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By Aidan Connelly
The organization Green Schools held their annual summit last Wednesday at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Boston offices. The summit focused on the current state of environmental education in schools and the myriad of rising programs that are aiming to push environmental education further.
In attendance were students, teachers, and many green energy business associates. Representatives from several energy corporations, including NSTAR and the National Grid spoke on the importance of promoting sustainability in schools as well as the various programs they have initiated to further this goal.
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Lisa Capone, Deputy Director of the Green Communities division at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources spoke favorably of these programs, stating that “everything we’re going to do in (furthering environmental education) requires teamwork, and these programs are a display of that”.
Several high school and elementary school students spoke on individual projects they were pursuing, from community bio-looms that create a space to display natural artwork, to swing pumps designed to help children in impoverished countries get easier access to well water.
Executive director and founder of Green Schools, Robin Organ, spoke on the need for complete integration of environmental programs in schools, emphasizing the need for“connection to the informal and formal education setting” in order to impact the environmental consciousness of students in their lives, both in school and at home.
Organ emphasized the importance of raising students to live with an environmentally conscious mindset, emphasizing that “our children are our future”, and that “if we can put the tools as resources in people that are going to determine our future, that’s where we should be”.