Feature image: Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia.
The annual Connect the Dots Green Schools Challenge pairs K–12 schools in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia with green building mentors from our USGBC community to implement sustainable projects that enhance environmental literacy and improve building operations.
This was the first year the program expanded from USGBC Virginia to the USGBC National Capital Region and USGBC Maryland communities, and we had an exciting variety of participants and projects from across the D.C. metro region. We are proud to announce the 2017–2018 award-winning projects. They be celebrated at A Midsummer Night’s Green on July 19, and hope that you will join us there to recognize the best in local green building.
Connect the Dots Award recipients
Honor Award: Discovery Elementary School, Arlington, Virginia, and Notre Dame Preparatory School, Towson, Maryland
Students at Discovery Elementary School focused on promoting sustainable transportation options to reduce their carbon footprint. Eco-Action Green Leaders advocated for bicycling to school as the favored method of transport. Through efforts such as encouraging “Two-Wheel Tuesdays,” adding a biking curriculum to the physical education program and mapping out potential routes in the area, the school hopes to increase participation and awareness of how to reduce energy consumption through transportation.
Notre Dame Preparatory School participated in a Lenten Carbon Footprint Fast to shed light on the impacts of waste and educate peers on the benefits of proper waste management. “No Waste Wednesdays” helped students learn the importance of reducing waste. STEAM club members also focused on educating fellow students through videos, poems, a green IQ quiz and even a fashion show showcasing clothes made from recycled materials.
Data and Verification Award: Glebe Elementary School, Arlington, Virginia
Glebe Elementary School students instituted a campaign to reduce the amount of waste created within the school. The Green Team at Glebe collected and measured waste creation and used weight estimates from Keep America Beautiful to calculate how much of that waste could be diverted from trash to recycling. In the end, they found that proper sorting methods could result in 97 pounds of recyclable material being diverted from trash per school day.
Student Engagement Award: Green Acres School, North Bethesda, Maryland
At Green Acres School, what began as a question about installing a greenhouse and its effects on the school’s environment expanded to an engaging cross-curricular experience that has raised awareness on the significance of sustainability across the school. The school plans to use the rubrics and directions that were developed by students as the basis for an environmental curriculum in the future.
Connect the Dots participants
- Franklin Montessori School, Rockville, Maryland
- Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Arlington, Virginia
- Sligo Creek Elementary School, Silver Spring, Maryland
- Middleburg Montessori School, Marshall, Virginia
- Westland Middle School, Bethesda, Maryland