IslandWood’s Community-Centered Climate Action for 3rd-5th Grade Teachers


Mar 27 2024


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Tacoma Professional Development Center
6501 N 23rd St., Tacoma, WA 98406

Did you know idling cars during school pickup impacts air quality and the environment?

Have you ever wondered about the role of trees in relation to air quality? Learn how to use an engineering design focused action project to motivate and empower your students.

This course presents an air quality focused storyline that integrates Next Generation Science Standards with related social studies standards. Your students will build an understanding of how air pollution impacts other species, their community, and the climate. They will investigate their school grounds to inquire about and monitor air quality as well as learn about carbon emissions and activism in their community. Teachers and students will gain inspiration from the actions of local community members and then develop and implement an action plan to make a difference.

You’ll have the opportunity to implement lessons between course sessions and then debrief the experience with your peers. In the final session of the course, we’ll reflect on lessons learned and how to carry the strategies forward towards increasing equity, justice, and engagement in your classroom and community.

Those teachers not implementing will have the opportunity to learn and think about how they can apply lessons from the course in the future. Course content includes culturally sustaining activities that engage students’ families and communities and can be used in other topic areas.

There will be four online sessions after school on Wednesdays and one in-person Saturday at the Tacoma Professional Development Center. For those attending the in-person session, we are excited to be together in community and happy to be able to provide course-related books! There will be a virtual alternative for the Tacoma session on the following Saturday, but we can only provide the books to those who join us at the in-person session.

Course Outcomes

All participants will:

  • LEARN how to involve their students in using an Engineering Design Process as a part of a community action project.
  • EXPERIENCE how the Next Generation Science Standards Engineering Design Process and Social Studies standards can be an integral part of students working on real-world problems.
  • EXPLORE the social-emotional side of climate change and how direct action can foster resilience and environmental justice.

Implementing Teachers will also:

  • CREATE an Action Plan with their students using the Engineering Design Process to decode and develop understanding of student-gathered data.
  • COLLABORATE with community stakeholders (and maybe teachers from across the region) to implement an action plan to have a collective impact on air quality and the environment.
  • INVESTIGATE how action projects support a larger equity and justice-focused framework and work with other participants to develop ideas that will work for their individual curriculum and community.

This course is intended for teachers of 3rd-5th grade students with some flexibility in what they teach. The action project in this course is focused on idling cars and buses during school pickup and the role of trees as carbon capturers. It is best suited for teachers who can make this student-generated action project a part of their school day. Others are welcome but will likely be unable to implement the materials.

Read what the Community-Centered Climate Action Course experience was like for 3-5 participants last year here.

STEM Clock Hours, Stipends, and Additional Information:

  • For participation in the course, you can earn up to up 10 Clock Hours (8 STEM and 2 Equity) for attendance and pre-session readings.
  • Teachers who are implementing lessons during the course can earn up to 3 additional Clock Hours (2 STEM and 1 Equity) for completion of implementation check-ins and a review of their student’s work.
  • A final End-Of-Course Survey is required for those receiving clock hours.
  • After completing this course, teachers will need to claim and pay for clock hours on PDEnroller.


Online and Tacoma Professional Development Center
6501 N 23rd St Tacoma WA 98406

Course Schedule:

Session 1: Wed, Jan 10th
4:00 pm – 5:30pm

Session 2a Option: Sat, Jan 13th
10:00 am – 2:30pm
(Attend in-person class and get course related children’s books!)
Tacoma Professional Development Center
6501 N 23rd St Tacoma WA 98406

Session 2b Option:
Sat, Jan 20th
10:00 am – 2:30pm
(Zoom / no course related children’s books)

Session 3:
Wed, Feb. 21st
4:00 pm – 5:30pm

Session 4:
Wed, Mar 27thth
4:00 pm – 5:30pm
April/ May – Carrying out Action Plan

Session 5:
Wed, May 15th
4:00 pm – 5:30pm

Asynchronous work due: May 30th

Funding for this training offering is provided by the Washington State Legislature through OSPI’s ClimeTime grant.


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