Middle and High School Programs

Free offerings challenging students to think critically about their use of resources, and to be a part of the solution. Provided by RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, the Whatcom County Solid Waste Division, and the City of Bellingham Water Use Efficiency Program. Contact us at schools@re-sources.org or (360) 733-8307 ext. 106 to get started today.

Waste Prevention Education

Managing garbage means more than taking it to the curb. It involves science, technology, politics, and personal choice. Our free workshops encourage students to look at garbage analytically.

Beginning with the basics and moving to the complex, our program will introduce the phenomena of solid waste, how our society currently deals with the issue, and its effect on the environment. Students can delve deeply into the causes of different waste streams and come up with their own solutions. Each workshop can be accompanied by an action project,  enabling students to turn what they learned into tangible outcomes. 

These FREE programs use project-based, experiential learning to teach students about the importance of waste prevention, at home and at school. The program aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and gives students the opportunity to take action on a current, local issue. Provided on behalf of Whatcom County Solid Waste Division.

It's Not Waste Until it's Wasted
How does our current waste management system work? How can my personal choices affect energy, land, and air quality? 

We'll help your students come face-to-face with the waste generated every day in their class or lunchroom by hosting a waste audit. After sorting, classifying, and weighing the waste, students will see how well their school sorts landfill-bound waste, compostables, and recyclables. Students can brainstorm ways to help promote correct sorting and waste reduction in their schools. Register today or contact us for more info.

Food Foolish: Too Much of a Good Thing?
How much food waste is filling up our landfills, and what can we do about it? How can we feed our soil by making smart choices with our waste?

We'll help your students understand the value of composting and see how much of their waste could be composted through a waste audit. Once completed, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm ways to increase awareness about sorting compostables and reducing waste around their school. Register today or contact us for more info.

Material World
How do our purchasing habits affect the waste stream and shared resources? How can we see through the packaging — into the real issues behind fashion, marketing, and disposables — and become wise shoppers? 

Students will learn about local resources to help develop action projects to up-cycle, re-use, share resources, buy in bulk, or shop smart. They can choose to advocate for awareness and change in their own circles, promote a "shop smart" campaign, or come up with creative ways to extend the life of products. Register today or contact us for more info.

Water Conservation Education

If you turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, water is saved - a common sense fact. But did you know the same is true depending on the food you eat and the energy you use? Our daily habits effect water consumption without even turning on the tap!

Starting with the water cycle and our local watershed, students will gain the understanding of their direct and indirect impact on our most valuable resource. Through project-based, experiential learning, students will leave with the understanding of how to make a positive change at home and in their community. This program aligns with Next Generation Science Standards. Provided on behalf of the City of Bellingham Water Use Efficiency Program, for schools within city limits. 

Step 1: Personal water inventory
We'll prepare students by walking them through the steps of conducting a personal inventory of water use. Students record the rate of flow from their water faucets at home, how frequently or long they use water, and add up their total daily water use.

Step 2: Learning workshop
We'll spend 60-90 minutes with your class leading interactive activities 
that help connect students to the source of our drinking water, 
ways in which we use water, and misconceptions about this seemingly readily available resource.

Step 3: Action project
We'll work with you to create a hands-on project tailored for your students. The project can be custom designed by your students, or ready made (like constructing shower timers using recycled materials, salt and MATH, installing/upgrading rainwater catchment systems, or setting up a drip irrigation system). Whatever works best for you, we will support you through the process of engaging your students' creativity. 

Stewardship Education

Our Young Water Stewards program reaches out to high school students in rural Whatcom County to help our future water stewards develop an understanding of and appreciation for the importance of clean water. 

Through stewardship activities, hands-on learning, and a science-based approach, high school-aged participants will gain experience with water quality testing and analysis, Best Management Practices, and mitigation techniques to develop valuable skills and apply their learning to protect the health of our drinking water, creeks, lakes, and beaches.

Students will learn about watersheds, sources of non-point water pollution, and the complex barriers to clean water. Students will take a tour of several areas within their local watersheds, conducting water quality sampling at diverse locatio
ns. The program includes three in-class lessons, one all-day field trip, and water quality sampling, for a total of 20 hours. Provided with support from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), for schools in Whatcom County.

Student testimonials

“It was inspiring to hear all that we can do, because we hear a lot about what is wrong, but not what we can do to affect it. It was good to hear in this way.”

“I hope you continue visiting students like us because it’s very important for young people to have these discussions since we will help shape the future of this world. Please know that I am very thankful that you came and will do my best to protect the planet and its people.”

“It was interesting to see how what we buy impacts so many others.”

“I think it is very humbling and cool that you are putting a lot of your time towards trying to make a difference in something you are passionate about.”

More information

Contact the Sustainable Schools program at schools@re-sources.org or (360) 733-8307 x106. You can also register online for water conservation and waste education courses.