RESTON, VA – Thanks to the generous support of Alcoa Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation – America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization – has launched a global K-12 environmental literacy initiative focused on “Green STEM,” to better educate children about environmental issues through science, technology, engineering and math skills. In collaboration with international partner and Eco-Schools® creator, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), this initiative will initially span four countries and three states.
“The job market of the future will include entirely new career paths focused on improving community resilience, restoring natural resources, adopting cleaner sources of energy, increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, and restoring waterways,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO for the National Wildlife Federation. “The tremendous support we have received from the Alcoa Foundation will ultimately help us reach kids globally and prepare them for these new ‘Green STEM’ jobs—and help them better understand and contribute to improving the world around them.”
Green STEM utilizes project-based learning to provide students with authentic, real-life environmental and sustainability issues to tackle while emphasizing 21st century skill development like critical thinking, problem solving, cooperation, communication and teamwork. And it does this within the context of the students’ own communities, making the experience more relevant, inspiring, and engaging.
The internationally acclaimed Eco-Schools program provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum and provides a model for environmentally sound practices, enhancing science and academic achievement.
Through its Eco-Schools USA programming, the National Wildlife Federation serves around 2.1 million students in 200 metro areas. Over the next 12 months, NWF and FEE will work collaboratively in the U.S. and abroad to deliver the Alcoa W3 project across 40 schools — 30 internationally, 10 in the United States. The W3 stands for “Waste-Water-Watts.”
“Alcoa Foundation has been a longtime supporter of STEM education and environmental science and literacy initiatives,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation. “The world needs leaders who are prepared for the challenges of an evolving economy, and working with NWF and FEE will help lend students and their teachers the added support and training they need to make an impact in communities across the globe.”
The overarching goal of the Alcoa W3 project is to improve student and faculty environmental literacy; reduce the environmental impact and use of natural resources of the school; improve student engagement in hands-on, experiential Green STEM disciplines through the project-based learning afforded by the Eco-Schools' framework; increase teacher knowledge of how to incorporate Green STEM and the environment into their curricula and lesson plans; and provide opportunities for Alcoa employees to engage with schools in action-oriented events.
Through this program, twenty thousand students in Australia, Brazil, Norway and Italy, and in Texas, North Carolina and New York in the United States, will be given opportunities to assess, design, and build innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
About National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is America's largest wildlife conservation and education organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. In December 2008, NWF was granted host status for the K-12 Eco-Schools program in the United States by The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). In America, the program is known as “Eco-Schools USA.” Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About The Foundation for Environmental Education and Eco-Schools
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) was launched in 1981 and went on to create the Eco-Schools program in 1994 with support from the European Commission. Eco-Schools was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. Currently, there are over 59 countries around the world participating in the program. Follow FEE on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $480 million. Founded 64 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $635 million in communities worldwide. In 2015, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2015, 47 percent of Alcoa employees took part in 1,000 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 300,000 people and 400 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
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