their Sustainable
Design Projects. Your city or county might even publish a ―green pages,‖ a directory of local
businesses that are committed to sustainable business practices.

There are many ways that a student can work together with an expert from the business community.
        Invite the business person to visit the classroom as a guest speaker.
        Offer a service to the business, such as conducting an energy audit.
        Ask the business person to help evaluate final project presentations.
        Ask the business person to serve as a mentor to a student.

Business and Industry Resources
A few key business and industry resources:

WA RoundTable: Washington Roundtable is a nonprofit, public policy organization comprised of chief
executives representing major private sector employers throughout Washington State. The
organization‘s formation in 1983 was spearheaded by George Weyerhaeuser and a group of state
business leaders who foresaw a growing need to engage in and lend their expertise to important
public policy issues.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            42
Environmental and Land Use Law: Engaging Students in their Communities
The Washington State Bar Association provides a free curriculum for high school teachers interested
in bringing environmental and land use law attorneys into their classrooms. Specifically developed for
Law Day and Law Week activities, the curriculum can be used any time of the year to provide
teachers and visiting attorneys with age-appropriate classroom activities. The full curriculum and an
accompanying PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded from the following website:

Puget Sound Energy - Powerful Choices for the Environment
An environmental education program that is changing how Washington state's middle school students
and their families think about and use natural resources in their daily lives.

The Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle (MIC)
Host of the Green Industrial Business and Career Expo program for students and educators highlights
the new business and career opportunities that are being created by our transition away from fossil

Tips for Connecting with Institutions of Higher Education
Institutions of higher education employ professors, researchers, and graduate students who are
working to solve many of the same issues and problems that your students may be investigating for
their Sustainable Design Projects. In addition, institutions of higher education are charged with
transferring the new ideas and technologies developed within their research labs to their students and
the greater community. Community and technical colleges in particular may have programs focused
on specific problems or challenges.

Colleges and universities are organized into schools, departments, research centers, and programs.
By perusing the website of a local college or university, you may be able to find professors and
researchers working in areas that overlap with your students‘ interests. In particular, look for programs
that provide community outreach and education programs.

There are many ways that a K-12 student can get involved with the students, faculty, and staff at a
college or university. Invite a college department to provide a speaker to a high school classroom.
        Ask graduate students in a particular university program, such as a College of Education or
            a Department of Engineering, to act as mentors to students.
        Encourage students to seek opportunities to work as volunteers or interns in a research
        Arrange for students to tour a research lab.
        Encourage students to explore summer youth programs offered by a local college or
        Students may write professors related to a specific subject, after their scientific labs were
        Contact local ongoing projects such as watersheds or fish hatcheries.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              43
Higher Education Resources
A sample of higher education resources:

Community and Technical Colleges
The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges provides a list of all programs in
the state.

Four-Year Colleges and Universities
Washington Higher Learning Coordinating Board provides links to all public, independent/private, and
religious colleges and universities in the state.

Summer Youth Programs at the University of Washington
The UW offers programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students in programs as
diverse as: botany, marine biology, inventions, law, and natural science illustration.

Washington State University-Pullman, WA
Washington State University Extension engages people, organizations, and communities to advance
knowledge, economic well-being and quality of life by fostering inquiry, learning, and the application of

Tips for Connecting with Government Agencies
Government agencies at the state, county, and local level are an excellent source of content-area
experts. There are many ways that students can access the resources of government agencies.
Some suggestions are provided below:

          Local, county, and state level ecology departments have offices of sustainability that can
           provide information to students. Other local government offices such as local utilities,
           parks, planning, or transportation may have information on water, energy, waste
           management, resource conservation, restoration, and more. They may also offer grants,
           outreach programs, and speakers.
          Government agency websites are great sources of reports, data, field studies, and other
           information sources to assist students with their research.
          Agency workers, researchers, and scientists may be willing to mentor a student, host a
           tour of their lab, take a student along on a field study, or visit a classroom as a guest
          Many agencies regularly organize meetings to educate the local community about
           particular issues and to solicit public comments. Students may be able to attend these
          Students may use the data from their experiences to write legislators in advocacy for
           higher education, the environment and human civil rights issues that impact homelessness
           and students in poverty.
          Students may write legislators thanking them for their efforts and use HSPE approved
           persuasive writing to advocate for specific issues around SDP.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             44
State Government Resources
A sampling of Washington State government agencies and commissions: (Your county or city
government also has agencies and programs related to local sustainability issues.)

Access Washington
This is the official website for Washington State government. It provides a portal to state agencies and

Washington State Department of Agriculture
WSDA is responsible for food, animals, pesticides, fertilizers, plants, and insects.

Washington Biodiversity Project
This Project is concerned with protecting the State‘s animals, plants, and ecosystems.

Washington State Conservation Commission
The Commission assists local conservation districts with managing and conserving renewable natural

Washington State Department of Ecology
DOE has programs in sustainability, air quality, hazardous waste, nuclear waste, solid waste, spills
and cleanups, water quality, and resources.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Fish and Wildlife is focused on managing salmon recovery, wildlife habitat, fish/shellfish resources,
and hunting.

Washington State Department of Health
DOH is charged with helping Washington citizens to stay healthy and safe. Its programs include
community and family health, environmental health, public health, and health systems.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources
DNR is responsible for managing recreation, forest practices, conservation and restoration, and
aquatic and marine sciences.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
WSP manages 120 state parks and recreation areas, including historical, cultural, and natural sites.

Washington State Department of Transportation
WSDOT manages transportation systems, such as roads, bridges, ferries, and railways.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              45
CHAPTER 7: Project Funding & Resources
Depending on the chosen topic and the scale, some Sustainable Design Projects may require special
tools, equipment, or have other capital needs. You may be able to receive support for small capital
expenditures through your school or PTA. However, if a student team is planning a project that
requires a larger amount of capital, you may need to help them access school funds or raise funds.
This is an excellent opportunity to actively engage your students in the process of fundraising,
budgeting, soliciting donations, and applying for mini-grants.

Fundraising rules and requirements
When schools, staff, and/or students engage in fundraising activities, these activities are governed by
Washington State laws (and possibly by grant provisions). Start early and always check with your
district office before planning any type of fundraising activity. Your district office can provide guidance
on how to plan and implement fundraising activities that are in compliance with these laws. A brief
summary of different types of fundraising has been provided below, but please be aware that it is
crucial to obtain guidance from your school district office.

Fundraising Outside of School
Students are allowed to raise money on their own or as part of a community group, as long as the
school, ASB, or district is not involved and the fundraising is not done during school time (WASBO,

Associated Student Body (ASB) Fundraising
If fundraising is done by the ASB, or with school or district approval/supervision, and/or is done during
school time, then specific requirements must be met. If a fundraiser meets the following requirements,
then it is considered an ASB fundraiser and must follow specific rules:
      ―Students are involved and
      The school district or school name is used and
      It is conducted on or off school property and
      It is done with the approval of the school board or their designees‖ (WASBO, 2007) and
      It is supervised by the teacher and/or parents affiliated with the class.

