Through the Alcoa W5 Programme supported by Alcoa Foundation and delivered through the Eco-Schools programme, student climate change awareness levels have increased by 30% and participating students now feel confident about their knowledge on the issue.
Green STEM – looking at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines through an environmental lens – provides students with opportunities to work with real-world sustainability issues where their learnings help solve real problems by thinking critically and working together.
In the programme’s third year, students from twenty-five schools are participating in hands-on actions around the themes of Waste, Water, Energy (Watts), Climate Change (Warming) and Biodiversity (Wildlife). Eco-Schools national teams of the National Wildlife Federation in the USA, FEE Norway in Norway, and Keep Australia Beautiful in Australia provide teacher training, develop resources, and support Alcoa volunteer opportunities.
“With Alcoa Foundation’s support through this project we have been able to provide a positive action-based approach that has resulted in incredible student achievements at the community level – from increasing schools’ handprint to addressing local government about recycling management on equal footing. This project provides experiences that empower young people with skills to be active citizens who can better address the most pressing issues of our time,” says FEE CEO Daniel Schaffer.
The Alcoa W5 project has led to increased biodiversity on the school grounds, energy efficiency and energy-saving initiatives, improved waste management systems and increased engagement in school communities and local governments in sustainability initiatives. Impact assessment from the last cycle of the project in 2017-2018, highlights that there has been a 58% increase of participating teachers having a better understanding of Green STEM by the end of the project cycle, which allows them to start or consistently incorporate Green STEM learning opportunities in the classroom – a remarkable achievement of the project.
“Eco-Schools allows students in multiple Alcoa communities around the world to learn about the important issues surrounding our environment through a unique STEM framework,” says Alice Truscott, Senior Program Officer for Alcoa Foundation. “We truly believe the future of sustainability relies on the education of tomorrow’s leaders, and that is one of the many reasons why we invest in this important programme.”
Learn more about the Alcoa W5 project at https://www.ecoschools.global/alcoaw5