At Eden Hall, we encourage educators to explore topics in sustainability as a lens for Problem or Project Based Learning (PBL) engagements in the classroom and greater community. Not sure what we mean by sustainability? Check out our Resources page.
Join the PBL & Sustainability Educator Resource Network" we host on Facebook to share questions and ideas with like-minded peers! Here you can find a resource folder pinned to the top which includes sample sustainable PBL units. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel!
Working on a sustainable PBL unit with your students? Tackling projects with a social impact/justice club, green team or environmental club? We can pair you with a Chatham Falk School of Sustainability student content-matter mentor. These student mentors can help you with background research, Skype into the classroom to give presentations or project feedback to students, and more. In exchange for free, year-long mentor support, we ask that educators:
- Complete a short pre- and post-survey on your PBL and sustainability knowledge
- Share photos of your students in action
- Share a summary of your students' projects to our case study library below after the unit or projects are complete
- Add your sustainable PBL unit plan or outline to the open-source collection of units available to our Facebook Network
- Bring your students to our Seeds of Change Conference [link to that conference tab] so they can present their work
To request a mentor, please complete this form.
"Project Based Learning Through the Lens of Sustainability"
Inservice Workshop and Year-long Partnership
During this workshop with Chatham’s professional team of K-12 Program Staff, participating educators will:
- Become familiar with sustainability frameworks, mindsets and definitions
- Leave with concrete tools and activities to help students use "systems thinking"
- Dive into topics in sustainability in action during a campus tour. Topics include aquaponics, green buildings, renewable energy, food systems, water systems, waste management and more.
- Explore the basics of PBL, including examples of units implemented in real classrooms, tied to sustainability.
- Participate in a collaborative brainstorming session on how to use real projects in your community and connections to campus features to ignite student passion.
After the in-service workshop has ended, Eden Hall's K-12 staff support educator participants through planning and implementation of a full PBL unit.
2018-19 Open Enrollment "PBL Through the Lens of Sustainability" Workshops (at Eden Hall)
Workshops are also bookable for entire schools or districts on a case-by-case basis. These workshops can be hosted at Eden Hall or on site at K-12 schools without the Eden Hall Campus tour included.Half-day Session (8:30-11:30 AM)
- $75/person- minimum of 10 and maximum of 32 participants from school/district.
- Act 48 certificates provided.
Full-day Session (8:30-3:30 PM)
- Lunch is not included, but is available for purchase.
- $150/person- minimum of 10 and maximum of 32 participants from school/district.
- Act 48 certificates provided.
Second-day Follow-Up (optional)
- Further explore Sustainability PBL Units at your school.
- Half Day: $50/person, minimum of 10 participants.
- Full Day: $100/person, minimum of 10 participants.
To book a workshop for your school or district, contact: Kelly Henderson, Eden Hall K-12 Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-365-2416.
Project Case Studies
Falk Laboratory School 6th Grade
Chatham and Falk Lab School art teacher, Cheryl Capezzuti, asked students to design outdoor classroom spaces for the Eden Hall Campus at the end of a 3-day visit. After their designs were passed on to an Eagle Scout candidate to merge into one, Falk Lab School students came back in March to help build 12 benches for the outdoor spaces.
Eden Hall Upper Elementary School 5th Grade
Students were challenged to think about the question: “What are the indicators of a sustainable school and how do you involve all stakeholders or users in the design process?” Over a number of months, they learned about sustainability from Chatham’s K-12 Office, toured the school, researched individual ideas, met with experts to ask questions, and presented final ideas in front of their principal and Chatham’s K-12 team. Final projects included: a milk carton recycling system, a free little library, an information kiosk to inform stakeholders about the school’s sustainable features, a school garden and information campaigns to get teachers to utilize an existing outdoor space for classes.
Eden Hall Upper Elementary School 6th Grade
In partnership with the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Chatham charged students with the challenge of redesigning an existing building on Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus using the focus question: “How can we repurpose unused spaces in a sustainable and meaningful way to better serve our community?” Final design models were presented in front of a panel of architects, community members, and Chatham leadership, as well as parents and school administration.