SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an environmental education grant of $50,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to develop and implement curriculum focused on water sustainability in a changing climate. Five middle schools and five high schools—a total of 20 classrooms—will learn about water conservation, recycled water, and storm water run-off management. The project will focus on classrooms with a higher percentage of female students and English Language Learners, and is expected to reach at least 520 teachers and students.
Students will learn the science behind water sustainability–such as water chemistry, biology and the significance of water through critical thinking. On-site learning include tours to the local waste water treatment plant where the students will conduct water audits and develop plans of action to reduce water use at schools and at home. LAUSD has partnered with the Los Angeles Sanitation District, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Metropolitan Water District on the project under the One Water LA educational initiative.
“California is facing one of the most severe droughts on record, so it’s important for students to learn to reduce and conserve water” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Through the ‘One Water LA’ program, the District is equipping the next generation to tackle problems such as drought and climate change.”
“Educators need to create the next generation of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) experts in the workforce, and this curriculum will increase the STEM education pipeline from middle to high school,” said Superintendent Ramon Cortines. “It is important to educate students to be college-prepared as STEM majors and career-ready for STEM jobs.”
EPA’s Environmental Education Local Grants Program supports environmental education projects that increase the public’s awareness and provide them with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Office received over 80 applications this year, and the LAUSD project is one of seven projects in the Pacific Southwest Region that will receive an environmental education grant.
For more information on Environmental Education Grants, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants
For more information on Los Angeles Unified School District, please visit: http://home.lausd.net/
For more information on the “One Water LA” Educational Initiative, please visit: http://www.lacitysan.org/onewater/index.html.