Since the 1990s, FASE staff and Associates have organized and conducted popular and effective teacher training events. The Foundation’s most recent initiative in this area brings this experience in helping teachers connect curriculum to real-world applications to a contemporary challenge – preparing students to take their place as workers in the burgeoning green economy and as citizens who understand the environmental impact of their personal choices.

The Green Pathways to the Future institutes are designed to help teachers respond to a changing environment, and to develop answers to questions that are emerging as growing populations compete for fixed resources, and the pace of innovation and cultural change accelerate. For example:

By the year 2020, the world’s green economy will be worth roughly $3 trillion, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. But what, exactly, IS the "green economy"?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $50 billion for green jobs. What makes a job "green", and how can you make sure your students have the knowledge and skills needed to get one?

The future that your students will be living and working in will present challenges and opportunities that few of us could envision even 10 years ago. What do you need to know to make sure they are prepared?

Institutes address these questions and more, and provide a comprehensive collection of curriculum resources that make it easy to translate answers into standards-based instruction. These unique professional development venues enable educators to hear about the green economy straight from the source: the business and industries that are building it. Topics covered range from energy efficiency and green building to water and waste management.

“Participants tell us that these institutes mark the first time that all these stakeholders are being brought together,” said Dave Hendry, director of Teacher Institutes for Green Technology. “We feel they should all be at the table if we really wanted to help teachers prepare their students for life in a green economy – whether as innovators, in the workforce, or as consumers of sustainable products.”

“I really enjoyed the industry speakers,” said Valerie Arkle, a participating teacher. “They gave some very useful information about the skills they’re looking for in students. We’re looking to give students the possibility for entering into a green career, so it was useful to see what industry is doing to be as green as possible--and how we can facilitate that.”

To find out more, write to pathways@fasenet.org.