ASB funds are only to be used for ―optional, non-credit, extracurricular activities‖ (Fiscal Guidance for
Culminating Projects, n.d.). ASB funds may not be used to pay ―for supplies or materials for
culminating projects,‖ therefore it is recommended that you check with your district office to see if
project expenses can be covered by general funds or charitable fundraisers (Fiscal Guidance for
Culminating Projects, n.d.).

The ASB Fundraising Resource Guide is available from the Washington Association of School
Business Officials (see Resources section below). This guide provides specific information on money
management, fundraising procedures, parent permission, restrictions and pitfalls, and fundraising
forms. It is important that this resource be consulted before beginning to raise funds.

Charitable Fundraising
Students may want to raise funds for a charitable cause, such as making a donation to a community
non-profit organization. If students are involved in charitable fundraising and certain rules are
followed, then the fundraising is considered to be ―non-associated student body private money.‖ In
this case, the fundraising is not subject to ASB fundraising rules, but instead is subject to charitable
fundraising rules. There are five main rules for charitable fundraising activities:

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 46
           1. ―There must be a school board policy
           2. Should be a bonafide charity
           3. Prior notice must be given
           4. Direct services provided by the school district must be paid for
           5. It is NOT public money‖ (Charitable Fund Raising, n.d.).
It is important that you contact your district office to obtain specific rules and requirements for
charitable fundraising activities.

Fundraising Resource
ASB Fundraising Resource Guide
This Fundraising Handbook can be found under the ―Publications‖ section of the Washington
Association of School Business Officials website.

Explaining Fundraising and Budgeting to Your Students

Why do we need to fundraise?
Depending on your project, you may not need any money at all. Some projects, however, need funds which can
be acquired through a fundraiser or a community grant. Other projects might benefit from the donation of
supplies or equipment by a local business. Before thinking about fundraising, grants or donations, first
determine if financial help will be needed. Start by creating a simple budget for the project. Budgeting might
sound difficult, but it is something that you do all the time without realizing it. Whenever you make the decision
to purchase something, you first need to determine your resources (how much money you have), your need
(how much do you need and desire this product), and your buying power (the price of the product). Developing a
simple budget for your project can be an easy process.

How do we develop a project budget?
Your budget will help determine your fundraising needs for the project. Much can be obtained through donations
and resource sharing without having to spend any money. Some projects can be broken up into phases to stay
within a tight budget scheme. Budget first, assess available resources, reassess needs and wants, and then
determine fundraising plan.

To develop a project budget, begin by listing everything you think you will need for the project, including
supplies, equipment, tools, food, advertising, and more. Make sure to note what items you already have, can
borrow, or can get donated and what items you will need to purchase.

Next, put a monetary value by the items you will need to purchase. You can determine the money value of an
item by estimating or by doing a little research. Call up your local hardware store and ask them to price an item
for you. You can also try looking through catalogs or searching the Internet to find out the price of an item. Your
budget should represent the total cost of all the items you need. This figure tells you how much money you will
need to raise.

 ~Reprinted with minor adaptations, with permission of Pacific Science Center, from ―Chapter Four: Spreading the Word and
                     Raising Money‖ of Making Waves: Watershed Education in Your Community—A Handbook for Teens.

Soliciting donations
A student project may need donations of money, equipment, supplies, or time. If you are looking for
adults who can volunteer their time or expertise, you may want to start with the parents of your
students as well as the community experts that are working with your students on their Sustainable
Design Projects. It is important that you contact your district office for guidance on rules

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                            47
governing donation solicitations, handling of donated funds, and ownership of donated

Your local business community may be a potential source of tools, equipment, food, or expertise.
Involve your students in identifying what they need, who may be able to provide it, and soliciting the
donations. A template for a donation letter is included below.

Explaining Donations to Your Students

How do we go about asking for donations?
Do you need a measuring tape, rubber boots, and a bucket? You might consider asking a local business to
donate particular items for your project. First, determine the specific items that you need and identify which local
businesses have those items for sale. You also need to determine how each item will specifically be used. For
example, if you want a local bagel shop to donate a dozen bagels and cream cheese, they will want to know that
you are using the bagels to feed volunteers for a streamside restoration project.

The best way to approach a business is to write a letter to the business owner or store manager. You can find
out this person‘s name, and how to spell it, by calling the store. Then, draft a letter that explains exactly what
you want donated and how it will be used. See the donation letter template below.

Several days after the letter has been delivered, follow up with a friendly phone call to the business owner or
store manager offering to answer any questions they may have about your project. During the phone call, you
may want to reiterate how the items will be used. Also let the person know when you need the items for them to
be most useful. Ask the owner/manager when they will be able to get back to you with your decision. If you do
not hear back by that date, it is perfectly fine to call them once again.

If you do receive a donation, offer to pick it up in person. Then, make sure to promptly write a thank-you letter to
the business. You may want to follow-up later with another letter that includes a photograph of your team using
the items, or a handmade thank-you poster with all of your team members‘ signatures.

 ~Reprinted with minor adaptations, with permission of Pacific Science Center, from ―Chapter Four: Spreading the Word and
                     Raising Money‖ of Making Waves: Watershed Education in Your Community—A Handbook for Teens.

                                            Template for Donation Letter
Use this template to draft a letter that asks a local business for a donation.

                                                                                          YOUR NAME & ADDRESS:
                                                                                                      Maria Machala
                                                                                           2435 East Rivertown Road
                                                                                               Waterville, WA 98777

Jim‘s Hardware and More
5623 Bracken Marsh Blvd.
Waterville, WA 98777

DATE: October 21, 2009

SALUTATION: Dear Mr. McAllister,

PURPOSE OF LETTER: I am writing on behalf of a student team at Waterville High School to request a small
donation of supplies for a revegetation project.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                            48
DESCRIPTION: Our team is made up of students from Waterville High School. We are dedicated to improving
the water quality of Connelly Creek, which runs near your business. We are planning a creek-side weeding
project on November 18 to pull weeds from the creek banks. We are preparing the area so that we can plant
native trees and shrubs in early spring.

REQUEST FOR DONATION: Our team is in need of several items to make our project a success. We are
hoping that Jim‘s Hardware & More can donate the following items for our event on November 18 :
        12 pairs of gardening gloves, sizes small – large
        25 composting yard waste bags

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We will acknowledge your generosity by including a thank-you notice to Jim‘s
Hardware & More on our school‘s website as well as announcing your donation to all of the volunteers who
participate in the project.

YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION: I look forward to hearing from you regarding this request. I can be contacted
at or (206) 555-1425.

Maria Machala
Student at Waterville High School

 ~Reprinted with minor adaptations, with permission of Pacific Science Center, from ―Chapter Four: Spreading the Word and
                     Raising Money‖ of Making Waves: Watershed Education in Your Community—A Handbook for Teens.

