Sustainable Workforce Development Network

Building Sustainable Career Pathways

The Institute's Virtual STEM Resources

Teachers are hungry for virtual user-friendly/STEM resources to engage their students. Therefore we have moved from our traditional model of intensive weeklong Summit to create a virtually-friendly one hour/week workshop. Given the pandemic’s effect on public education, the Institute has developed an online/hybrid course that features our project-based STEM Learning Tools. This 10-week course serves as either a weekly one-hour stand-alone program or can supplement an existing syllabus—plugged into middle or high school to offer overwhelmed teachers trying to navigate their new online reality.

The ten sessions we’ve developed spotlight solutions-oriented projects that address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Each session includes inspiring speakers and readings from the new book, videos, virtual sustainability tours, interactive breakout groups with youth and facilitators. The course assists young people to navigate their career pathways in the emerging Blue-Green economy. Each week we will connect with inspiring global young leaders building and advocating for a better future today. We invite people to support these students to roll up their sleeves and start building a more sustainable world for us all.

The Institute's Educational Curriculum

The Institute’s team of educators and seasoned STEM experts from New England, California, Oregon, and Florida are working collaboratively to develop the Institute’s Educational Curriculum based on the 100 stories included in the book. These Lesson Plans provide educators with rich, action-oriented STEM Activities, highlight innovations and explore a wide variety of STEM Career Pathways students may pursue. Given the influence of school’s Guidance/Career Counseling Departments’ influence on students’ college and career choices, we’ve incorporated a training component to increase their awareness of STEM career pathways. In this way, counselors can be better prepared to assist their students with their increased interest in pursuing these kinds of careers.

These materials can be used by any school, and will be made available and promoted through the Institute’s social media channels. But after eighteen years of running youth trainings, we found that most effective is when this type of knowledge and inspiration is embedded in a shared learning experience. These lessons will be supported by facilitators—who moderate the online Stone Soup Sustainability Clubs. Facilitators trained by the Institute’s team work with the students, facilitating discussions, sparking imaginations, and helping students to set up local Sustainability-In-Action projects that root this learning in efforts that can help them to build and advocate for the Blue-Green economy in their communities.

Most exciting is we are developing the Sustainable Workforce Development Network (SustainWDN), a resource website that helps students to assess how they want to pursue successful livelihood in the emerging sustainable economy—what skills do they need to develop, and what education do they need to be trained for this new emerging economy. Facilitators work actively with their groups to help inspire and engage youth to develop the skills they need to follow their dreams. We will orient and train school Guidance Counselors to inform them about this innovative tool and train them on how to best use it when working with their advisees.

Given the urgency of our times and the need to transition to a sustainable economy, The Institute’s plan is to offer this curriculum—complete with videos, lesson plans, and assignments, to any schools who want to adopt it free of charge. Through our SustainWDN™ Facilitators Program, we train educators to facilitate conversations about sustainability and the blue-green economy for their schools. This has proven to be an effective ‘train the trainer’ approach, which we’ve developed and used successfully over the years.