green|spaces Hosts 3rd Annual Green School Summit March 23

Friday, March 2, 2018

green|spaces will host its 3rd Annual Green School Summit Presented by Shaw Contract on Friday, March 23. Open to Southeast region school administrators, teachers and design professionals, the half day summit will provide learning opportunities with break-out sessions, mini-grant opportunities and the ability to connect with fellow professionals. Attendees will leave with information to take back to their schools. There is no charge for the summit or lunch.  

In 2015, green|spaces committed to develop a Green Schools Summit to promote sustainability in school design, operation and maintenance, and curriculum in the Southeast Region. The intended outcome of the event was for new and existing schools in the Southeast to use the tools, resources, and case studies presented at the summit to reduce their energy and water use, reduce waste, increase recycling and composting, and reduce student and teacher absenteeism.

There will be nine break-out sessions during the morning that cover topics such as outdoor classrooms, grant writing, and STEM projects for classrooms. A full listing with session descriptions is below. Lunch will be provided with Keynote Presentation “Walking the Progressive Path”.  

One of the hottest topics in sustainability today is material health. Designers and end users value transparency and want to know exactly what is in building products, said officials.  

“With children spending more than 90 percent of their time indoors and a lot of that being time spent in school, material selection is very important to ensure that materials are not contributing to health related issues,” said Michael Walton, executive director of green|spaces. “Hamilton County recently awarded funds to build new and to improve schools in our area. Programs like this can bring attention to needed details like material selection.”  

“By partnering with organizations such as green|spaces, Shaw Contract believes we can contribute to healthier spaces for the students, faculty, and staff within the learning environments we’re creating,” says Michelle Carpenter, director of education for Shaw Contract. 

Schools who participate in the Green School Summit will also be eligible to apply for four - $500 mini-grants. The goal for the mini-grants is to inspire attendees to take information from the workshops and identify ways to implement green initiatives within their schools. Application information will be shared with participants at the event. In the past, such mini-grants have been used for greenhouse projects and recycling programs.    

To register for the free summit please visit 

When: Friday, March 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 
Brainerd Crossroads 4011 Austin St.

9-10 a.m.:
"Engineering is Elementary”  - reviewing how to use STEM Kits including Catching the Wind (Designing Windmills) and Now You’re Cooking (Designing Solar Ovens) kits
TN Aquarium River Teacher Program - River Teachers is a week-long professional development workshop for teachers. This year, the Tennessee Aquarium is hosting one week for middle & high school teachers and one week for elementary school teachers. The teachers will learn ways in which they can bring freshwater science and conservation to the classroom. 
Citizen Science Outreach Program: Ivy Academy will present a new state accredited course that they developed for a TN state science credit. They will show how their students are collecting data on tree phenology, lichen, salamanders, seasonal events changes, bird migration, stream health, macro invertebrates, etc. Their new outreach program will allow leaders from these courses to visit other schools to help start their own data collection plots so that they can work to collect good, quality data for Hamilton County to map bioindicator species for air quality, water quality, and climate data.  

10-11 a.m.:
Creative Discovery Museum - Their dynamic group of Outreach Educators interacted with almost 50,000 learners in 2017. They will discuss the wide variety of standards-based lessons for children from three years to 8th grade.
Food Recycling Programs: Be a part of the discussion and the change to sustainable waste management in schools. Atlas Organics, a commercial composting company that services the tri-state area with food waste recycling, will share their experience in implementing their composting program and sustainable choices curriculum in schools throughout South Carolina. Hear the educational benefits of teaching the food life cycle holistically, the impact on students' understanding of their role in making a difference and the hundreds of thousands of pounds that they have collectively been able to divert away from landfills.
ARC - United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will be hosting ARC for free for K12 schools for 1 year.  The platform allows a school to plug in their data about Energy, Water, Waste, Human Experience and Transportation and compare against themselves, month over month, year over year, to a regional average and a global average.   

11 a.m.-12 p.m.:
Grant Writing 101 – Venture Forward will explain how to research grant opportunities via Foundation Directory online. The Unfoundation and Junior League representatives will discuss how they evaluate grant applications and what makes for a good application.  
Red Bank Elementary Forest Kindergarten  - Red Bank Elementary is the first Forest Kindergarten of its kind in the state of Tennessee. The program, developed by experienced early childhood teachers, is modeled after successful forest/nature school programs across the globe. The Forest Kindergarten at Red Bank is offered free of cost to kindergarten students in the Red Bank Elementary school zone and will meet rigorous state standards using a custom-designed hybrid of the original model and developmentally appropriate early childhood teaching methods. Children enrolled in the program will spend half of the instructional day outdoors, exploring the natural environment. While outside, students will be building social and communication skills; further develop gross and fine motor skills, engage in spontaneous STEAM learning, and have the opportunity to explore creative expression.
Affordable School Gardens- The Teacherpreneur project will present on their hydroponic garden systems.  The project will feature how schools can use hydroponics garden systems, that is built with students, to be more efficient and affordable than traditional gardens.  She will be prototyping some garden systems with students this semester as they research hydroponics and aquaponics, and then they will begin building and selling these affordable systems to schools. 

12-1 p.m.:
Keynote Presentation: Walking the Progressive Path - Lunch Included
One of the hottest topics in sustainability today is material health. Designers and end users value transparency and want to know what's in the building products they specify. This CEU covers the most well known tools, including Cradle to Cradle certification, HPDs and Declare labels to determine the health of materials. 

Recognize your role as an influencer in driving the use of healthy building products 

Understand the history of healthy building products 

Learn which tools are available to inform the way you select and specify healthy building products 

Learn about health and environmental product declarations 


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