National plan to educate for sustainability

Two great groups have just launched the National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability.

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The Center for Green Schools and the US Green Building Council make recommendations for formally including sustainability in all US education so that “by 2040, every student graduating from a U.S. K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future.”

We haven’t had time to read the plan but the exec summary shows there are a lot of steps in it. Many involve training teachers. An early goal (June 2014) is to establish the United States Teacher Education for Sustainable Development Network.

Also Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt (a mega publishing company) is a partner, so it’s good to see books and other educational materials are in play.

Applause all around, and we’ll keep an eye on it with you.

Engineering greeting cards

Here at Kids Future Press we’re interested in how art and design (represented by the letter A), combined with STEM (for science, technology, engineering and math) make STEAM and can bring sustainable futures to life in picture books for kids.

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Robert Sobuda’s template for making your own popups

On the blog we also like to explore activities and projects that compliment books, and today we visit Robert Sobuda’s website where you can find downloadable templates for making your own pop-up cards in shapes such as hearts, animals or flowers. As Amy Koester, of The Library as Incubator Project, writes, adding popups to the gradeschool art project of making Valentine’s, Easter, or mother’s day cards helps these projects deliver a basic engineering experience.

In another article, Amy writes that it’s useful to think about “engineering” as a fancy term for “making” or even “crafting.” Paper airplanes, lego buildings or popup cards all offer approachable ways to introduce kids to engineering. And she mentions the importance of testing your creations and having a chance to make adjustments and experiment.

Try the popups and let us know in the comments how it goes. Pass this post on to others who might like it.