Applying for school or community grants
Locating and applying for a grant can seem like a daunting task. After all, many non-profit
organizations employ development managers who write and manage grants full-time. However, there
are many small grants available for student, school, and community projects. These mini-grants often
have quicker turn-around timelines and simplified applications. The best starting place in your search
for grants is your school district office. Also, some corporations, community-based organizations,
family foundations, and government agencies provide mini-grants for community projects. The Grant
Resources section at the end of this chapter provides a few suggestions for starting your grant
search. Please be aware that you must contact your school district office to receive guidance
on laws and regulations that govern grant writing and grant management for school projects.

How to Explain a Grant to Your Students
What is a community grant?
A grant is a sum of money that is ―granted‖ to an individual or group for a specific project. A grant may come
from the government, a business, or a private foundation. There are millions of dollars in grants available for a
variety of projects, including Sustainable Design Projects just like yours! There are federal- and state-level
grants. Community grants are generally funded by local organizations and are created specifically for citizen
projects. With a little research, you may find some grants available in your own community.

Where do we find out about community grants?
You will have to do some research to find out about local grant resources. Call your school district office and find
out if they have a person in charge of grant writing and fundraising. He or she may be able to share some
resources with you. You can also try websites for your city and county government and local universities or
colleges. A science center or nature center might be able to help you find some local grant opportunities.

What is the process of getting a grant?

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                            49
You have to apply for a grant. Many small grants have simple applications, while larger grants often have more
exhaustive application processes. Generally, you will have to provide information about your team and the
specific project, a budget, and a timeline. Depending on the grant, you may need to be associated with a school
district or other organization who can oversee the money, since some grants can only go to non-profit
organizations with a tax-exempt status. Your teacher can help you determine if this is an issue.

How do you keep your grant application out of the slush pile? There are some basic things you can do to ensure
that your application gets serious consideration. If you submit a sloppy application two days after the deadline,
you are guaranteeing that you will not receive the grant. By investing the time to create a well organized,
thorough grant application, you greatly increase your chances of receiving the grant.

 ~Reprinted with minor adaptations, with permission of Pacific Science Center, from ―Chapter Four: Spreading the Word and
                     Raising Money‖ of Making Waves: Watershed Education in Your Community—A Handbook for Teens.

                                  Tips for Writing a Winning Grant Application

Check eligibility guidelines first. Many people go to a great deal of effort and don‘t meet the priorities of the
grant, feeling like it‘s an automatic.

Start early. Research and documentation take time. Be sure to allow plenty of time to present the many
aspects of your project. Hint: Get approval signatures EARLY in process. Grants are a team process and if a
key permission signature is missing because that party is too busy, then you have difficulty.

Check to see if it is an annual grant. If it is, mark your calendar to follow up with a stronger proposal, after
you have had time to research it.

Evaluate if you have time to put a good proposal together in the one week, 30 days or 90 days required by the
deadline. A poor proposal is not worth as much as waiting a year.

Look for and participate in informational webinars or websites suggested by grantor.

Check out the procedural elements of peer review. Government grants have extra layers of paperwork, as
opposed to smaller community grants.

Edit carefully. Make sure to check, and then recheck, your entire application for spelling and grammar. Ask
several people to read the application for you before submitting it. A pair of fresh eyes can often find mistakes in
the text that you never even noticed.

Follow the directions. Most grant applications come with specific directions, such as the maximum number of
pages and the required font size. Follow the directions carefully.

Neatness counts. Your grant application should arrive clean and neat. If possible, type your application and
print it on a quality printer. Depending on the directions, e-mail your application or mail it in a flat manila
envelope instead of folding it.

Meet the deadline. In fact, you should aim to beat the deadline. Choose a date one week before the actual
deadline and use that as your personal deadline. Getting the application in early will reduce your stress level
and give you some extra time in case something unexpected happens.

Partners help. Funders typically love knowing that groups of people are working together on a project. If you
have a project partner, make sure to mention it on the application. If the grant allows, ask your project partner to
write a letter of support to accompany the application.

Be persistent. Understand that not many grants are funded for numerous reasons, even in the best of
economic conditions.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                            50
  ~Reprinted with minor adoptions, with permission of Pacific Science Center, from ―Chapter Four: Spreading the Word and
                     Raising Money‖ of Making Waves: Watershed Education in Your Community—A Handbook for Teens.

Grant Resources
This is just a small sample of the grants available for student, school, and community projects.

This is the clearinghouse for grants offered by the federal government agencies. You can search or
browse by category or agency.

Terry Husseman Sustainable Schools Awards
This program, coordinated by the Washington State Department of Ecology, provides monetary
awards to schools participating in resource conservation and sustainability.

Home Depot and National Gardening Association’s Youth Garden Grant Program
This program provides funds to school and community organizations to create child-centered garden

National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitats Program
This program helps schools and outdoor education centers develop habitat areas for wildlife and

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                            51
CHAPTER 8: Showcasing Sustainable Design Projects
Students have the opportunity to showcase their Sustainable Design Projects on the statewide
―Student Project Space‖ website. Exemplary projects could be chosen to be showcased at a variety of
venues across the state, including: regionally at ESDs and other community forums; at the annual
conference of the Environmental Education Association of Washington; at OSPI; and to the
Washington State legislature.

OSPI plans to support the Sustainable Design Project with its own public relations plan to help get
students‘ projects seen by the public. The public relations plan includes supporting the ―Student
Project Space‖ website, inviting local media to cover exemplary student projects, and providing
opportunities for students to present their projects at school board meetings, community and industry
groups, and conferences.

Preparing for students’ presentations
Students may need help identifying appropriate presentation formats and a target audience. They also
may need help determining how to connect with their target audience and how to plan a time to give
their presentation. If your students are planning on making presentations to non-school groups, then
they may need extra help identifying a contact person, scheduling their presentation, arranging
transportation and any related costs, and preparing an appropriate presentation style for that
audience. The community experts with whom each student worked may know of likely forums where a
student could present his or her project.

Student Planning Tool #6, Preparing for your Presentation will help take students step-by-step
through the process of identifying an audience, choosing a presentation format and visual aids, and
developing a plan for including the necessary elements into their presentation. This tool can be found
in the Appendix.

Assessing students’ presentations
A sample rubric is provided in the Appendix to help identify the different components of a student
presentation that can be assessed. The rubric was designed for a middle school level project where
students worked in groups, focused on an environmental health topic, and made an oral presentation.
You can pick and choose from the different criteria elements and levels of success to customize your
own presentation rubric. Depending on how you and your students approach the Sustainable Design
Project, you may need to fine-tune the rubric so that it is an effective assessment tool for your own
students‘ project topics and presentation formats. The Chapter Resources section below includes a
resource that provides templates for creating rubrics for student presentations.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            52
Chapter 8 Resources
Student Project Space Database
Student Project Space is a statewide online project database in which students can find project
opportunities through connections with community-based and agency resources. The resource also
provides students with an outlet where they can post their own projects and build upon the work of
other student projects.

