Connecting Students to Green Building Careers with LEED Prep
EcoRise is excited to connect high school students to career opportunities in the growing fields of sustainability, clean energy, and green building with our new curriculum, LEED Prep: Green Building Lessons for a Sustainable Future. This program provides students with leading-edge workforce development experience and prepares them to take the LEED® Green Associate Exam™ and gain a sought-after credential.
Changes in the Earth’s climate, as well as a host of other environmental challenges we increasingly face, has led to extensive growth in the field of green building. Green building is a holistic practice that starts with understanding that the built environment can have profound effects (both positive and negative) on the natural environment, as well as on the people who inhabit buildings. By applying principles of green building, architects, engineers, designers, and technicians can help better create a more sustainable future.
With LEED Prep, EcoRise is piloting the first green building program of its kind by helping students develop a solid base of knowledge about green building as well as gain real-world experience and workforce credentials. Thanks to support from Eversource and the Massachusetts chapter of USGBC, eight teachers at five Boston-area high schools have received access to the LEED Prep curriculum, supplemental resources, professional development, year-round support from EcoRise staff, and access to local green professionals who will mentor teachers and students throughout the 2018–2019 school year.
Tabitha Yeager, who helped write the LEED Prep Curriculum and now serves as the EcoRise Program Specialist for the pilot, will train and support the LEED Prep teachers throughout the school year. Two training sessions have already occurred and a third session is scheduled for January 29, 2019. Tabitha noted, “Observing the teachers go from exploring the curriculum to implementing the lessons with their students is exciting and I am looking forward to hearing how the students connect with an array of green careers as a result of this program.”
Pilot teacher Andrea Shurtleff, who teaches Architectural and Mechanical Drafting at Newton North High School, remarked “I am inspired by the thoroughness of this program and am very excited to begin implementing it into our curriculum. I have found that the modules and lessons are incredibly well organized and easy to follow with a lot of supporting material and activities to help me feel well prepared for the lessons and to know that I am able to provide engaging, thoughtful, and well-designed activities for the students.”
As lessons are getting implemented in the pilot classrooms, teachers are engaging their students in hands-on activities and group projects to effectively learn and apply sustainability concepts, green-building strategies, and LEED requirements. Throughout the course, students will explore innovative building techniques including incorporating water- and energy-efficient systems and appliances, planting sustainable landscapes, ensuring healthy indoor environments, and more. After completing the course, pilot students will have the opportunity to take the LEED Green Associate Exam free of charge.
In the Spring of 2019, the program will conclude with a student showcase, in which students will present their course projects to the Boston community.
EcoRise is excited to expand our workforce development offerings and we are looking forward to learning from the educators and students who are participating in our LEED Prep pilot program this school year!
EcoRise is a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Partner. We are proud to offer LEED Prep: Green Building Lessons for a Sustainable Future on the USGBC Learning Lab. To learn more about the curriculum, click here.