Our partnership with Washington Green Schools began with the work with our monitoring site at Pioneer Elementary in Auburn. The Auburn-Algona-Pacific engagement team started thinking about how to further community work with the monitoring site. They thought about creating a science-based curriculum with elementary teachers about clean air, sustainability, and health impacts of pollution. We recognize that the Agency's expertise in not in teaching or curriculum development so we partnered with Washington Green Schools, a non-profit that is focused on creating greener, healthier school environments. They work with schools across the state to help set and achieve sustainability goals.
With assistance from our Planning, Analysis, and Forecasting team, Washington Green Schools drafted a curriculum and began sharing it with interested third grade teachers in the Auburn School District. The curriculum includes information on the Air Quality Index, working with portable hand-held air sensors, understanding air quality data from the sensors, and exploring actions and solutions to air pollution issues. The curriculum is currently undergoing a first round of testing by teachers. In this pilot phase, teachers are using this curriculum with their students. After the pilot phase, teachers will share their feedback that will be incorporated in the second phase of the program.
Though this partnership, the Agency has an opportunity to create awareness and education about air quality to blossoming young scientists. The curriculum is also meant to be a replicable model for other teachers and schools throughout the community and more.
Check out the recent article from KOMO News about this program.