Do you want to extend this unit into an action project? Having done all this work to think about solutions to a local problem, why not channel students’ energy to bringing actual change? This is a great opportunity to discuss with students which stakeholders to involve to help implement their solutions.
Ideas for Small Scale Projects
- Sharing at school: Put up posters and models in the library or other common space at the school so that other students can learn about stormwater and engineering. Share during a Science Night.
- Create A Flyer: What would your students want to tell neighbors about the stormwater and how they can help with it? Would they want to create and distribute a flyer?
- Letter writing: Write a letter to a local or state elected official, letting them know about the work you’ve done and the importance of taking care of stormwater runoff in your community. This can really influence how money is spent in our region, and help get more funding for stormwater solutions.
- Green Team: You could register your class as a King County “Green Team” and move forward on smaller projects in an ongoing way.
- Student Project Planning Worksheet: Includes an implementation checklist and notes on optimizing the solution.
- Project Ideas from the Nature Conservancy:
- Seattle Public Schools Self Help Projects: Seattle Public Schools offers resources for planning, approving, and implementing school improvement projects such as rain gardens or stormwater-friendly landscape renovation.
- Earthcorps: “works with students in grades K-12 with customization of restoration tasks and educational activities to the appropriate grade level. In some schools, we work with one grade on three different service projects throughout the year. For other schools, we work with five grades on one big day of service. Each partnership can be tailored to your school’s needs.“
- Local “Friends Of” Organizations: Is there a park near your school? Many parks have a “friends of” organization and most of them would welcome working on a stewardship project with your class.
Possible Funding Sources
- 700 Million Gallons: “RainWise rebates can help fund a rain garden or cisterns at your school. Check the eligibility of the school for a RainWise rebate by entering the school’s address into the website. ” This site also has grant options for homeowners and non-profits that are not otherwise eligible for a Rainwise rebate as well as access grants to help low income and under-served communities bridge the gap between a rebate and the actual cost of a program.
- Nature Works Everywhere: “We are awarding grants to support projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. These include: access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, and storm water collection. Young people will work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation.” Applications due in fall.
- GetEdFunding: With a mission “to help educators and institutions to uncover the funds they need to supplement shoestring budgets, expand innovative programs, prepare students for the increasingly complex skills they’ll need to participate in tomorrow’s workforce, and help close the equity gap in educating students from all backgrounds and circumstances” GetEDFunding is a curated collection of grant opportunities for educators in Washington State and across the country.
- Roots & Shoots Mini-Grants: The Jane Goodall Institute is offering mini-grants to help students, teachers, and community groups “start, support, or celebrate their community-action project.” Applications are accepted year-round!
- Environmental Education Association of Illinois: EEAI provides national grant opportunities for formal and non-formal environmental educators.
- Youth Service America: “YSA Grants can power your youth-led service and service-learning projects year-round. Why grants? We believe in investing in youth as problem solvers to address the most important challenges facing our world. This bold strategy puts children and youth in the driver’s seat and gives them the power to plan, implement, and witness the full impact of their service. YSA Grants can help.”
- Home Depot Community Impact Grants – “The Home Depot Foundation offers grant awards up to $5,000 to 501c designated organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services.”
Other Service Learning Ideas
- School-Based Environmental Service Learning – “How can students connect with the natural environment while in school, in both practical and engaging ways? Find ways students can make difference and learn valuable skills through service learning projects.” Project ideas and opportunities for grades 4-12.
- Youth Service America – “Searchable database of project ideas, plus many other resources including grants (see above).”