January 2014 News 

In This Issue
Presidential Innovation Award
Patrick Administration Announces Funding for Municipal Energy Managers
NSTAR Challenge
Opportunities for Students
Green Schools and Green Scholars Training
2014 MITS Professional Development Seminar Series
Recycle Your Used Markers
STEM Career Exploration Website
Students - Write About Your Lunch
Environmental Education Intergration into Standards-based Education
Grant Opportunities
Save the Date...

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WELCOME TO 2014!  We hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season.    

The 2014 Green Schools National Conference is fast coming together.  Among the programs are keynote speakers Matt Bogoshian, U.S. EPA's Senior Policy Counsel at the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, and Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Deport.  
Click to find out more about them
Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators



EPA is currently welcoming applications from public school teachers for the third annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. 


The award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies nationwide for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with their communities and the natural world. Winners will receive $2,000 to support their professional development in environmental education and each winner's school will also receive a $2,000 award to help fund environmental education activities and programs that support the teacher. 


Applications are due by February 28, 2014. 


Click for more information


Patrick Administration Announces Funding for Municipal Energy Managers


Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs




BOSTON - December 13, 2013 - The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced funding for a competitive grant program to support municipal energy manager positions throughout the Commonwealth. Continuing the Patrick Administration's efforts, energy managers will assist cities and towns in reducing energy use, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy costs.


"On-site, municipal energy managers can deliver tremendous benefits to cities and towns across the Commonwealth. We've seen it happen," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "These grants open up that opportunity to all communities. Energy managers can support the Patrick Administration's statewide goals at the local level, helping to reduce energy use, lower energy bills and generate economic development."


The program is open to all Massachusetts municipalities, as well as regional school districts, that do not already employ a local energy manager for more than 15 hours per week. DOER's grant will provide support for a local energy manager position for two years.

Read Entire Article

NSTAR Challenge

The NSTAR Challenge is a program for grades K-12 that promotes energy efficiency and sustainable living. As part of the program, students are tasked with grade-specific assignments to showcase their energy knowledge. A panel of judges will review students' work and select winners from each grade. Through this program, NSTAR hopes to build an energy-efficiency standard among students in their communities, inspiring them to live sustainably and be more conscious of their energy usage in their daily lives.


Registration and Submission

In order for students' work to be considered for the Challenge, they must register online or by mail prior to their submission. Registration forms are due by January 13, 2014. 


Registration forms are available here. 

Opportunities for Students

Green Schools National Conference: Student Summit

(March 27-29, 2014 Sacramento, California)


Build your skills and knowledge, and make connections with like-minded students from across the country that will last a lifetime. Return to your school energized and ready to lead new environmental projects with a deeper understanding of sustainability and the world we live in. 


Learn More


Green Schools and Green Scholars Training



Green Scholars - A 21st Century Experiential Approach to School-Based Environmental Sustainability:


Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Friday February 7th 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM


Do you want to bring an environmental sustainability program to your school that requires neither a classroom nor funding beyond this one-time training?

Participants will:


1. Receive 15 PDP's or 6 Contact Hours depending on choice.


2. Discuss how to apply Scholars as a leading strategy for sustainable school development.


3. Join an expanding wide network of organizations, educators, & sustainability leaders.


4. Learn techniques for managing students effectively and efficiently.


5. Receive FREE Green Schools Basic Membership including our Green Schools Handbook


[Learn how to identify and apply principles of creating green & healthy learning environments through Education in Action and be able to connect with a like-minded network of Environmental Educators.]


Location: Manchester Essex Regional High School, 36 Lincoln St., Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Tuition: $199 includes workshop fee, complete rubrics, lunch, PDP's or Contact Hours, sample successful projects and manual.


Contact: Lead Trainer Eric Magers for questions @ greenteam@mersd.org or 978.525.6469


Register here


Announcing the 2014 MITS Professional Development Seminar Series!


Join MITS (Museum Institute for Teaching Science) on February 27th, March 19th and April 17th  for PDS sessions in the traditional format; a full day workshop  divided into 2 sessions V a scientific presentation and a skill-based  session.

March 19th will feature a special workshop  with Dr. Jacob Foster of the Massachusetts DESE.


February 27th

STEM in Motion: Studying the Mechanics of Movement  

David J. Willis, UMass Lowell


Meeting of the Minds: Teachers & Informal Science Educators Working  Together  

Michelle Scribner-MacLean, UMass Lowell


March 19th

The New Massachusetts Science, Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks: What Do They Mean for You, Your Programs & Your Institution?

