Teachers Become Students and Are Trained in Environmental Issues

Molloy College, National Grid Foundation Partner on "Teaching Green Institute"

For the third year in a row, many of Long Island's secondary and middle school teachers are taking to the classroom as students in an innovative program presented by Molloy College, the National Grid Foundation Teaching Green Institute. The program is designed to train teachers in environmental issues and to provide suggestions on incorporating environmentally focused curricula into their classrooms.

Molloy, already well-known for its expertise in professional development for teachers, has utilized its Sustainability Institute staff as guest lecturers to supplement professors for the Teaching Green Institute. The instructors have focused on such topics as global warming and its local challenges, clean energy solutions on Long Island, and reducing toxins in your daily environment.

"Given the impact of Superstorm Sandy, it is important that today's students have a better understanding of the many environmental issues they will face in their lifetimes, and we are preparing teachers who can communicate this important information," said Dr. Drew Bogner, President of Molloy College. "We are pleased to be able to, once again, partner with the National Grid Foundation on such an important project."

National Grid FoundationThis year's expanded program is training 50 teachers, 27 from high schools and 23 from middle schools.  The inaugural program trained 36 teachers and last year's supported 46 teachers, all from secondary schools.  A significant number of teachers come from underserved school districts. The participants will be able to teach sustainability concepts and practices to approximately 20,000 students during the next five years. 

Participants in the institute are taking part in the following experiences:

  • Constructing a wind turbine
  • Making UV bracelets for measuring the amount of ultra violet light a person is subject to
  • Making a solar-powered boat
  • Researching the sustainable features and initiatives of local businesses
  • Learning how to build a solar-powered house

"The commitment and guidance of these teachers will help to create a new generation of responsible, inspired and environmentally aware citizens," said Bob Catell, Board Member of the National Grid Foundation. "Through their teaching and example, some students will seek careers that develop green technologies and address environmental issues directly-and the timing has never been more critical."

"The teachers who have been through this training will increase their students' awareness of these environmental issues and help them make a difference in the world they live in as adults," said Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. "If a child is old enough to flip on a light switch or open a water faucet to brush his or her teeth, then they are old enough to begin learning how not to waste resources and to choose options that are better for the environment." 

The Teaching Green Institute is taking place July 8-11. The National Grid Foundation grant made scholarship support available for most of the registrants.

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