This past July, we wrapped up our second Teachers’ Environmental Academy for educators working in Fayette County. Funded by the City of Lexington, this program aims to equip teachers with knowledge about the systems working behind the scenes in our city that they can bring back into their classrooms. From visiting an active landfill to going behind the scenes at LexTran, our 23 teachers were given the opportunity to ask questions of the people who help make our city work. A new model was adopted this year, with the full program taking place over the course of a single week, July 8th through July 12th. Developing changes for next year include offering a second week to the academy so that one week can be dedicated to middle and high school teachers and one week dedicated to elementary school teachers.
Free and open to both public and private school teachers, the Teachers’ Environmental Academy was modeled after the City’s own “Citizens’ Environmental Academy.” To make sure that teachers felt equipped to teach about the content, the final day of the academy consisted of sharing lessons that could be used in the classroom. Pulling from Project Learning Tree’s Energy & Society Module, Project WET, Project WILD Aquatic, and Population Education, teachers were given the opportunity to create small units from the curriculum that they could take back to their schools.
Currently, Bluegrass Greensource is working with several surrounding counties to do similar, smaller workshops focused on environmental issues facing out Bluegrass communities. If you live in Franklin or Scott County and would like information about workshops currently being developed for your community, please email Pattie Stivender at pattie@bgGreensource.org.
“Bluegrass Greensource hosts a wonderful environmental education academy for teachers, and I feel fortunate to be part of it this year. They take us to many interesting facilities so that we can see the “behind the scenes” and full cycle of processes and resources that we all benefit from. We have visited landfills, the recycling center, water treatment facilities and waste water plants, as well as Lextran and East Kentucky Cooperative Solar. All of the places we visited are connected to each other and to us as citizens. BGGS has carefully planned all aspects, and have made this an amazing week. This week has been extremely interesting and educational, and I’m excited to take these experiences back to my classroom.”