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On December 9th and 10th, more than a dozen educators attended the Pacific Education Institute’s two-day workshop at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver to learn how to pilot a Solutions Oriented Learning Storyline on Food Waste. Based on research from Project Drawdown, this storyline incorporates NGSS aligned 3-Dimensional instruction, Indigenous ways of knowing, and locally relevant activities, all with the goal of raising students’ awareness of how food systems affect climate change.

Participants learned about how food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas, especially when the farm to table carbon cycle is considered. When they take this curriculum back to their classrooms, many of these 5th grade and high school teachers will implement this curriculum, leading their students through food audits and other activities that will gear them up to go out and find solutions to today’s environmental problems.

This storyline will combine easily with PEI’s other Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines, such as Erosion and Forest Ecosystems. As PEI’s Lower Columbia FieldSTEM Coordinator Chad Mullen, who oversaw the Vancouver workshop, puts it, “PEI’s professional development offerings, like this Food Waste SOL, aren’t meant to be standalone activities. We want to grow with teachers, so we can understand their settings and needs, and work to advance their work together.”