Inside Education, an Alberta-based environment and natural resource charitable education society, has always made climate change education a priority through its programs. This year we secured funding for an innovative program we called C.A.R.S. (Clean Air Responsible Schools). Connecting to grade 5 curriculum, C.A.R.S explores the topics of air quality, emissions and climate change. With an emphasis on personal action, this class-based project engages students in local stewardship action while contributing meaningful data to a nationwide air quality citizen science campaign.
Through the C.A.R.S program, Inside Education aims to increase understanding of the science behind local airsheds, community emissions, and the stewardship practices that can be implemented for school-based change. Schools involved in the C.A.R.S program receive a teacher professional development workshop, a classroom presentation, and learning materials to support the ongoing study of air quality & emissions and contribute to an idle-free stewardship campaign. The C.A.R.S. program ran November 2015-March 2016 in 20 classrooms in Edmonton and Calgary.
Inside Education relies on experts to help us provide current, local context for all of our programs and we were thrilled to work with CRAZ on this important initiative in Calgary. CRAZ has partnered with Inside Education’s C.A.R.S program to allow for the information needed to support teachers and students in their learning to the fullest. This includes everything from providing an excellent air quality 101 presentation within our C.A.R.S professional development session and allowing for access to city air quality monitoring stations, to providing supplementary materials for our program kits and offering to be a secondary support system to students during their final air quality action campaign. The collaboration between CRAZ and Inside Education has contributed to the success of the program during the pilot year and we hope to continue the program in the 2016-2017 school year.
Inside Education is grateful to have found a supportive partnership with a fellow locally based non-profit organization working towards education initiatives focused on inquiry-based learning. We look forward to working with CRAZ on future projects involving climate change, community and environmental stewardship.