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Washington Green Schools

Washington Green Schools engages hundreds of teachers annually through engaging, hands-on trainings, wherein NGSS instruction is anchored in local climate phenomena that model effective classroom pedagogies, which lead to deep learning and relevant understanding. Through these trainings, teachers explore the relationship between climate science and a local environmental topic (e.g., fires, coastal hazards, agriculture, human health), engaging in science and engineering practices (e.g., argumentation with evidence, asking questions and defining problems) and planing an integration of a learned activity or resource with their students.

Teacher Professional Development

STEM Seminars

In partnership with ESD 112, Washington Green Schools created STEM Seminars, a “best practice” in professional development, where teachers are challenged to engage in adult learning around climate change locally. A “hook” is used to kick off the day and anchor learning around a local environmental issue. The training balances content around how we know the climate is changing with Ambitious Science Teaching strategies. At each seminar, teachers analyze current and vetted data with climate scientists who have first-hand experience conducting research in Antarctica and Greenland. As a complement to this elevated educational experience, a local speaker specializing in the topic at hand speaks to the regional perspective of the climate challenge being addressed and discuss approaches to mitigate and adapt to climate change locally. Structured planning time is also embedded into the day to allow for application of what has been learned into the classroom. In its inaugural year, WGS served 370 teachers through STEM Seminars.

Migrant Education Summer Program

Working with school districts with high migrant student populations and low-income rates, Washington Green Schools created a new summer experience for the Migrant Education Program in Grandview, Prosser, and Kiona-Benton school districts. The program included leveraging lessons from Zombie Guacamole, a 5th grade curriculum about decomposition, ecosystems, and waste, while introducing a digital storytelling component that captured and shared student voices. Field experiences to the local landfill and arboretum also helped create a rich and highly relevant summer school experience for nearly 100 migrant youth.

Zombie Guacamole

With connections to our food choices and their effects on climate change, WGS is working to create professional development opportunities for primary school teachers using Zombie Guacamole, a NGSS-driven curriculum for 5th grade. Connecting these lessons to school grounds and gardens and food waste behaviors, these full-day and multi-day experiences will connect what teachers learn in these trainings to their classrooms…and out onto the school campus where they and their students can take action to promote environmental sustainability.

Upcoming Classes

8:30 am Climate Science Series for Grade...
Climate Science Series for Grade...
Oct 16 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Join ESD 113 and Washington Green Schools to take a deep dive into the following Climate Science topics. This will be a blended learning experience with some meetings occurring at the ESD, other meetings occurring[...]
8:30 am K-5 STEM Leadership Network – Zo... @ ESD105, Ahtanum Room
K-5 STEM Leadership Network – Zo... @ ESD105, Ahtanum Room
Oct 16 @ 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
The K-5 STEM Leadership Network is a professional learning experience designed for Elementary educators. The content of each event is designed to immerse participants in activities that integrate relevant climate science topics with math and[...]
8:30 am Fire and Our Future: A Climate S... @ Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center and Museum
Fire and Our Future: A Climate S... @ Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center and Museum
Oct 24 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Will our summers continue to be choked with smoke? What is the role of climate change in Northwest forest fires? What are the main drivers of wildfire and how to they connect to climate science?[...]

Partners & Collaborators

UW Climate Impacts Group
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Southwest Clean Air Agency
Seattle Public Utilities
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Cowlitz County Public Works
WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

This was seriously the best PD I have attended since I started teaching 14 years ago! Relevant, useful, and great resources!

Teacher who attended a STEM Seminar on Coastal Hazards at Long Beach, WA

I felt that this training gave me real-life connections to bringing climate change instruction into the classroom.

Teacher who attended the Fire and Our Future STEM Seminar at Stevenson, WA

Success Stories from Washington Green Schools

Climate Science STEM Seminars

Climate Science STEM Seminars

On April 18th, 2019, the team at Washington Green Schools hosted their latest in a series of Climate Science STEM Seminars. This session focused on the relationship between agriculture and the changing climate and was hosted at the Windy Hills Winery in Ridgefield,...

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Climate Change and Human Health

Climate Change and Human Health

In late March, a dozen teachers from Puget Sound ESD gathered at the Tacoma Nature Center to learn about how human health is impacted by climate change locally. After grappling with some of the latest data on regional air quality and climate change, teachers engaged...

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Floods & Droughts

Floods & Droughts

In ESD 121, on March 22, 2019, fourteen teachers gathered at the WSU Stormwater Center to learn about how climate is impacting floods and droughts in the region. Teachers received a tour of the campus fish lab where scientists explore the impact of stormwater...

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