Dr. Jacob Foster, Massachusetts DESE

Sandra Ryack-Bell, Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS)  Rosemary Rak, Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS)


April 17th

Exploring the Biodiversity of Massachusetts:

Ants as a Case Study of Exploration and Education  

Dr. Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard University, Harvard Forest


For more information visit www.mits.org 


Recycle Your Used Markers with Crayola


 Ever wonder if there was a better way of disposing old markers than just throwing them away to the landfill? Well now there is! Crayola has partnered with fuel company, JBI, Inc. to send old Crayola markers to be turned to fuel.  And Crayola will even pay for the shipping! 


Last year, JBI produced 317,000 gallons of fuel using things like shampoo and pill bottles.  


To learn more about the program and sign up your school, go here


STEM Career Exploration Website




Students can explore jobs that reflect their interests and aptitudes via surveys and games.


Middle and high school students can use the Massachusetts Career Information System (MassCIS) to engage in career exploration activities and develop career plans.


Go to http://www.connectsemass.org/stem/workforce.html.

A MUST Watch Video

The Value of Environmental Education


A  must watch video about the field of Environmental Education, the interconnectedness of EE, how it builds community and changes lives for future generations.


Watch it Now!


Students - Write About Your Lunch


The Earth Day Network is accepting entries from high school students to the 2014 Healthy and Sustainable School Food Journalism Competition. The competition is designed to highlight the hard facts about school food in the words of students who eat it. Articles and photographs must be about the importance of healthy, sustainable food served in school; what the student's school community is doing to combat climate change; and how the student's school is promoting environmental education. All articles must have been published by the participant's school newspaper or news media. 

For complete contest guidelines and links to last year's winning articles visit the Earth Day Network Web site.


Environmental Education Integration into Standards-based Education


Public primary and secondary education around the world is increasingly shaped by pressure for accountability. In many countries, particularly more industrialized ones, curriculum is standardized; classroom teachers submit plans that indicate the progress students are making on curriculum benchmarks, and tests measure whether students know the required information. In the U.S., this is driven by education policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which links federal funding with student performance in a way that school districts as well as individual teachers and administrators are held accountable for the outcomes of their students on standardized tests. By emphasizing the results of math and reading tests as primary indicators of success, state education agencies have created incentives for these subjects that can negatively affect instruction in nontested subjects like social studies. Some teachers turn their attention toward preparing students for tests to the exclusion of integrative and creative learning opportunities. A 2008 study by the Center on Education Policy reveals that in the process of attempting to meet state and federal standards, environmental education, social studies, and other nontested subjects were sacrificed to spend more time on high-stakes testing subjects like reading and math. A similar cutback in outdoor activities and fieldtrips was noted in the study.


Simovska, V. "The Changing Meanings of Participation in School-based Health Education and Health Promotion: the Participants' Voices." Health Education

Grant Opportunities
Tech Seniors Technology Scholarship Deadline: January 3

Get your grandparent (or another older adult) connected with technology, and you'll be entered for a $4,000 scholarship.

Learn more and apply for all DoSomething.org Scholarships 

2014 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grants - Deadline: January 17
The 2014 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant is an award designed to engage youth on the topics of nutrition, peace studies, social development, and environmental stewardship, using gardening as a catalyst.

2014 C-SPAN StudentCam Competition - Deadline: January 20
StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation, sponsored by C-SPAN. StudentCam's theme for 2014 is:  "A Message to the U.S. Congress: What's the most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014?"

Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants - Deadline: January 31
YSA (Youth Service America) and Sodexo Foundation are offering Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants, funding of up to $500 for youth that live in the U.S. to lead projects focused on ending childhood hunger in their communities. Find out how you can help end childhood hunger.

The Bezos Scholars Program - Deadline: February 18
Every spring, 30 top high school students and exceptional educators from across the U.S. and Africa are selected to participate in this year-long leadership development program. 
DoSomething.org Seed Grants  Deadline: Ongoing

Are you working to start a community action project or program with your friends? Do you need money to put your ideas into action? A $500 Do Something Seed Grant is given out every week to help young people just like YOU! These grants can be used towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started, or to jump-start your program and realize your ideas for the first time. These grants can also be used towards projects that are already developed and sustainable, towards the next steps of your project and organization to help you as you look to expand your project and grow your impact. Click Here   


Save the Date...

April 2, 2014

7th Annual MA Green Schools Summit - "Developing Energy & Environmentally Literate Students, Schools, and Citizens Across the Commonwealth"
Manchester Essex Regional Middle/High School



Confirmed Address from Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources


Confirmed Welcome from Senator Jamie Eldridge 


Confirmed Address from Robin Organ, Chair of Secretaries Advisory Group of Energy and Environmental Education



Robin Organ

Founder and Executive Director

Green Schools