In May of 2021, NCESD had the opportunity to partner with Washington Science Teacher Association’s Johanna Brown and Washington State Department of Ecology’s Green Chemist Saskia van Bergen to present a series of professional learning events for educators across the state.
Educators gathered virtually to build their understanding of green chemistry and sustainable design. They explored how green chemistry and sustainable design thinking can reduce hazards to themselves, their students, and the environment. Johanna and Saskia guided educators through OER green replacement labs and provided a number of freely available resources that support teachers in making more environmentally conscious decisions about the labs they use in their classrooms. Three workshops were offered, each focused on a different grade band to ensure that educators received learning relevant to their setting. Educators were given an opportunity to discuss with peers the connection between the resources being provided and the NGSS. Green chemistry and sustainable design is for every grade level! Thirty-six educators participated in the Saturday virtual workshops.
For middle school educators there was a fully asynchronous Canvas Course available to deepen their learning from the Saturday workshop or educators could take it without attending the synchronous workshop. The Green Chemistry Canvas Course provided educators with a number of resources to explore and use with their students. Part of the work of the course was to engage in discussion boards with other participants and to develop an implementation plan for using their learning with their students. Over 40 educators signed up to take part in the course work with many able to complete it during the two week window.