Growing Up Green
profiles a unique statewide, hands-on environmental education program in Michigan, the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. For the very first time, both rural and urban schools across the state are working to increase academic performance by involving students in local efforts to improve the environments they inhabit.
This coordinated statewide approach to "place-based education" presents a national model for increasing student engagement by making education more relevant, while also encouraging students to become lifelong stewards of the environment.
High school students in an interdisciplinary science and math class in Houghton developed ROV’s (remotely operated vehicles) to use in underwater explorations looking for invasive species. Across the state in Alpena, elementary school students use similar ROV’s to aid Fish and Game biologists in their research.
In Lansing and nearby Grand Rapids, elementary and high school students raise salmon in their classrooms, then restock local rivers, weaving science, math, history and art though their year-long curriculum. In Muskegon, elementary students plant a former dump site with non-invasive species, restoring a natural habitat, while learning valuable watershed lessons.
In Detroit's inner city, high school students renovate 800 houses with energy saving devices as part of their science and math program, while Detroit middle school students perform regular 'tire sweeps' of the neighborhood around their school, helping a local nonprofit in its recycling and poverty alleviation efforts. Professional development is offered through nine hubs to help teachers facilitate inquiry-based learning and problem-solving, and to sustain school-community partnerships.SPECIAL FEATURES
The DVD includes extended segments and interviews with film participants