May 2, 2023

3 Ways to Use Innovation & Entrepreneurship to Help Integrate Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship into Your Lessons

A key goal of education is to create informed citizens. Students bring into the classroom their lived experience, their concerns, and their ideas. Education contributes to the foundational building blocks and concepts that help students expand and develop their ideas. Integrating these two components helps to empower students and gives them the ability to influence challenges important to them at home, in school, in their community, and their larger world—including climate change challenges.

According to a 2021 Brookings Report, 80 percent of parents support teaching climate change in school. Eighty-six percent of teachers believe climate change should be taught in school. Teachers and school administrators are eager to take up the challenge, but feel they need more training and relevant learning materials to do so.

The addition of climate change or sustainability lessons to the classroom day does not have to come down on the backs of teachers if approached in a way that allows educators to integrate the topic as part of their daily lessons—not in addition to. Below we outline a couple of methods.

Introduce Green Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and innovators are relatable role models who help kids connect what they are learning in class to real-world applications and challenges they see every day. Focusing on entrepreneurs and innovators driving green innovations that help our planet's environment helps you weave sustainability and environmental stewardship into your lessons with ease.

Use Innovation to Combat Climate Gloom & Doom

The number one hesitation we hear educators express about teaching climate change is the fear of presenting a picture of gloom and doom. Framing the climate discussion through the lens of innovation, however, lets teachers lead the discussion in a way that empowers students to view our climate challenges through the lens of becoming a problem-solver.

Biomimicry - Learning About Sustainability from Nature's Teachers

From an early age, students enjoy learning about animals and plants. How can bears hibernate? How do migratory birds know where to go? How can tree trunks crack sidewalks and break underground pipes? But plants and animals are also experts in sustainable design. Termite mounds provide blueprints for low-energy cooling designs. Lotus leaves provide insight into creating easy-to-clean surfaces. Adding a biomimicry lens to lessons seamlessly integrates sustainability concepts to your classroom.

Innovation and entrepreneurship offer an exciting and fun way to integrate sustainability and climate change topics into ELA, science, social studies and morewhile strengthening critical skills you are already teaching: research, literacy, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking.

While the strategies outlined above can be implemented with tools already in your classroom, the CreositySpace Book of Ideas is full of innovation prompts and entrepreneur vignettes to help you weave concepts of sustainability & environmental stewardship into your lessons with ease.

Learn more about the Book of Ideas

Tune in on May 16th to learn how you can use innovation and entrepreneurship to foster creativity and collaboration in your classroom. 

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