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Measuring School Sustainability - Free

Theme: 
Energy, Innovation and Design, Waste, Water
Essential questions
What impacts do buildings have on the environment and global climate change?
How can we measure the impact our actions have on the environment around us?
How can I begin to integrate sustainability measurement and benchmarking into my teaching?

Environmental action is about making a difference, but how can we help students understand what kind of difference they’re making? This module gives introductory, free resources to explore using the Arc platform to use benchmarking, goal-setting, and sustainability metrics as powerful tools for student learning. It is part of the Building Learners series of modules, through which additional guidance, training, and mentoring are available to educators who would like support in bringing these concepts into the classroom.

Arc + Schools Digital Playground
This website provides a walk-through of the Arc platform that has been specifically designed for K-12 educators. It gives users a window into how the platform works and how it might be used in the classroom. Throughout the walk-through, lessons on Learning Lab that are available to users at no cost are called out as resources to prepare students to engage with the elements of sustainability measurement contained in Arc. Visit the Arc + Schools Digital Playground now: https://schools-app.arconline.io/

Learning Lab lessons referenced in Arc + Schools Digital Playground
The Arc platform demonstration site references several lessons that can be used to give students the foundation of knowledge they need to work with sustainability metrics and benchmarking. These lessons were created by Learning Lab partners and can be accessed at no cost.

  • Earth Waters Our Lives (created by EcoRise and RIS as part of the Sustainable Intelligence program): This unit is comprised of 3 lessons for grades 5-6, including approximately 240 minutes of teaching time. It addresses the human and natural causes of drought, as well as the ways that water is used in everyday life and wasted through human activities.
  • Waste Eco-Audit (created by EcoRise and RIS as part of the Sustainable Intelligence program): This unit is comprised of 4 lessons for grades 9-12, including approximately 605 minutes of teaching time. It leads students through the purpose of a waste audit, the process of conducting an audit at the school, and the methods for composing and communicating their results and recommendations.
  • Energy Vampire Hunt (created by The Energy Coalition as part of the Climate Leaders in Action Program): This lesson for students in grades 9-12 includes 45 minutes of instructional time. In it, students plan and carry out an investigation of energy vampires using an Energy Monitor to measure the energy consumption of different electrical devices. Students then collect and chart the data from their investigation and calculate how much money could be saved by unplugging energy vampires.
  • Transportation in Arc (automatic download)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality in Arc (automatic download)

The lesson linked below contains the same information as above.