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Sustainability Teachers' Academy

Teaching for a reimagined world.

Worried about the future of our planet? The United Nations is too!
The Sustainability Teachers’ Academy invites you to bring real-world climate change science and international negotiations into your classroom, live via the web from the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany from November 7-10, 2017.
Learn more.

Lead the way to a sustainable future

As a teacher, you inspire your students to change the world. Now, give them the tools they need to make a difference. The Sustainability Teachers’ Academy provides educators like you with the knowledge and resources you need to bring the science of sustainability into any K-12 classroom. In turn, you will help future leaders create and innovate solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges we face.

Our professional development workshops incorporate contemporary research by sustainability professionals, scientists and scholars from ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. This work demonstrates that promoting sustainability takes more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, one must analyze the complex problems faced by individual communities, and work with local stakeholders to design unique, effective solutions.

The Sustainability Teachers’ Academy can help you to apply the lessons from sustainability experts to empower your students to build a better, more sustainable future for your school and community.

National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy

The National Academy is an intensive, five-day professional development workshop for K-12 teachers held every summer. Teachers of any subject and grade should apply with a partner from their school or district. These teacher teams receive a thorough introduction to sustainability science through hands-on activities and lectures by experts in the field. Engaging fieldtrips highlight sustainability in action at local business and other organizations. Through ample networking opportunities, teachers become part of a dedicated community of sustainability activists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other educators.

The National Academy explores sustainability from many important perspectives, from the triple-bottom-line of sustainable economies, to the dangerous effects of climate change experienced by individuals in vulnerable communities. Along the way, teachers master five sustainability competencies—an essential skillset for taking action personally, locally and globally.

Upon completion, teachers return with a site-specific action plan for promoting sustainability in their schools and communities. They also receive a suite of lesson plans and activities to engage students in the science of sustainability. These lessons are based on real science, aligned to Common Core and Next Generations Science Standards, and easily adaptable to any class. Your students will learn about the sustainability challenges we face, and develop their own innovative solutions to these problems.

Who should apply

The National Sustainability Teachers Academy welcomes applications from K-12 teachers of any subject from all 50 states. Teachers should apply in two-person teams from the same school or district. Cross-disciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.

Seeking teachers who are:

  • Passionate about improving the lives of their students.
  • Eager to work with colleagues on collaborative, cross-curricular projects.
  • Willing to lead a school or district in promoting sustainability.
  • Life-long learners.
  • Innovative and open to new ideas

Program Details

An Academy mentor helping one of the summer 2015 National Sustainability Teacher's Academy participants
  • Academies are run Monday through Friday and include roughly 40 hours of professional development.
  • Training sessions feature hands-on activities, lectures by experts in sustainability and fieldtrips to local business and community organizations.
  • Workshops are facilitated by experts in sustainability education with help from local scientists and other stakeholders.
  • Trainings span issues such as poverty, privilege, social capital, circular economy, food systems, urban ecology and much more.
  • During the Academy, teachers work together to develop a unique action plan to support sustainability in their school.
  • Teams are expected to implement their sustainability action plan, implement a sustainability project with students and/or train additional teachers in sustainability education.
  • Each individual receives a $1,000 stipend for participating in the workshop, paid in increments: $700 after completion of the workshop and $300 after completing a project in their home school and/or district.
  • Lodging, most meals and travel allowances are paid for by the Academy.
  • Participating teachers receive certification of participation in 40 hours of professional development.

If you have any questions about these or other upcoming programs, please contact STA-info@asu.edu.

Important Dates – National Teachers’ Academies

January 1, 2018 Summer 2018 Academy Applications Available
April 15, 2018 Summer 2018 Academy Application Deadline
April 30, 2018 Participants Announced
June 18-22, 2018 Academy at University of Montana, Missoula, MT
July 16-20, 2018 Academy (Location TBD)
“The variety of speakers, perspectives, experiences, and participants made for an extremely rich week overall. It was also nice that we were so well taken care of, so we could focus on the work at hand. There was such an overwhelming amount of information and food for thought, it was a luxury to be able to focus on that with nothing else to worry about in terms of basic living at ASU. I also really appreciated gaining access to some activities that I can use practically out-of-the-box, like the lifecycle activity, and Rob’s writing activity. Others, like Stakes on a Plane, are useful starting points for me to develop my own activities. Right now my brain is FULL!”

Wells Fargo Regional Sustainability Teachers’ Academy

The Wells Fargo Regional Sustainability Teachers’ Academy is a professional development workshop designed to help local K-12 teachers from all subjects integrate sustainability science into their curriculum, develop campus projects and encourage community engagement.

We hold two-day workshops in locations around the nation. The Wells Fargo Regional Sustainability Teachers’ Academy collaborates with local sustainability experts and leaders to develop a workshop that is relevant to local teachers. We offer unique activities for teachers to understand regional challenges, evaluate their schools for sustainability and connect with each other and community resources.

All teachers who participate will receive a stipend of $150. Other benefits include:

  • Certification for 16 hours of professional development
  • Access to sustainability resources for classrooms, schools and communities
  • Opportunity to apply for $300 stipend to further sustainability projects

2017 – 2018 Workshops

    Upcoming Workshops
  • Los Angeles, CA – December 1-2, 2017 (registration opens Sept. 25)
  • Nashville, TN – January 26-27, 2018 (registration opens Nov. 1)
  • Charlotte, NC – Spring 2018
  • Tucson, AZ – March 7-9, 2018
  • Austin, TX – May 11, 2018
    Past Workshops
  • Broward County, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Whidbey Island, WA
  • Abingdon, VA
  • Chicago, IL

Project Reporting

Teachers who have participated in either the National or Regional Sustainability Teacher Academies are eligible for a one-time stipend of $300 upon completion of a student-led project promoting sustainability in their schools or communities.

Once you have completed your project, click here to apply for your stipend:

Use this interactive map to discover how teachers across the nation are promoting sustainability in their schools and communities. Each teacher is an alum of the National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy.


Teacher Resources

The Sustainability Teachers’ Academy is committed to creating and providing curricular resources that span a diverse range of topics—including food systems sustainability, quality of life and well-being, decision-making for sustainability, and much more. Our lessons are applicable for grades 6-9 with variations presented that will enable you to tailor the activity for a younger or older audience. Because sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic, these lessons are relevant across all class subjects.


For National Academy inquiries, contact:

Robert McGehee
Program Manager, National Sustainability Teachers' Academy, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives
480-727-6473
robert.mcgehee@asu.edu

For Regional Academy inquiries, contact:

Molly Cashion
Program Manager, Wells Fargo Regional Sustainability Teachers' Academy, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives
480-727-3090
molly.cashion@asu.edu