Students in a sixth grade Global Perspectives class at Congressional School in Falls Church, Virginia, are celebrating after being named winners of a Project Green Schools 2018 Green Difference Award for their project entitled “Blueprint for a More Sustainable School.” The project, which won in the category of Outstanding Commitment to Greenovation [GREEN + STEM + Innovation], involved student research and the creation of a large model of sustainable elements designed to enhance Congressional School’s environmentally friendly and energy efficient practices.
After completing the research-based phase of the project, the students each created small models of sustainable elements relating to water conservation, landscape management, solar, wind, and geothermal energy and combined them to form a large-scale model. After completing the project, the students presented their findings to other students in the school and to members of the school’s senior administration including Head of School, Janet Marsh, and Director of Finance and Operations, Fred Schwanke, who were impressed with the students’ work.
Social Studies teacher, Denise Yassine, who teaches the sixth grade Global Perspectives class, submitted the students’ work to Project Green Schools and was overjoyed by the announcement of the award. “This authentic and impactful project has educated and inspired each of us”, she said.
The students were also excited to hear they were receiving the award and reflected on how the project had shifted their mindset towards sustainability.
“I learned that I care about sustainability a lot more than I thought”, stated Ben who lives in Falls Church.
“I learned I have a lot of potential to improve in terms of being environmentally sustainable,” stated Rachel who lives in McLean.
“Prior to this project I thought sustainability was much simpler and would just involve placing numerous solar panels. Now I realize that sustainability is a method of reducing our effect on the environment and changing it for the better”, said Tate who lives in Arlington.
On Friday, April 13th, Denise Yassine will attend a ceremony in Boston, MA to receive the award on behalf of her students. The Green Difference Award is organized by Project Green Schools whose mission is to develop the next generation of environmental leaders through education, project-based learning and community service.