Sample Rubrics for Composing and Making a Presentation
The Buck Institute for Education‘s Project Based Learning Handbook offers several templates to help
teachers develop their own rubrics. You can download the ―Creating a Rubric for Composing a
Presentation‖ (pg. 73) and ―Creating a Rubric for Making a Presentation‖ (pg. 74) templates from the
following website:

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            53
CHAPTER 9: Resources for Teaching Sustainable Design
Education for Sustainability—General Resources

Education for Sustainability: An Agenda for Action
This report states that the ―time has come to ensure that the concepts of education for sustainability
are discussed and woven into a framework upon which current and future educational policy is
based.‖ This report is a product of the National Forum on Partnerships Supporting Education about
the Environment, from the President‘s Council on Sustainable Development.

UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
Learn about the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). The
overall goal of the DESD is ―to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable
development into all aspects of education and learning.‖

Center for Sustainable Systems
CSS develops life cycle based models and sustainability metrics to evaluate the performance and to
guide the continuous improvement of industrial systems for meeting societal needs. We promote
sustainability by developing these tools and knowledge in collaboration with diverse stakeholders so
that better informed decisions are made. It is the vision of CSS and the University of Michigan to be
nationally and internationally recognized for creative and effective teaching and research in systems
based approaches to sustainability.

National Museum of the American Indian
NMAI is a new museum that focuses on the spiritual and cultural heritage from the First Nation
Peoples of the Americas.

Education for Sustainability—Teacher Resources

Facing the Future: People and the Planet
Facing the Future develops young people‘s capacity and commitment to create thriving, sustainable,
and peaceful local and global communities. In particular, FTF provides a Washington State specific
middle school level unit, ―Understanding Sustainability.‖ Find curricula, resources, and more at their

Sustainable Schools Project
The Sustainable Schools Project is a model for school improvement and civic engagement that uses
sustainability as an integrating context. Find lesson plans, resources, and links to sustainability
projects at this website.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                54
Vermont Education for Sustainability Project
The EFS Project works on educational policy in favor of sustainability education.

Education for Sustainability—Higher Education Resources

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
AASHE is a membership-based association of colleges and universities working to advance
sustainability in higher education in the US and Canada.

Education for Sustainability in Higher Education
Second Nature works with institutions of higher education to make the principles of education a
foundation of all learning. Second Nature‘s vision of a healthy, just, and sustainable future is
described at this website.

Toxic Substances and Environmental Health

Tox Town
This interactive online resource allows you to investigate different ―neighborhoods‖ to discover toxic
chemicals where you live, work, and play. The student-friendly site is available in both English and

Integrated Environmental Health Middle School Project
Access free, downloadable teacher resources from this University of Washington program. The
Environmental Health Fact Files provide lesson plans on lead and asthma for teachers of science,
math, language arts, social studies, and health and fitness. The Health and Environment Research
Tool helps teachers plan a research project very similar to the Sustainable Design Project. The
Quicksilver Question is an interactive, online game that engages students in solving a mock
environmental health problem.

TOXNET Hazardous Substances Data Bank
Type a hazardous substance into this database (such as antifreeze) and find out its toxicology
properties and dangers to human health.

Sustainable Businesses

Simply Sustainable Industries
The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment provides information, by industry, of how to
incorporate sustainable and commercially sound processes into businesses.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                55
Sustainable Industries
This portal provides information for business leaders on the following topics: green building, clean
energy, technology, food and farms, marketing, finance, transportation, and recycled materials.

Sustainable Style Foundation
The SSF is focused on helping people ―look fabulous, live well, and do good‖ through its programs,
magazine, and guides.

Sustainable Communities Network
The SCN provides resources for citizens to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities. Their
resources include a Sustainable Building Resource Directory, tools for smart growth, resources for
growing a sustainable economy in different industries, and tips on sustainable government.

Sustainable Design

The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability
This book, by Ann Thorpe, presents designers with an overview of how to incorporate environmental,
economic, and social sustainability into their work. The book was published by Island Press in 2007.
An accompanying website provides reading lists and a teaching guide.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart‘s book issues a call for a new industrial
revolution that uses sustainable design principles to design buildings and products. Available from
North Point Press, 2002.

The Sorrell Foundation Young Design Center
The Sorrell Foundation provides several programs to involve students in designing the quality of life in
their schools and communities.

David Orr: The Designers Challenge
Transcript of a speech given by David Orr to the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania in

Construction, Architecture, Green Building

Architecture 2030
This nonprofit is focused on transforming the building sector from a major contributor to greenhouse
gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the global warming crises.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              56
Built Green—Master Builders Association of Washington
This Built Green website provides resources for green home construction. From this website, you can
link to your local county‘s own Built Green website.

BuildingGreen is a publishing company focused on providing information on green design and

U.S. Green Building Council
This nonprofit is working to make green building accessible to everyone.

Renewable Energy and Fuel

Harvesting the Wind PBS Video
The e2 energy video series examines alternatives to the fossil fuel culture.

Windustry’s Wind Farmers Network
Learn all about harvesting the wind, including community wind projects, at this website.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
This website features information on many types of renewable energy, including: biomass,
geothermal, solar, and wind.

Natural Resources Defense Council — Energy Issues
Check out a variety of tips on how to deal with oil and energy issues.

Northwest Biodiesel Network
Find out about local biodiesel events and resources, as well as the Breathable Bus Coalition.

The Federal Clean Air Act
Read the full code of the Clean Air Act, amended in 1990.

Energy Kids Page
This Department of Energy website provides kid-friendly information, activities, and games about
energy sources.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                          57
Carbon and Global Warming

Natural Resources Defense Council — Global Warming
Explore the issue of global warming at this informative site.

Program on Climate Change
This University of Washington program provides resources for educators.

Equitable and Sustainable Communities

International Society for Ecology & Culture
This UK organization promotes locally based alternatives to the global consumer culture.

Project for Public Spaces
PPS is dedicated to helping people create and sustain public places that build communities, from
public markets and parks to waterfronts and community squares.

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
ITDP is focused on promoting sustainable and socially equitable transportation systems worldwide.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
CNT promotes the development of more livable and sustainable communities.

Smart Communities Network
This organization offers resources and tools for building energy smart communities.

King County’s Equity and Social Justice Initiative
This initiative takes aim at long-standing and persistent inequities and injustices in King County.

City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative
Mayor Nickels‘ initiative aims to bring race and social justice to the people of Seattle.

Ella Baker Green Collar Jobs Campaign
This organization seeks to train 250,000 people in green collar jobs and lift them out of poverty.

Green for All
This organization aims to build a green economy strong enough to lift all people out of poverty.

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            58
Environmental and Sustainability Education in Washington

WA State K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards
These standards describe what all students should know and be able to do in the area of
Environmental and Sustainability Education and are intended to be integrated into core content areas
and across all grade levels.

OSPI EES Program Curriculum Integration and Instructional Alignment Guide
Discover tools for how to bring sustainability education into your classroom, including an instruction
alignment guide.

Washington Green Schools
Washington Green Schools is a voluntary, web-based program schools can use to reduce its
environmental and carbon footprint.

Project-Based Learning

Buck Institute for Education Project Based Learning Resources
The Buck Institute provides an overview of project-based learning.


