EHC K-12 Programs


Seeds of Change Conference: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable Communities

April 15, 2021

Virtual, Full-Day Event

Conference Overview

The Seeds of Change Conference is a chance for K-12 students to come together across districts and grade levels to share how they are making their schools and communities more sustainable. Join adult leaders and educators in sustainability to share recent projects, new proposals, and build coalitions with young leaders in your region!

This year, the conference will be entirely virtual. Moving the conference to a virtual space allows for an expanded number of students, educators, and professionals in sustainability to join us. Conference registration is free of charge. This year's conference is a collaboration between youth and adult partners from: Communitopia's Pittsburgh Youth for Climate Action, Women for a Healthy Environment, Grow Pittsburgh, World Affairs Council, Green Building Alliance and the Women and Girls Foundation and Chatham.

We hope to see you there!

Open Call for Youth Keynote Nominations

Form due by Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Submit Form
Nominate yourself or someone else to be a paid keynote speaker at the Seeds of Change Conference. This is a paid opportunity for youth age 13-20. We are seeking speakers that are skilled at connecting environmental and social issues. No prior speaking experience is necessary, but comfort with public speaking helps. We can coach you!

2021 Conference Schedule

Subject to change

8:30 - 9:00 am Meet and Greet (optional), Technical Troubleshooting
9:00 - 9:15 am Welcome
9:15 - 9:45 am Youth Keynote Speaker
9:45 - 10:00 am Break: Expo Hall and Networking open (optional)
10:00 - 11:00 am Student-Led Presentations: Breakout rooms with 8-10 minute presentations from K-12 students
11:00 am - 11:15 am Break: Expo Hall and Networking open (optional)
11:15 am - 11:45 am Student-Led Workshops: 30-minute sessions of exemplar projects from K-12 students
11:45 - 1:00 pm Lunch Break: Expo Hall and Networking open (optional)
12:30 - 1:00 pm Pre-recorded or Live Session TBD (optional)
1:00-2:15pm Intergenerational Dialogue & Coalition Building

Breakout Rooms by Topic:
  • Growing food and feeding families
  • Clean water to drink, clean air to breathe
  • Refuse reduce reuse recycle
  • Powering a clean and green future
  • Homes and transportation
  • Community care, health, and wellness
  • Caring for green spaces and the beings in them
2:15 - 2:30pm Break: Expo Hall and Networking open (optional)
2:30-3:00pm Event Closing, Mini-Grant Awards Presented

Mini-Grant Opportunities

At the Seeds of Change Conference, we will be recognizing promising projects with a number of $500 mini-grants. This award is meant to go toward project implementation.

At the conclusion of each student-led workshop session, attendees will rate project presentations in a poll using the following prompts:
  • This project is creatively designed.
  • This project integrates environmental sustainability and social justice topics together in a meaningful way.
  • This project is an effective way to respond to the needs and desires of the community it impacts.
  • Another school or organization would be able to recreate this project in their own context.

Presenters with the highest rated project presentations will receive $500, announced at the end of the conference day. We estimate that 10 awards will be given and plan to give awards to projects from grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

We will also be awarding larger mini-grants of up to $1,500 or more to collaborative projects that bridge between school districts, neighborhoods, or regions. There is time for collaborative project networking and brainstorming built into the conference schedule in the afternoon. We do not expect conference attendees to arrive with a collaborative project plan on the day of the conference. Instead, we will be taking collaborative mini-grant application submissions a few weeks after the conference ends. These larger awards will therefore be granted sometime in May 2021.

Designing a Successful Project

What does project success look like? What do I need to be thinking about to have a project proposal that could win a mini-grant? Check out this Folder of Project Success Resources, including concept worksheets, a recording from our "Project Success" event, and a peer/self evaluation tool that uses the mini-grant criteria!

Presentation Format

Youth presenters can choose between three different presentation formats:

  1. Give an 8-10 minute presentation with Q&A from the audience
  2. Give a 30-minute interactive workshop that describes your project and then teaches the audience a skill you used or learned in the process of completing your project. Teach the audience how to have the same impact in their own context! These workshop sessions are reserved for exemplar projects that are doing high-level change work connecting social and environmental issues, or pushing institutions and systems.
  3. Feature a video or slides about your project in the "Expo Hall" all day - no speaking required for this last option

Read more about prior years of the Seeds of Change Conference

Public Source March 2019

Kidsburgh March 2019

Eden Hall K-12 Programs Blog, 2018

Register Now

Please complete your registration for the conference by following the steps listed below by Friday, April 9th:

  1. Everyone - Get your event ticket to the Hopin conference platform.
  2. Complete the follow-up Google Form depending on who you are...
    1. Youth Presenter Google Form - Complete this form if you are a K-12 student looking to present your proposal, project, or workshop on the day of the conference. If you are presenting a group project, only one person in your group needs to complete this form. Be prepared to choose between three different presentation formats: (1) an 8-10 minute presentation, (2) a 30-minute interactive workshop, (3) feature a video or slides about your project in the "Expo Hall" all day - no speaking required for this last option. You also may choose to present your project through both a live presentation and an Expo Booth.
    2. Youth Participant Google Form - Complete this form if you are a K-12 student that will be an audience member at the conference. You don't have a project or proposal for a project to present that day, but you'll be full of ideas after the event!
    3. Educator Google Form - Complete this form if you are a K-12 formal or informal educator accompanying students to the conference.
    4. Guest Sustainability Leader Google Form - Complete this form if you are an elected official, involved community member, or a professional in the field of sustainability and social justice over age 18 that would like to participate in the event.

Youth presenters, please save the date for the conference dress rehearsal on Tuesday, April 13th from 4-6pm. This is your time to test any technology involved in your presentation with the conference organizers.

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Please direct all inquiries to Kelly Henderson at or (412) 365-2416.