Green School Fosters Students’ Environmental Awareness

April 28, 2009 1 min read

Certainly attending a school that emphasizes green or environmentally friendly habits and processes is going to have an impact on students’ awareness of such issues. But preteens at Merrill Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa, who participated in a recent survey about their commitment to conservation seem to be walking the walk in their everyday lives as well.

The 140 students, between 10 and 12, describe in detail how the environment, and the value they give to conservation efforts, influence their day-to-day activities. They may be at that age when many youths are seen as self-absorbed and unfocused, but this school project revealed their deep interest in the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

The Des Moines district started its own green revolution with efforts to reduce energy consumption, introduce more energy-efficient systems in schools, and develop curriculum materials related to those projects.

At Merrill, students help run a recycling program and help maintain a school garden. Teachers, too, have introduced green practices, including powering down computers on the weekends and securing a grant to have solar panels installed.

The environmental emphasis has led students to change their habits at home as well, according to the report. Most of the students, for example, report reducing their water usage and urging their parents to recycle and reduce consumption.

Are schools in your area taking steps to promote conservation? Are their energy bills falling, or rising, as a result, of these activities? And are teachers attempting to build lessons in science and other subjects around these efforts?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Curriculum Theater Educators Struggle to Keep Shows Going Amid COVID-19
Convinced that the show must go on, high school theater troupes are turning to livestreamed shows, outdoor performances, and radio plays.
8 min read
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students from New Albany (Ind.) High School perform the musical “Bright Star” earlier this year.
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students from New Albany (Ind.) High School perform the musical “Bright Star” earlier this year.
Photo courtesy of Crit Fisher
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Curriculum as a Lever for Racial Equity
To the Editor:
The special report "Big Ideas for Confronting Racism in Education" (Sept. 23, 2020) highlighted essential ingredients for creating anti-racist schools, including better teacher preparation, expanded anti-bias training, and universal internet access, among others.
1 min read
Curriculum What Should Students Learn in Sex Education? In This State, Voters Will Decide
Washington voters will consider a statewide mandate for comprehensive sex education.
6 min read
sex ed SOC 2
Curriculum Does Social Studies Build Stronger Readers? A New Study Suggests So
Spending 30 more minutes per day on social studies in elementary school is linked with better reading performance by the end of 5th grade, according to a new study.
3 min read