ASB Fundraising Resource Guide
This Fundraising Handbook can be found under the ―Publications‖ section of the Washington
Association of School Business Officials website.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                59
Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010   60
                       Appendix A – Teacher Planning Tools

The Teacher Planning Tools are provided as a resource in planning Sustainable Design
Projects. Feel free to modify these tools for your specific needs.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010              61
                          Teacher Planning Tool #1

1. What is your current teaching assignment (grade level, content areas, etc.)?

2. Reflect on the upcoming units of study that you will be teaching to your students. Select one or
   two units which you believe are most conducive to ―beyond the classroom‖ connections and is
   a good fit with the goals of the Sustainable Design Project. Provide a brief description of this
   current unit of study:

3. What is the ―big idea‖ for this curriculum unit (i.e. the deep learning and enduring

       a. What are the student outcomes, results, learning targets, and/or standards that you
          plan to achieve with this unit of study?

       b. What are some potential community needs that exist in and around your community
          that are related to the ―big idea‖ of this unit of study? Consider that a community can be
          defined on many different levels, including a group of people, your school, your town,

4. Who are the stakeholders and/or decision makers in the community? Who can help you to
   reassess your ―big idea‖ within the context of a real community need?

                                                           Adapted from Chris Burt and Susie Richards,
                         Service-Learning Washington Training Cadres Coordinators for Learn and Serve.

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             62
                         Teacher Planning Tool #2

1. Timeline: What is the timeline for your students‘ Sustainable Design Projects?
   Lay out your timeline on a calendar.

2. Liability Issues: Are there any liability issues associated with your students‘ projects that will
   need to be addressed?

      Review your project plan with your building administrator.
      Will projects occur off or on campus? If off campus, are appropriate permissions in place?
      If using volunteers, are background checks in place before project implementation?
      Are there any liability issues surrounding transportation (using private vehicles, etc.)?

3. Resources: What resources are required to implement your students‘ Sustainable Design
   Projects? (For more information on budgeting and fundraising, please see Chapter 7: Project
   Funding and Resources). Please be sure to talk with your school district office before
   becoming involved in any fundraising activities or accepting donations, as these activities are
   governed by specific rules and laws.

4. Budgeting: Develop a project budget and identify the following:

      What are direct costs (those costs that actual funds are needed for)? What are potential
       sources for funding these costs?
      What materials are needed for the project (art supplies, etc.)? Who are potential donors or
       sources of funding for these materials?
      How do you capture in-kind donations? In-kind donations are important to document for
       future funding, because these demonstrate program strength and support from your
       community. In-kind donations include donations of volunteer time, materials, percentage
       off the cost of materials, donated materials, etc.
      How can you leverage these resources for future projects?

5. Project Impacts: How might your project impact other teachers and staff within your building?
   How can you address these issues?

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              63
6. Assessment: Will there be ongoing, real world student assessment built into the project? Will
   community partners be included in this process?

7. Evaluation: Will evaluation tools be created? Will you engage in ongoing evaluation
   throughout the project as well as summative evaluation at the end of the project?

8. Reflection: What reflective tools will be used? Are the tools going to be used in all stages of
   the project? Are you using multiple approaches to reflection, such as journals, video, webpage
   development, etc.?

9. Celebration: What type of celebration will be planned to recognize the culmination of the
   project? Who will be involved in the celebration?

                                          Adapted with permission from Chris Burt and Susie Richards,
                        Service-Learning Washington Training Cadres Coordinators for Learn and Serve.

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            64
                       Appendix B – Student Planning Tools

The Student Planning Tools are appropriate for students in middle and high school. The
Student Planning Tools can be used to help students transition from one step of the project
process to the next. Elementary school teachers can use the Student Planning Tools as a
resource for planning a whole-class Sustainable Design Project. Rather than distributing
these Tools to the students, elementary school teachers can use the Tools themselves to
plan out the important components of the project. Feel free to modify these tools for your
specific needs.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                     65
                     Student Planning Tool #1: Introduction
Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________             Class/Period: ________________

You are about to embark on an exciting challenge—a Sustainable Design Project. As part of this
project, you will investigate an issue, problem, or situation that is part of a system in your local
community. You will work with experts, propose a solution, and share your findings.

The following diagram shows the questions you will be investigating for each step of your Sustainable
Design Project. As you progress from one step to the next, make note of the date you move onto a
new step in the process.

Diagram adapted with permission from the Health & Environment Action Research Tool of the Integrated Environmental Health Middle
School Project (NIESH Grant #ES10738 and #ES07033, University of Washington, 2005).

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                        66
 Student Planning Tool #2: Considering Your Own Interests

Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________     Class/Period: ________________

   1. What kinds of things interest you?

   2. What do you know how to do well?

   3. What problems or issues do you see in the world that you would like to help change?

What is a System?
A system is a group of interacting, interrelated, and interdependent components that form a complex
and unified whole. Systems are everywhere. For example, a classroom, a predator/prey relationship,
and the ignition system in a car are all systems. Some systems are ―nested‖ within larger systems.
For example, the circulatory system is nested within the system we know as the human body. A
system is a collection of ―things‖ in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

   4. Read through the table below. Consider which of the following systems interest you most.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                         67
             SYSTEM                               EXAMPLE ISSUES

              Built                     ―Green‖ building design and construction
           Environment                  Sick building syndrome
                                        Parks and green spaces
          Climate Change                Global warming and its affects on agriculture
                                        Global climate change and the affects of severe
              Energy                    Alternative energy sources (solar, wind, etc.)
                                        Biofuels (biodiesel, ethanol, etc.)
                                        Energy conservation
          Water Quality &               Water pollution in local waterways
           Conservation                 Water conservation
            Air Quality                 Air pollution from cars, boats, trains, ferries, and
                                         cruise ships
                                        Woodstoves and outdoor burning
                                        Wildfires
        Waste Management                Composting and worm bins
                                        Recycling
                                        Electronic waste
         Workplace Health               Ergonomics
            & Safety                    Health and safety hazards at work

          Voting & Civic                Voting
              Action                    Volunteerism
                                        Activism
           Food & Farm                  Nutrition
                                        Organic gardening and farming
                                        School gardens
                                        Obesity epidemic
            Technology                  Cradle-to-grave pathway of electronic waste
                                        Cradle-to-cradle principles

             Cultural                   Places of cultural importance
           Preservation                 Local history
        Media, Music, and               Film, music, and art festivals
               Art                      Art installations
          Parks & Natural               Non-native plant species
              Areas                     Developing neighborhood ―pocket‖ gardens
                                        Community gardening plots
             Forestry                   Urban forests
                                        Biosolid fertilizers
                                        Soil erosion and water quality protection
          Environmental                 Asthma and tobacco smoke
         Health & Justice               Diabetes and obesity
                                        Inequitable concentration of polluting industries
                                         located in neighborhoods with low incomes or
                                         people of color
                                        Lack of ―green‖ businesses, open space, and

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                          68
5. Choose the system that you would like to be the focus of your Sustainable Design Project.
   Write the system below:

   System: ______________________________________________

6. What other students in your class are also interested in the same system?

7. If you will be doing the Sustainable Design Project as a group project, choose who will make
   up your group. Write all the group member names below:

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                            69
     Student Planning Tool #2: Identifying Your Target Community
Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________     Class/Period: ________________

You have already considered your interests to help you choose the system on which to focus your
Sustainable Design Project. Write the name of your chosen system or topic below:

System/Topic: ______________________________________________

Now you need to determine the target community for your project. A community is a group of people
who are somehow brought together by shared values, beliefs, goals, geography, or other factors. A
community can take on many different forms, such as an entire city, a neighborhood, a school, a
seventh-grade class, or the residents of an apartment building.

