Austin benefits from the next generation of sustainability leadership
EcoRise Youth Innovations and the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability will host the third annual Student Innovation Showcase at Austin City Hall on Tuesday, May 30 from 5:30-7:30pm. Middle and high school students from local public, private, and charter schools will be on hand to demonstrate the sustainability projects they have created to address challenges on their campuses and the community as a whole.
“It’s phenomenal to see students coming together to change their community,” says EcoRise Deputy Director Jon Stott. “This is a great opportunity for students to present their campus projects back to an authentic audience.”
Many of the projects featured at the Showcase were identified through student-led campus Eco-Audits of energy, water, transportation, food, waste, public spaces, and air quality measures using scoring criteria and educational materials developed by EcoRise. This year’s projects, which were designed to address identified shortcomings, include creative composting and recycling programs, building outdoor classrooms, installing smart thermostats, bee keeping projects, and the development of a carpooling app.
Funding to implement this year’s 30 Eco-Audit projects was provided through the Bright Green Future Grants program of the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability. “It is exciting to see the enthusiasm, creativity, and deep commitment to going green in our community’s children,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens. “We have good reason to hope for our bright, green future.”
Teachers also recognize the benefit of sustainability education and hands-on learning.
“This showcase empowers students and allows them to feel like their work and voice matter,” says Kate Hoffner, teacher and Green Team leader at Hill Elementary School. “These students are our future leaders in sustainability and honoring their ambitious ideas provides them with a sense of purpose.”
Hoffner will be honored at this year’s event with the EcoRise Teacher of the Year Award.
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