EHC K-12 Programs


3rd Annual K-12 Student Project Conference
"Seeds of Change: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable Communities."

March 4, 2019

Chatham University's Eden Hall Campus

Registration deadline: February 4th, 2019

Conference Overview

Did you or your class work on a project to make your school, community or even the Eden Hall Campus a better place over the past school year? Share your success and progress with others, have your voice heard by adult leaders in our region and build coalitions with other young leaders in your region.

We invite your school or district to send up to 2 project teams (1 team guaranteed, additional team based on conference interest and space) of 2-5 students per team to share their work on an ongoing and current project of theirs that is helping to make their school or community more sustainable.

Conference registration is free of charge. Schools are responsible for project presentation materials and transportation to the Eden Hall Campus*. Meals are provided by the conference organizers. Each participant must come with a signed conference permission slip.

Read about last year's conference:

If you are interested in this conference but are not prepared with current projects in the works, please let us know and we will be happy to provide PBL supports as you structure sustainable PBL opportunities for your students over the 2018-19 school year.

*If you received a Grable-funded Transportation Scholarship toward a field trip to Eden Hall in the 2018-19 school year, your transportation costs to attend this conference will also be covered by Chatham. All schools that visit Eden Hall for a field trip on a Grable-funded transportation scholarship are required to send at least one project team to this conference. Please contact Payal Patel at to coordinate details and reimbursements. Carpooling between schools and teams is encouraged.

Conference Schedule

9:00 - 10:00 am Registration, Presentation Setup, Continental Breakfast @ Esther Barazzone Center/ Tour A (9:30 - 10am)
10:00 - 10:30 am Welcome and Keynote Session
10:30 - 11:30 am K-12 Student Presentations
Break out groups formed based on presentation submissions.
11:30 am - 12:00 pm Lunch
12:00 - 1:00 pm Dialogue with VIP Adult Leaders on Youth Voice in Regional Sustainability Movements
1:00 - 1:15 pm Wrap-Up
1:15 pm Dismissal / Tour B (1:15 - 1:45)

Seeds of Change Challenge

We challenge teams to use the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the framework for your project. At the conference, we will award the three teams that incorporate these goals into their project in the most meaningful way up to $300 per team to help their project come to life.

How many of the below SDGs can you incorporate, in a meaningful way, into your project idea to transform your community? The conference moderators and judges will use the 17 SDGs below as a rubric as they listen to project presentations both before and during the conference.

Looking for a great way to launch your sustainable PBL unit and teach your students about sustainability using the SDGs? Check out our "Introduction to Sustainability" Eden Hall Field Trip Pre-Visit Lesson Plan.

Participation in the challenge requires advance submission of the following materials by (deadline February 4th, 2019). Please send a video, photo collage, podcast, report or any other unique, creative, authentic mode of expression for your team to that conveys:

  1. Your team name and project title
  2. How you plan to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals in your project
  3. A general budget for the materials your team will need. How will you use the $300?

Presentation Format

Student presentations should be no longer than a 3 minute "elevator pitch" style talk. Each student group should have a tri-panel presentation board to serve as a visual to accompany the 3-minute presentation. This visual should also be able to stand-alone and convey concise, basic project information without an accompanying presenter.

The concept poster must answer the following questions identified in the Innovating for People Concept Poster. What is it called; what is the big idea; who are the key stakeholders; how does it work (with an illustration or description of the project/process); why might it fail; how will we measure success; and what are some key milestones?

Student groups will be separated into 3 presentation teams by project content. Each presentation team will have an adult facilitator to manage presentations and facilitate discussion among students. Students are encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussion regarding the projects presented. Break out group topics will be decided based on submitted project descriptions. Topics may include: energy, food, ecology, aquaculture/aquaponics/hydroponics, built environment, community.

Each project group must also submit a 1-page infographic describing the project in advance of the conference date. All infographics will be shared electronically with every student group in attendance. Please include the student names, school, and contact information somewhere on the infographic to help facilitate networking between similar projects across the region. Please include the project name in the file name of the infographic.

Individual Awards

This year, we will launch individual awards that recognize one K-12 student and one teacher for their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. Awards will be granted during the conference. Please watch for the award nominations to be announced later this fall.


Dress should be appropriate for student presentations but comfortable for walking. For those who have never been to campus, students and teachers will have two optional opportunities to receive a short tour of the immediate campus during registration (9:30-10am) or after the official event closing (1:15-1:45pm). Please watch the weather reports and plan appropriately for the anticipated weather, as walking outside will be required if you choose to take part in a campus tour.


Please direct all inquiries to Payal Patel at or (412) 365-1584. More information on lunch options and set-up/travel details to follow registration.