In order to answer the questions below, you will need to conduct some research on your targeted

   1. What community will be the focus of your Sustainable Design Project? This is the community
      in which your system occurs and/or the community that will be affected by your project.

   2. Who makes up your targeted community? Describe the defining characteristics of the
      community? Who are the people? Ages? Ethnic/Racial background? Population?

   3. What makes this community unique? Is there anything special about its history? Is it facing a
      current problem?

   4. What are the core values of this community? (Economic status, education, family, beliefs,
      work, etc.). How do you know?

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             70
    5. Who are the decision-makers in this community? (This may be specific people, groups,
       businesses, organizations, or government agencies).

    6. What environmental issues is this community currently facing?

    7. What social issues is this community currently facing?

    8. What economic issues is this community currently facing?

    9. Who do you think are the experts in the community for the different issues you listed above?
       Where else could you go to find more information on these issues?

Adapted with permission from the Health & Environment Action Research Tool of the Integrated Environmental Health Middle School Project
(NIESH Grant #ES10738 and #ES07033, University of Washington, 2005). Original materials were adapted from ―A Model for Applying the
Scientific Method in Your Community,‖ NSF Project HRD-9450053.

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                         71
      Student Planning Tool #3: Developing Your Focus Question
Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________      Class/Period: ________________

You now have chosen the system and the community that you will be focusing on for your Sustainable
Design Project. Write your chosen system and community on the lines below:

System/Topic: ______________________________________________

Community: ____________________________________________

Next, you will be developing your focus question. A focus question has three parts. First, you need
to define the main issue, problem, or situation that you will be investigating for your Sustainable
Design Project. Second, you need to identify the particular question that you have about that issue,
problem, or situation. Third, you need to propose a design solution.

   1. What questions do you have about your chosen system?

   2. What questions do you have about your chosen community?

   3. What do you already know about the system?

   4. Is there a particular topic or part of the system that you want to focus on, rather than the entire

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                              72
5. What issue, problem, or situation do you want to help solve that is a part of your chosen
   system or topic?

6. Review your answers to questions #1-5 above. Circle words or phrases that stand out to you
   and seem to capture your interest and curiosity about your chosen system and community.
   Use these words to help guide you in choosing the specific focus of your Sustainable Design
   Project and in crafting your focus question.

7. From what you now know about your chosen system and community, choose the issue,
   problem, or situation that you want to be the focus of your Sustainable Design Project. Briefly
   describe the issue, problem or situation:

8. Use the diagram on the next page to examine your chosen topic through the lenses of
   environmental, social, and economic factors. First, choose two colors of pens to use on the

  a. Use one color of pen to list examples of how the topic is currently affecting these three
  b. In another color of pen, list examples of how these three factors are currently affecting the

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                               73
Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010   74
9. Develop your focus question:

  a. What is the main issue, problem, or situation that you will be investigating?

  b. What specific question do you have about that issue, problem, or situation?
     Write your focus question in the box below:

10. What design solution will you propose to help solve the issue, problem, or solution?

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                     75
            Student Planning Tool #4: Collecting Information
Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________      Class/Period: ________________

Identifying What You Need
   1. What information and/or skills do you need in order to answer your focus question? Keep in
       mind the following types of information and skills:
        Maps, photographs, and videos
        Interviews and anecdotes
        Surveys
        Scientific data
        Books, newspaper articles, journal articles, and websites
        Specific skills (such as map reading, carpentry, gardening, etc.) _____________________
        Observations
        Other:________________________________________________

Choosing Sources of Information
As you begin the research and investigation phase of your project, you will need to find credible
sources of information. You will need to find sources of information to help you understand and apply
the different principles of sustainable design, including:
     Low impact methods
     Energy efficiency
     Quality and durability
     Cradle-to-cradle life cycle design for recycling and reuse
     Biomimicry
     Service substitution
     Local and renewable resources
     Carbon footprint
     Environmental health
     Environmental justice
     Human needs and quality of life
     Design for change

   2. List at least two credible websites related to your project:

   3. List at least two non-internet resources related to your project:

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                           76
Considering Stakeholders
Consider how your project might affect different groups of people. These are the stakeholders who
have an interest in the outcome of your project, because they will be impacted positively or negatively.

   4. Identify at least four stakeholders for your project (such as ―elementary school students who
      use the playground,‖ or ―people who visit the food bank each week.‖) Try to include people
      who might be most concerned with the three different aspects of sustainability: environment,
      economy, and society. Then, develop a list of positive and negative impacts these
      stakeholders might experience as an outcome of your project. Record your thoughts in the
      table below:

             Stakeholders                  Positive Impacts              Negative Impacts

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                             77
Identifying Community Experts
Identify community experts who can help you by answering questions, providing information, teaching
you new skills, or mentoring you. You might consider choosing one of the stakeholders that you listed
above as one of your community experts.

Community experts may include people from:
      Local businesses
      Industry
      Government agencies and municipalities
      Faculty, staff, and students from local colleges and universities
      Community-based organizations
      Neighborhood council
      Citizen activists

    5. What are three overall goals that you hope to achieve by meeting with these community




    6. Name at least two people who are experts in your chosen community and that can help you
       with a specific part of your Sustainable Design Project. List their names, titles/jobs, and
       contact information.

    7. Develop a plan for contacting or working with these experts. Will you be able to visit their
       workplace? Will they be able to visit your school or project site?

Adapted with permission from the Health & Environment Action Research Tool of the Integrated Environmental Health Middle School Project
(NIESH Grant #ES10738 and #ES07033, University of Washington, 2005).

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                         78
 Student Planning Tool #5: Developing Sustainable Design Solutions
Name: _________________________________________
Date: __________ Class/Period: ________________

You have been investigating a particular problem, issue, or situation within a system. Now it
is time to apply your research and learning toward solving the problem through your
Sustainable Design Project.

   1. How can you re-design the system in order to solve the problem or to make it better?
      Think of a few design solutions and briefly describe them in the table below.

   2. Investigate the pros and cons of each of your proposed design solutions. You may
      need to do some research or talk to community experts in order to fully evaluate the
      impacts of each solution. Be sure to consider impacts (both positive and negative) to
      the environment, economy, and society. List the pros and cons in the table.

    Proposed Solution                           Pros                         Cons

   3. After considering the pros and cons and doing any necessary research, choose the
      design solution you will develop a plan for and/or implement. Write it on the line below:

Chosen Design: ___________________________________________________________

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                       79
4. Decide how you will create your design solution and how you will communicate it to
   other people. What will be the best format for displaying and explaining your design
   solution? Who is your intended audience, and what format will work best for them?

