2015 Sustainability Institute for P12 Educators 

"Empowering Young Citizens for Sustainable Communities"

June 23–25, 2015  ($150)

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE!! The organizers for the 2015 Sustainability Institute for P12 Educators are offering up to 15 scholarships to cover 2/3 of the entire registration fee (value of $100) for teachers and administrators, courtesy of Madison County Green Schools of Illinois and USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter. Using the registration bar, register for the Institute, pay the $150 and then contact Kim Petzing for details about the scholarship application at kspetzing@co.madison.il.us  If you are awarded the $100 scholarship, you will be issued a reimbursement check. 

Preference for Scholarships will be Given to:

• Schools with 75% free and reduced lunches
• Schools/Districts sending multiple participants
• Schools participating in the Green Schools Quest


 If you plan to take the Institute for graduate credit and will receive Financial Aid, contact diefenlo@webster.edu to register.

Speakers and hands-on workshops will focus on increasing awareness of sustainability issues, identifying the potential for young students to take responsibility for solutions, and helping educators generate and plan for student participation for sustainable communities.

Schedule of Events


Tuesday, June 23
Defining Sustainability Citizenship

What does it mean to be a citizen in today’s world? Participants will explore this question on multiple scales, ranging from local to global, through the lens of sustainability. Our path will begin by learning about issues, then understanding and embracing responsibility, and finally organizing and executing action. Registrants will be introduced to Citizen Science which is rooted in place-based learning, followed by hands-on workshops that easily translate to the classroom. The day will conclude with an exploration of partnerships that reach beyond borders, using technology and human kinship as platforms for connecting students on sustainability projects and social concerns.

Wednesday, June 24
Connecting to the Community

How can you facilitate a connection between your students and the community that results in real action on a local issue? Registrants will join forces to collectively develop new strategies and activities for designing real-world participation in community issues. Attendees will then learn about organizations within the community that can provide support for their efforts during the afternoon Resource Fair.

Thursday, June 25
Learning from Others

Participants will choose one area of focus to study in depth with others on the third day of the Institute. Multiple trainings will be offered (some with Certification); each attendee will select one.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and face the challenges of community issues as part of the school culture
  • Recognize local resources that can support curriculum and changes for sustainability
  • Collaborate with others to empower young citizens
  • Create a community of advocates for sustainable schools and communities

The Sustainability Institute is hosted by:

  • Webster University, School of Education
  • EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Green Schools Council of Madison County, Illinois
  • US Green Building Council–Missouri Gateway Chapter
  • Saint Louis Zoo, Education Division
  • Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School

Madison County Planning and Development  MICDS   Missouri Botanical Garden   

 Missouri Gateway   St. Louis Zoo Logo  Webster University

Our ultimate goal is to give educators the tools to cultivate a new generation of young people with the awareness, responsibility, and ability to take action for a beautiful, prosperous future. The 2015 Institute will focus on "Empowering Young Citizens for Sustainable Communities." All of the food at the Institute will be as sustainable as possible.

The event will take place at MICDS, 101 N Warson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63124, 8 am–4 pm.

 To see photos from the 2014 Summer Sustainability Institute CLICK HERE. 

Sustainability and What it Means for P12 Educators

The assurance of a productive, safe, viable future is marked by the interconnectedness of the human and environmental systems. At this Institute we will not just build awareness…we will discuss the nuts and bolts of bringing the student voice into the community, share examples from other P12 schools and resources for sustainability, and provide working sessions for educators to plan for how they can bring sustainability into their classrooms and institutions.

The Need for Sustainability Education

Below is a video discussing why sustainability education is needed in our schools today. It was produced by Growing Greener Schools and published by PBS Video.

Registration Information

The cost of the 3-day Institute is $150. This includes breakfasts and lunches. Campus housing is available for $55 per night. For more information, contact diefenlo@webster.edu.


Graduate Credit

The Institute may be taken for 3 hours of graduate credit through Webster University for an additional $480. To register for credit, please contact diefenlo@webster.edu.