As a high school librarian, I believe it is important to not only encourage students to pursue STEM, but also to emphasize the importance of sustainable practices. By exploring the intersection of these two fields, we can promote green living, energy conservation, and waste reduction. This provides a powerful platform to instill a mindset of innovation and stewardship in the next generation.

Sustainable Projects

There are many initiatives and projects that promote sustainability, from community gardens and recycling programs to the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. These efforts not only contribute to the well-being of the environment, but also have the potential to save schools and communities money in the long run by using the garden for school lunches, etc. One way to do this is to incorporate green practices into STEM projects and experiments. For example, students can design and build solar-powered devices or explore alternative energy sources.

Environmental Footprint

We can also educate students about the impact of their actions on the environment and encourage them to adopt sustainable habits, such as recycling and reducing their carbon footprint. Challenge students to think critically about their environmental footprint. Provide resources and activities that help them evaluate their daily choices and understand the environmental consequences. For younger students, have them complete this Environment Diary to observe what they see outside their house at different times of the day. For older students, explore online calculators that measure ecological footprints and encourage them to think about how small changes can add up to a big impact.

Another option is to empower students to take the lead on sustainability projects within the school community. Whether it’s organizing a zero-waste event, initiating a recycling program, or designing a sustainable garden, demonstrate how STEM skills can be used to make tangible, positive changes in the local environment.

Career Opportunities

Another way to promote the intersection of STEM and sustainability is to highlight the career opportunities available in green industries. By showing students the potential for innovation and growth in fields such as renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, we can inspire them to pursue careers that have a positive impact on the planet. Environmental data analyst, environmental engineer, climate scientist, or water resources engineer are just some of the different career paths in sustainable STEM.

Climate Scientists

Incorporating real-world examples and case studies of successful green businesses and entrepreneurs can demonstrate the potential for creating both economic and environmental benefits. This can encourage students to think creatively about how they can use their STEM skills to solve sustainability challenges and make a difference in the world.

By promoting STEM and sustainable practices together, we can inspire the next generation of leaders to create innovative solutions that benefit both the environment and society as a whole.

Sustainable practices aren’t just for high school students! Introduce these STEM concepts to your early learners with these fun activity sheets: