CPS Science Teacher Ronald Hall of Evergreen Middle School has done an amazing job of engaging his middle school science students in active learning and action rooted in science instruction. Hall teaches students about climate change then works with them to develop an action plan to reduce the school's carbon footprint. The Carbon Emissions Action Reduction Project (CERAP) has engaged dozens of middle school science students and the success of their work with the project led to an invitation for Mr. Hall to upload the service-learning project he guides in his science classes to a national website. You can view the entire project description at http://gotoservicelearning.org/lesson-plan/grade-6-8-evergreens-green-team-energy-audit.
The website at http://www.gotoservicelearning.org/ is a national effort to document best practices in service-learnng. Mr. Hall and Evergreen Middle School are part of a District-wide consortium aiming to develop high quality service-learning projects in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in the middle grades. The project is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and supported by the National Youth Leadership Council.
At Evergreen, middle school science students are learning about climate change, conducting a building-wide audit of their school's carbon footprint, and then developing action steps toward reducing their school's footprint. Mr. Hall's students have been quite rigorous in holding their peers and adults to higher eco-standards. The students have extended their work outside to create native plant and vegetable gardens on school property. Evergreen students are learning extraordinary civic engagement skills as they fight to preserve the environment for future generations.