Green Schools and Preparing for 21st Century Careers

Using environmental education to transform education, enhance student achievement, preparing students for green careers, conserve resources, support national and international education trends, link schools and communities, and build support for environmental education in formal education.

Sessions appropriate to this strand address such topics as:

  • Green Schools as a pathway to service learning, student leadership, civic engagement, outdoor learning, and other effective education practices
  • Exemplary initiatives for greening the campus and the curriculum, including school learning gardens and landscapes, facilities management practices, district and administrative commitments, and student involvement
  • Advancing the Green Schools movement worldwide, including Green Ribbon and other recognition programs
  • Promoting interdisciplinary instruction
  • Integrating EE into preservice teacher preparation and inservice professional development
  • Preparing a workforce with trade skills for green careers


As schools provide students with choice, support the development of critical thinking skills and promote project-based learning, incorporating a focus on sustainability is a natural progression of the learning process. In 2012, the US Department of Education (DoE) developed a federal outreach initiative entitled Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) that promotes sustainability, healthy living, and collaborative efforts. This research focuses on case studies of K-6 schools that have been awarded the Green Ribbon School designation and how these schools build a foundation for adopting and continuing sustainable principles. Nine thematic categories were found to be the driving factors that supported the GRS success in their sustainable policies. The themes from this research help to articulate the conditions needed to create and advance sustainability initiatives.

This presentation is introduced by a group of high school students who are now creating one of the first Eco-schools in China entirely initiated and organized by high school students. They will share solutions to prevailing problems existing in Eco-schools like us and most of the Eco-schools in China and the world.

Sustainable Classrooms integrates sustainable living into the classroom using standards aligned curriculum, project-based learning, and student home investigations. Sustainability can be used to encourage social emotional learning, career exploration, 3-dimensional learning, and community engagement. Attendees will explore applications of sustainability education that inspire students to become agents of change.

Explore simple ways for your school to work together to decrease landfill waste, energy waste, and water waste. From young learners to middle schoolers, your school can work together through guided inquiry activities and integrated curriculum extensions to create a more sustainable school using many tools you already have.     

Join the discussion with Missouri Green Schools leadership about how to increase participation in Green Ribbon Schools through statewide feeder programs. We will discuss challenges and opportunities that exist to attract and support schools as they progress along the green spectrum, especially underrepresented rural and urban core schools.