   Depending on your system issue and design solution, any of the following may be

      Scale model or prototype                               Newspaper article or letter to the
      Map or flow chart                                       editor
      PowerPoint presentation                                Photojournalism essay
      Poster                                                 Theatrical performance
      Speech or lecture                                      Musical composition
      Video                                                  Artwork
      Website                                                Mural
      Interview                                              Mock town meeting
      Diorama                                                Mock newscast
      Graphs or charts                                       Board game
      Survey                                                 Lesson plan
      Informative brochure                                   How-to manual
      Museum exhibit                                         Other:________________
      Animation
      Blog or wiki

Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                         80
           Student Planning Tool #6: Preparing for your Presentation
Name: _________________________________________

Date: __________      Class/Period: ________________

Target Audience:
   1. Consider the audience to whom you would like to make your final presentation. Depending on
       your chosen Sustainable Design Project topic, your audience may include groups such as:

           Students                                             Business owners
           Parents of young children                            Commuters
           School district officials                            Farmers
           School PTA members                                   City planners
           Community groups                                     Other:____________________
           Professional associations

   2. Describe the target audience for your presentation:

   3. What will they already know about your topic?

   4. What will they most want to know about your topic?

   5. Will your audience need translation or interpretation? How can you ensure their active

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                      81
Presentation Format:
   6. What format will you use for presenting your Sustainable Design Project to your target
      audience? Consider the needs of your target audience and the format that will best convey
      your information to them. Also keep in mind that you want to be creative and have fun with
      your presentation.

                 Scale model or prototype                                 Newspaper article or letter
                 PowerPoint presentation                                   to the editor
                 Poster                                                   Photojournalism essay
                 Speech or lecture                                        Theatrical performance
                 Video                                                    Musical composition
                 Website                                                  Artwork
                 Interview                                                Mural
                 Diorama                                                  Mock town meeting
                 Survey                                                   Mock newscast
                 Informative brochure                                     Board game
                 Museum exhibit                                           Lesson plan
                 Animation                                                How-to manual
                 Blog or wiki                                             Pre & post reflection
                                                                           Other:________________

   7. What visual aids will you use during your presentation? Visual aids may include some of the

             Photograph                                             Scale model
             Map                                                    Website
             Flow chart                                             Poster
             PowerPoint software                                    Slideshow
             Video                                                  Other:__________________
             Audio recording
             Chart or graph

Presentation Elements:
   8. As you plan how you will present the findings of your Sustainable Design Project, keep in mind
      the following presentation elements. No matter what format you choose for your presentation,
      it should include—in some shape or form—the presentation elements listed below. Use this
      checklist to keep track of these elements as you develop your presentation.

             Identification of your chosen system.
             Description of your chosen community.
             Description of your chosen issue, problem, or situation.
             Statement of your focus question.
             Description of your interest and existing knowledge about the topic.
             Explanation of environmental, economic, and social impacts.
             Summary of the information you collected.
             Summary of your analysis of the information you collected.
             Identification of the stakeholders and their viewpoints.

   Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                 82
                  Description of your proposed solution and how you approached redesigning the
                   system, issue, problem, or situation.
                  If you created some kind of product or model, include a description of it.
                  Statement of the answer(s) to your focus question.
                  Call to action explaining how your audience can get involved or enact change.
                  Citation of your information sources, in correct bibliographic format.

Presentation Tips:
If you are creating some kind of visual aid or display:
      Make it attractive by using color, graphics, and large lettering. Neatness counts.
      Use as many pictures, graphs, and tables as possible, rather than too much text.
      Organize your information by using titles, subtitles, and bullets.
      Leave some white space so that it does not look too crowded with text and graphics.

If you are using PowerPoint or other presentation software:
      Use as many pictures, graphs, and tables as possible, rather than too much text.
      Do not include a script for what you will say; instead, include a few bullet points that you can
        expand on as you talk.
      Use 16 point font or larger.
      Do not use fancy animations or slide transitions that detract from your presentation.
      Use the visual aid or PowerPoint as talking points.

If you are delivering a speech or talk:
      Practice, practice, practice! Practice on many different people or even to the mirror!
      Time your presentation and note the length of each section.
      Memorize the main points of your talk so that you do not have to read from your notes.
      Make eye contact with your audience.
      Use your hands to make gestures and emphasize your point, but do not overdo it.
      Talk slowly and do not forget to breathe.
      Smile, relax, and use friendly body postures (do not cross your arms over your chest).

Some information adapted from, with permission, the Health & Environment Action Research Tool of the Integrated Environmental Health
Middle School Project (NIESH Grant #ES10738 and #ES07033, University of Washington, 2005).

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                      83
Example Presentation Rubric

