Teach the Earth > Energy > Teaching Activities > Crafting a Sustainability Message

Crafting a Sustainability Message

Martha Henderson
The Evergreen State College
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: May 11, 2009


This activity asks students to develop text for a descriptive information board or kiosk to be placed at Growing Places Farm and Energy Park, a educational facility for at-risk youth.

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This activity is part of an undergraduate course in sustainable communities. Graduate students will be asked to evaluate undergraduate work, participate in edits, and work with site managers to produce and place the materials in a kiosk. Graduate and undergraduate students will be asked to reflect on their learning and write a summary of the experience.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Skills: Research on sustainable energy and local conditions
Concepts: The role of education in promoting community sustainability and health

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity will occur in Week 7 of a ten week session. It will be one of the culminating experiences embedded in a series of hands-on activities. Service learning will be evaluated both as a learning activity for students and the role of service learning in community sustainability.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Community assessment and local sustainability; education and at-risk youth mentoring

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Patterns and relationships in local communities engaged in social capital development

Other skills goals for this activity

Research, writing, ecological relationships, interview and listening skills, participation in community projects such as local food banks and mentoring projects

Description of the activity/assignment

Students will do background reading and research local energy production, historical patterns, and alternative energy possibilities for this area. Their task is to create a display board that can convey their research and promote education about local energy production to k-12 students. The message must also convey opportunities for youth in energy-related fields by staying in school.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The students will evaluate themselves by comparing team products and combining the best elements of all team products to create a final message board.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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