Project Exploration is the 2018 Greenbuild Legacy Project Awardee

by | May 17, 2018 | Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL, News, Out of school time, Project Exploration, STEM, Youth-Science Pathway Programs

Illinois Green Alliance Hosts 2018 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

The Illinois Green Alliance and the City of Chicago will host the 2018 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo this fall. It is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. The Conference expects to bring over 20,000 visitors to the Chicago area. This gives Chicago the opportunity to showcase local projects and expertise while bringing attention to issues of particular importance to our region. While Greenbuild is a meeting of national and international experts in the field during one week in November 2018, our goal is to leverage the event to engage the broader local community in discussions and activities that raise awareness around sustainability and the built environment throughout the year leading up to the event and into the future.

The Greenbuild Legacy Project seeks to support local programs that work with communities and recognize voices not traditionally a part of discussions regarding environmental justice (women, racial and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and socially and economically marginalized communities)

Strengthening Bonds Between High School Youth and Community Through Local Gardens

Project Exploration is the 2018 Greenbuild Legacy awardee to support Science Giants Giants, which immerses high school students in environmental sciences and science outreach. The six-week program takes place at Al Raby High School in the East Garfield Park, targeting 15 students of color. Youth will build a garden bed and harvest for Inspiration Kitchens, a neighborhood restaurant that employs and serves homeless.

Science Giants

Science Giants is designed to give teens an opportunity to explore the basic principles of small acreage food production, including soil science, water resources, plant production, business management and leadership skill. Science Giants works with teens to develop skills in presentation, facilitation, and interpretation of various science disciplines with a focus on Urban Agriculture, Ecology and Nutrition. Students will work with Inspiration Kitchens to develop a strategy for renovating a community garden.  

Science Giants 2017-2018 Program Goals

This year Science Giants Science Giants has three critical components. First, the program equips young people with the techniques and skills needed to build and utilize a productive garden bed, such as mapping, planning, building, communication, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. Second, the youth are introduced to professionals, broadening their conception of employment and career opportunities within related industries, such as building, energy, sustainability, and landscaping, among others. This program will recruit and support up to 10 professionals from Illinois Green Alliance to engage with youth in meaningful ways, using Project Exploration’s developed toolkit for scientist outreach. Third, the program will support youth in positively impacting and engaging with their community as they work with Inspiration Kitchens to produce food that will be used in the monthly free dinners for neighborhood members in need.

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