The University of Maryland has taken great strides to educate the campus and community about sustainable practices and lifestyle decisions. From reusable carry-out containers to recycling and composting, Maryland students are taking action to preserve natural resources and the environment for the future. Maryland Sustainability Engineering and The Office of Sustainability are both committed to sustainability on and off campus and with the Office of Sustainability as a medium, MDSE has recently reached out to Greenbelt Middle School with the hope of creating a more environmentally friendly and sustainable generation.
Greenbelt Middle School recently built a brand new building and is now pursuing Green School Certification from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. The Maryland Green School Awards Program combines education for students with professional development for teachers, and encourages efficient best management practices that focus on environmental sustainability. Two major aspects of Green School Certification are developing and maintaining school-community partnerships to enhance environmental learning, and establishing classroom instruction that can be repeated annually.
After reviewing these guidelines, MDSE students are creating lesson plans with instructional and hands-on aspects that can be easily replicated by the teachers in the future. Small groups of MDSE students will be visiting the school in March and April to teach in science classes as well as to the school’s “Green Team,” an environmental extracurricular club. This initiative will culminate in an Engineering Day at the middle school that will expose the students to more STEM activities and reinforce all of the preceding instruction.