Engineers for a Sustainable World at UB is working on a project to work with elementary students around the Buffalo area. We visit elementary schools throughout Western New York to teach students about the meaning of sustainability and what it is to be green. Lesson plans will involve videos from Lisa French’s “Ecopig” series, as well as an interactive discussion with the children regarding sustainability. ESW-UB expects that the new project will benefit the young student outlook on sustainability, as well as that of the entire Western New York Community. Our hope is that exposing students to environmental issues at a young age will influence them to create a better future. As natural resources deplete, and global climate change intensifies, the need for conservation and environmental awareness grows. In order to aid in this need, ESW-UB travels to local schools to spread the word to students about what they can do to achieve a brighter future.
Currently Educational Outreach worked this semester to expand its repertoire of lessons and reach out to new classrooms in the greater Buffalo area in order to continue to teach the importance of respecting the environment and ecology around us. While no new lessons were totally completed this semester, we have a lot of really great and interesting ideas that we can build new lessons around, while continuing to maintain our focus on hands-on approaches to these subjects. Our outreach team did manage to create some good relationships with new teachers who seem very excited to get some more ESW students in their classrooms to teach.
In the Spring 2017 semester we are set-up to focus on reaching as many classrooms as possible. During the second week of this spring semester we already have plans to do lessons at St. Paul and Peter’s in Buffalo, with classes in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. We are also planning on doing some quick training sessions in the first week or so of school so that those who are not familiar with the lessons can get a quick overview of what we will be facilitating as well as a chance to do a little hands-on learning with the materials we use.
The lessons that we will be focusing on are ones that are quite relevant to the residents of Buffalo. One is water treatment, and water filtration. We’ll be showing the students just how effective some common products can be in filtering water, and what kind of impact that can have in less developed parts of the world, and relating our abundant water sources to their sources abroad. The second is a lesson in ecology, including invasive species, human destruction of wildlife, and the importance of biodiversity, and the final lesson is a basic recycling activity that involves lots of throwing for the younger grades.