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Building Learners

Your school’s eco footprint: students grade it, then improve it

For teachers looking to help students master STEM concepts, the Building Learners program is a complete, data-driven package that uses your school’s eco footprint to bring lessons to life. Students sharpen their analysis and problem-solving skills and observe the benefits of their impact on the school’s sustainability performance.

Building Learners is a K-12 education program that uses the operations of a school building to teach students about sustainability and empowers students to use their building as a learning laboratory. Students collect, analyze, and conduct real-world investigations that inform improvements around waste, energy, water, health, and transportation at their school. Working with their school’s facility manager and a volunteer green building professional serving as a mentor, students also get exposure to sustainability careers and build positive relationships with members of their community.

Explore Building Learners

Use the school as a learning tool

The lessons included in the program (download the guide) teach students the science behind buildings and sustainability concepts, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to investigate and improve the eco footprint of their school. Review these free lessons first, to envision how Building Learners can help your students learn and apply real-world critical thinking skills.

Explore free lessons

Track and evaluate real-world data

Students collect and track their school’s water, energy, waste, transportation, and environmental health data using the Arc platform. Create your school’s profile using Arc for All and explore how the platform can help sharpen your student’s analysis and problem-solving skills.

Create a free Arc profile

Receive guided support and resources

Our professional development prepares teachers to connect student learning with the school building’s data. The teacher and facilities manager are also matched with a volunteer green building professional to mentor, support the class, and provide green career connections. Review the resources that will aide you in implementing Building Learners in your classroom.

Learn about full program

Students, teachers and facility managers benefit from Building Learners

The core Building Learners team consists of three individuals: a green building professional to serve as a volunteer mentor, an educator, and a school facilities staff member. Mentors provide valuable, real-world insight and guidance and have an immediate impact on students as they learn about the possibilities for sustainability improvement at their school.

Students

  • Hands-on and project-based learning experiences

  • Data analysis and practical problem-solving skills

  • Exposure to green careers

  • Connections with green building professionals

Teachers

  • Engaging, standards-aligned STEM-based curriculum

  • Online professional development

  • Lesson planning tools to inspire students to design their own green solutions

  • Support from industry professionals

Facility Managers

  • Conserved resources as a result of student-led action projects

  • Buy-in for sustainability improvements

  • Dashboard to track and communicate school sustainability metrics

Make the Case

Are you a green building professional looking to volunteer as a school’s mentor? Learn more.

Building Learners in Action

“Students were excited to create real change in the school. They were excited to come to class and work on this project because they could see a measurable difference in the sustainability rating of our school...This experience motivated them towards becoming more active around environmental issues in general.” – Chris Donnelly, 10th grade CTE Environmental Science teacher, Boston, MA

Pricing information

Exploring the program

Year 1

Each subsequent year

Measuring School Sustainability lessons

Free

Free

Free

Arc for All

Free

Free

Free

Price for one class - full program

$1,000 *

$500

Price for each additional class at the same school

$200

$100

*Scholarships are available for those participating in the cohort. Checkout our FAQ's to learn more about the implementation options and scholarships; and reach out to us at schools@usgbc.org with any questions.


Get Started with Building Learners


Our sponsors provide support for Building Learners so that the cost to schools remains affordable