The K-12 Education for Sustainability Student Outreach Coordinators will be based in the office in the Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity. The Coordinators’ primary project goals will be to diversity and increase the overall number of students and community partners engaged in K-12 environmental education and ensure continued and expanded opportunities for UW students to promote sustainability through K-12 outreach and education.
The total proposed cost of the Student Outreach Coordinators is $4,050. This includes funding for: 1) one hourly undergraduate student at $11 per hour for 10 hours/week during Winter 2013 (10 weeks) and 5 hours/week for Spring 2013 (10 weeks) and 2) one hourly graduate students at $15 per hour for 8 hours/week during Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 for a total of 20 weeks.
This project addresses the importance of raising the public’s awareness and environmental ethic to achieve optimum environmental impact through inclusive, high quality K-12 environmental education efforts. By diversifying, strengthening and expanding K-12 environmental education opportunities, this project will develop the environmental ethic of both a diverse population of UW students and K-12 students.
Pipeline’s Environmental Alternative Spring Break (EASB) program began in 2006 with 4 undergraduate students and one school partner, the Quileute Tribal School in La Push, WA. In 2009, a Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship recipient worked with Pipeline staff to add one additional school partner, Brewster Elementary in Brewster, WA, so 10 undergraduate students now participate in EASB annually. There is growing interest to develop more school partnerships since the program has to turn away many interested applicants each year since the demand exceeds the number of participant spots available. The EASB program has historically been heavily administered by Pipeline Project staff and could greatly benefit from a self-sustaining student-led model to increase the capacity of the Pipeline project to not only ensure the sustainability of this program for future students but also to spur innovation and expansion.
Metrics analyzed for over the last 6 years reveal that since 2006, the Pipeline Project’s K-12 environmental and sustainability education service-learning seminars have enrolled 126 students who have served in 15 different K-12 schools or community organizations. Due to increased enrollment in this service-learning seminar, it will be important to cultivate new community partnerships with a K-12 environmental education focus. While no formal quantitative analysis has been administered concerning student demographics, observations and informal discussion demonstrate that Pipeline’s environmental education initiatives largely attract white and more affluent student populations, a pattern that is reflective of the larger environmental movement in the United States.
If we do not receive funds from CSF through this grant, we will be able to sustain our current programming efforts and relationships with community partners, but we will not be able to create new partnerships, nor increase our outreach to students or develop new strategies to increase the diversity of UW students engaged in K-12 education for sustainability efforts. In addition, CSF funding will ensure the long term sustainability of the Environmental ASB program as attention will be given to document and develop the infrastructure for a self-sustaining student leadership program model.
The Pipeline Project’s website can be found at http://expd.uw.edu/pipeline. The Pipeline Project is led by Director Christine Stickler and Associate Director Francesca Lo. Four returning Environmental Alternative Spring Break (EASB 2013) undergraduate participants – Mariah Doll, Jessie Huang, Laura Pfeifer, and Max Sugarman – are currently serving as Team Leaders for EASB 2013. Samanatha Dolan, a graduate student, is currently facilitating the Winter 2013 K-12 Education for Sustainability service-learning seminar.