                                                                                    Somewhat                          Not Yet
    CRITERIA           Very Successful                 Successful
                                                                                    Successful                       Successful
                       Excellent description of
                                                   Good description of         Understandable though
                       issue including many                                                                    Did not describe the central
 Description of                                    issue including several     fairly brief description of
                       aspects of the problem.                                                                 issue, or did so minimally.
 Issue                                             aspects of the problem.     issue. Focus question
                       Succinct and very clear                                                                 Focus question is not clear.
                                                   Clear focus question.       stated but not totally clear.
                       focus question.
                       Excellent description of
                       the community,
 Description of                                                                Understandable though           Did not describe the
                       supported by research.      Good description of the
                                                                               brief description of the        community, or did so
 Target                May include information     community but may not
                                                                               community. May lack in          minimally without any
 Community             on geography,               be comprehensive.
                                                                               supported research.             research.
                       demographics, values,
                       and history.
 Description of        Excellent description of                                                                Did not describe personal
                                                   Good description of         Brief description of
                       personal interest, and                                                                  interest and existing
 Interest and          existing knowledge
                                                   personal interest and       personal interest and
                                                                                                               knowledge, or did so
 Knowledge                                         existing knowledge.         existing knowledge.
                       about the issue.                                                                        minimally.
                       Excellent use of note                                                                   Did not use note taking and
 Collection of                                     Good use of note taking     Fair use of note taking and
                       taking and                                                                              organizational tools, or did
 Information                                       and organizational tools.   organizational tools.
                       organizational tools.                                                                   so minimally.
                       A wide variety of           Several different           At least two different
 Clarification of                                                                                              Only one or no viewpoint
                       viewpoints on the issue     viewpoints on the issue     viewpoints on the issue
 Viewpoints                                                                                                    was expressed.
                       were expressed.             were expressed.             were expressed.
                       Four or more high
                                                   Three or four verified      One or two verified             No verified sources were
 Sources of            quality, verified sources
                                                   sources were used and       sources were used and           used and citations were not
 Information           were used and citations
                                                   citations were provided.    citations were provided.        provided.
                       were provided.
                                                   A solution was              A solution was presented
                       A solution was
 Presentation                                      presented but it was not    but it was not well
                       presented that was well                                                                 No solution was presented.
 of Solution                                       well researched or not      researched and not
                       researched and feasible.
                                                   feasible.                   feasible.
 Demonstration                                     Showed reasonable
                       Showed a deep level of                                  Showed fair or partial          Did not show a basic
                                                   level of understanding
 of                    understanding of the                                    understanding of the topic,     understanding of the topic,
                                                   of the topic, focus
 Understanding         topic, focus question,                                  focus question, and             focus question, and related
                                                   question, and related
                       and related issues.                                     related issues.                 issues.
 of Issue                                          issues.
                                                                               Presentation was
                       Presentation was very                                                                   Presentation was poorly
                                                   Presentation was clear      understandable but could
 Organization          easy to follow and very
                                                   and organized.              have been better
                                                                                                               organized and difficult to
                       well organized.                                                                         follow.
                       Presenter(s) used           Presenter(s) used at
                                                                               Presenter(s) used
                       several novel and           least one novel and
                                                                               standard presentation           Presenter(s) did not
 Creativity            interesting ways of         interesting way of
                                                                               methods, but maintained         maintain interest.
                       presenting important        presenting important
                       points.                     points.
                       Presenter(s) appeared                                                                   Presenter(s) did not show
                                                   Presenter(s) had a
                       confident, used a                                       Presenter(s) had a              confidence, did not use a
                                                   slight problem with one
                       professional tone, spoke                                problem with several of         professional tone, did not
                                                   of the following:
 Delivery              clearly without reading,
                                                   confidence, tone,
                                                                               the following: confidence,      make eye contact, read
                       made eye contact with                                   tone, speaking, eye             presentation from notes,
                                                   speaking, eye contact,
                       audience, and went at a                                 contact, and pace.              and went either too fast or
                                                   and pace.
                       good pace.                                                                              too slow.
                       Varieties of visual aids
                                                   Visual aids were neat,      Visual aids were
                       were used and were                                                                      Visual aids were not neat,
 Visual Aids           very neat, clear, and
                                                   clear, and                  somewhat neat, clear, and
                                                                                                               clear, or understandable.
                                                   understandable.             understandable.
                       All participants were
                                                                               Some members of the
                       active and they             Most participants were
                                                                               team clearly did more
                       coordinated well with       active, some more than                                      Little evidence of
 Teamwork              each other. They were       others. They worked
                                                                               work than others, and
                                                                               teamwork could have
                       positive and mutually       well together.
                                                                               been improved.

Reprinted, with permission, from the Health & Environment Action Research Tool of the Integrated Environmental Health Middle School
Project (NIESH Grant #ES10738 and #ES07033, University of Washington, 2005).

    Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                                   84
Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010   85
Bellingham School District. Culminating Project Graduation Requirements. Bellingham: Bellingham School District, [n.d].

Buck Institute for Education. Project Based Learning Handbook. Buck Institute for Education, 2003. Accessed April 28, 2008

Edutopia. Why Teach with Project Learning? Published February, 28, 2008. Accessed April 28, 2008 from:

Everett Public Schools. Culminating Exhibition Handbook, 2005-2006. Everett: Everett Public Schools, 2005.

Fletcher, A. Meaningful Student Involvement Guide to Students as Partners in School Change. Seattle, WA: HumanLinks
     Foundation, 2005. Available from:

Nolet, Victor. ―Preparing Sustainability-Literate Teachers.‖ Teachers College Record. Volume 111 Number 2, 2009.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Cascadia Consulting. Sustainable Design Project Goals, Objectives,
     and Outcomes. Unpublished internal document, 2008.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Communication—K-10 Grade Level Expectations: A New Level of
     Specificity. Olympia: OSPI, 2005.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Environmental Education Guidelines for Washington Schools. Olympia:
     OSPI, 2000.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Essential Academic Learning Requirements, Health and Fitness: Grades K-
     2 and Grades 3-5. Public Draft. Olympia: OSPI, November, 2003.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Essential Academic Learning Requirements, Health and Fitness: Grades 6-
     8. Public Draft. Olympia: OSPI, January, 2004.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Essential Academic Learning Requirements, Health and Fitness: Grades 9-
     10. Public Draft. Olympia: OSPI, January 2004.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grades K-4 Mathematics Grade Level Expectations. Public Draft. Olympia:
     OSPI, September 2006.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grades 5-10 Mathematics Grade Level Expectations. Public Draft. Olympia:
     OSPI, September 2006.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grades 11/12 Mathematics Grade Level Expectations. Public Draft.
     Olympia: OSPI, September 2006.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Program Standards: Career and Technical Education. Olympia: OSPI, May

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Reading—K-10 Grade Level Expectations: A New Level of Specificity.
     Olympia: OSPI, [n.d.].

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Social Studies Essential Academic Learning Requirements: A
     Recommended Grade-by-Grade Sequence for Grade Level Expectations—Grades 6-12. Olympia: OSPI, [n.d.].

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Social Studies Grade Level Expectation (GLEs)—Grades K-5. Public Draft.
     Olympia: OSPI, March 2008.

Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Writing—K-10 Grade Level Expectations: A New Level of Specificity.
     Olympia: OSPI, 2005.

Orr, David. Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1994.

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                                 86
Osler, Jonathan. A Guide for Integrating Issues of Social and Economic Justice into the Mathematics Curriculum. Self-
    published paper, 2007.

Our Common Future | The Brundtland Report. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, August,

Pacific Science Center. Making Waves: Watershed Education in your Community—A Handbook for Teens. Unpublished
    manuscript. Seattle: Pacific Science Center, [n.d.].

Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative. Principles and Best Practices of Place-Based Education, 2003. As quoted in
    PEEC—The Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative Synopsis, December, 2003. Accessed on April 28, 2008

Place-Based Education Evaluation Collaborative. The Benefits of Place-Based Education, [n.d.]. Accessed on April 28, 2008

Thorpe, Ann. The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability: Charting the Conceptual Landscape through Economy, Ecology, and
    Culture. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2007.

Tyrnauer, Matt. ―Industrial Revolution, Take Two.‖ Vanity Fair, May 2008.

Washington Association of School Business Officials. ASB Fundraising Resource Guide. ASB Committee, 2007. Available

Washington Association of School Business Officials. Charitable Fund Raising Non-association Student Body Private Money,

Washington Association of School Business Officials. Fiscal Guidance for Culminating Projects, [n.d.].

Washington State Department of Ecology. A Field Guide to Sustainability. Washington State Department of Ecology, 2007.

Wheeler, G. and Ruskey, A. Sustainable Design Project Prospectus. A joint paper of the Office of the Superintendent of
   Public Instruction and the Environmental Education Association of Washington, 2008.

Williamson, Greg. Student Engagement Definitions and References. Unpublished report prepared for OSPI, 2007.

Wuersten, E. and Wheeler, G. A Vision for the Future—Contextual Learning: Education for Sustainability. Office of the
   Superintendent of Public Instruction, March 2008. Available from:

     Sustainable Design Project Teacher Manual Version 2.0 – September 2010                                              87

To top