Improving Arizona’s Future by Empowering Teachers – Learning about Sustainability

Improving Arizona’s Future by Empowering Teachers – Learning about Sustainability

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice supported the Arizona Center for STEM Teachers (ACST) at Biosphere 2 in summer 2016. Elementary school teachers attended a 10-day residential institute to deepen their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training through a curriculum focusing on sustainable living with respect to the environment and social systems.

As part of his duties as Director of Education and Outreach at the Biosphere 2, Haury Faculty Fellow Kevin Bonine manages the Arizona Center for STEM Teachers (ACST) at Biosphere 2. ACST has provided professional training for Arizona teachers for seven years under the direction of Pierre Meystre. The training focused on sustainability developing core knowledge and activities about STEM through exploration of the interaction of environment and social systems.

The Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice funds people and programs that produce positive change in our society as we confront environmental challenges. A major area of needed change is in STEM education.  One of the most effective ways to improve STEM education is to improve the capabilities of teachers.

Social Justice issues are an integral part of environmental issues, solutions, and education. Social justice was a component of the ACST’s STEM training about sustainability in summer 2015. The program hosted teachers from disadvantaged schools as well as incorporated social justice issues into the STEM curriculum.