What is green infrastructure and how is it used to manage stormwater?
45 minutes

9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Environmental Education, Science

High school students may be familiar with the idea that they live in a watershed. They may even have engaged in individual community or school projects, such as stream clean ups or water testing, that benefit or relate to their watershed. Yet, in most cases, students have not explored how the watershed works or identified how the various parts—different land uses and types, different stakeholders—contribute to the whole.

Understanding a watershed as a whole provides a real-world basis for systems thinking and deeper ecological understanding. It also offers a venue for students to identify and explore different levels and kinds of engagement in science, activism, and policy.

As an introduction to this toolkit, students will view and discuss the video The Source of Life that follows the journey of water from an area of rural Colombia to its capital city, Bogotá. They use the video as a jumping off point to explore the issues facing the watershed in which they live and to identify ways they can become involved in protecting their water along its journey. The toolkit provides online resources for understanding watersheds, connecting to local watershed resources, engaging in watershed activities in the classroom, and identifying opportunities for watershed activism. It also includes a list of suggested projects that can make use of the resources.

How can natural structures be used to influence the design process?
90 minutes

9 / 10 / 11 / 12

Biomimicry is the design and production of materials, structures, and systems modeled on biological entities and processes. For millennia, humans have studied nature to design useful items in areas from transportation to entertainment. From using birdwings as inspiration for human flight machines, to modeling the nano-structures in the eyes of moths for anti-glare screens, we have looked to the wild to improve our lives.
In this lesson, students view a video that follows the journey of water from an area of rural Colombia to its capital city, Bogotá. They learn about a special ecosystem high above the city and some of the unique plants there that make it possible for Bogotá to have clean water year-round. Students will use these plants as inspiration for their own efforts at biomimicry.

What is systems thinking and why is it useful?
What are the principles of smart growth and how do they relate to the triple bottom line?
0 minutes

9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Supplementary References

Every LEED Prep lesson includes references in the Assess section to the GBES LEED v4 Green Associate Exam Preparation Study Guide (when relevant), the LEED Green Associate Candidate Handbook (for Task and Knowledge Domains), and LEED Impact Categories. Those resources are included here, along with other references students may find helpful in preparing for the LEED Green Associate Exam.

110 minutes

9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Career and Technical Education (CTE), Environmental Education

In this lesson, students learn that in addition to systems thinking and life-cycle analysis, another important aspect of successful green building projects is an integrative process. This strategy prioritizes connections and communication among professionals and stakeholders throughout the entire life cycle of a project. The idea is that the more the people on the team understand the perspectives of the other people on the team, the better the project will be. Then students work as team members, experts, and stakeholders to evaluate a neighborhood plan and propose changes to make the plan more sustainable. This foundational knowledge helps prepare students for the LEED Green Associate Exam, Integrative Strategies Knowledge Domain.

View this lesson for free! Click here to download a pdf of the full lesson, and view the supplemental materials here.

55 minutes

9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Career and Technical Education (CTE), Environmental Education

In this lesson, students learn a traditional architectural design process, the GBCI certification process, and key steps a LEED Green Associate/program manager would take to get from one to the other. Working in their eco-charrette teams from Lessons 7.2 and 7.3, students enter details about their projects into a test version of the LEED Online system to get first-hand experience with the system. In this way, they learn how to navigate through the system, upload documentation, and search for LEED requirements and worksheets so they are prepared for the Green Associate Exam and ready to assist in the management of the LEED documentation and certification process.