• RSS feed

Green Design Lab Curriculum

About The Green Design Lab Curriculum

The Green Design Lab™ (GDL) curriculum explores urban environmental sustainability and climate change through hands-on and interactive activities. The GDL curriculum, with units for Elementary, Middle and High School, contains a wealth of hands-on activities for student-led investigations, with an emphasis on engineering, problem-solving, design, and innovation. Each curriculum unit comes complete with student readers and teacher instructional guides for leading the activities. The K-5 and 6-8 curriculum is comprised of five units – Energy, Water, Materials, Air, and Food, each containing 10-15 lessons. Students explore solar power, power plants, watersheds, indoor air quality, and healthy living.

CleanTech, Solar One’s high school curriculum funded by the National Science Foundation, engages students in sustainable design, emerging clean technologies and sustainability-related policy and economic issues at the local, national and global level. Students learn about topics like electric grid transmission, renewable energy, battery storage, demand management, water technologies, biomimicry, stormwater management, and hydroponics, to name a few.

2020 Curriculum Updates: Solar One’s Green Design Lab works with schools and community-based organizations to promote student design and innovation in applying STEM skills to solve environmental challenges. Traditionally we would accomplish this through our hands-on curriculum and in-person programming. Given the new changes in response to Covid-19, Solar One has transitioned our teaching model and curriculum to be compatible with remote learning. Beyond developing new digital resources, in response to the wave of social and racial justice movements across the country we are reminded of the inextricable link between climate justice and racial justice. Solar One has developed new digital content with the intention of creating a culturally responsive program that centers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color voices in environmentalism. This content is available for free for any NYC Summer Youth Employment Provider or NYC DOE teacher.

Solar One SYEP Curriculum Resources

NYC Solar Schools Education

Solar One is offering six different digital curriculum modules available through Google suite. Each module is designed for one week of instruction, but can be customized to fit an individual provider’s program schedule so that providers can pick and choose individual activities from the curriculum. The modules are: Environmental Justice, Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Food & Water Systems, Climate Resiliency & Action, and Service Learning. In addition, Solar One is offering training opportunities & technical support for SYEP providers, as well as weekly live webinars for any SYEP youth. Please see below for an outline of the curriculum and follow the link for access.

Visit our Summer SYEP Curriculum Page for more info

SYEP Summer Bridge Curriculum Overview

  1. Environmental Justice

Students will be introduced to environmental justice and complete projects that challenge them to critically think about the intersectionality between the environment and racial justice, especially during Covid-19 in New York City. 

  1. Energy Conservation  

After learning about how electricity is produced, students will complete their own energy audits to have a better understanding of their personal energy consumption and the benefits of reducing their carbon footprint. 

  1. Renewable Energy

By transitioning to renewable energy we can produce our electricity in a sustainable way. Students will learn about the different types of renewable energy with focus on solar energy here in NYC and the greater global challenge posed by nuclear energy. 

  1. Sustainable Food & Water Systems 

Students will explore how community gardens act as agents of change to promote food and social justice. In addition, students will strengthen their design thinking skills as they analyze the combined sewer overflow (CSO) issue in NYC to create a more sustainable water management system. 

  1. Climate Resiliency & Action 

Students understand NYC’s climate risks and develop different strategies to increase community adaptation and build resistance to the effects of climate change. 

  1. Service Learning

Different activities to have students organize their ideas to develop a relevant service learning project of their choice to build skills such as critical-thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. 

Solar One Remote Learning Resources for Teachers & Schools

In an effort to support schools during this challenging time, Solar One is offering free distance learning lessons for NY and NJ public schools. The distance learning lessons center around energy efficiency, electricity generation, and renewable energy. Content is broken out by ES, MS and HS levels.

Solar One is also planning to launch Professional Learning webinars during Fall 2020 which will provide CTLE credits for NYS teachers and will be offered as a full day training on a weekend, or several after school trainings. During the workshops, Solar One will train teachers on solar and energy focused distance learning lessons.

Fall distance learning classroom programs will provide opportunities for:

  • 1 day of live “classroom visits” to introduce topics and kick off the program (up to 4 classes). This will include discussion with students, q & a, and solar demos (Note: Live visits are optional)
  • Videos
  • Comprehension questions for videos
  • Virtual assignments for each lesson

Please visit our STEM Curriculum Page to get access to our free curriculum resources