Cool Communities Working Together with Science ?· 2008-03-04 · Cool Communities Working Together…

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    Cool Communities Working Together with Science Teachers ISTA has been invited to organize a special opportunity for members of our organization to implement class projects that partner with your local municipalities during the spring and early summer of 2008. The East Richland School District in Olney is expanding its Mathematics and Science Partnership to allow for mini-grants that provide seed money to address challenges that face Illinois communities with their students and community leaders. ISTA is partnering with the Illinois Municipal League to emphasize how our members are vital community members and the impact of working together will powerfully affect our Cool Communities. By the time you receive this issue of the Spectrum, all details for the mini-grant program will be posted on the ISTA web page ( We are posting reference materials and possible sources of expertise and ideas for your applications to receive funding up to $500 for community environmental research, action plans and implementation. Inspiration for projects: Is there a climate change community issue that can provide the setting for you and your

    students and your local community to work together to resolve? You dont need to have the Artic ice cap in your back yard! You can consider any facet of these seven global issues: energy, waste reduction, urban design, nature, transportation, environmental health, or water, as described in the Introduction to the San Francisco Urban Environmental Accords, United Nations Environment Program, World Environment Day, June 5, 2005.

    Is our community a Coolcities member? Has our mayor signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement? Would this be a Cool challenge? (See: Coolcities: Solving Global Warming One City at a Time, Sierra Club, and/or U.S. Congress of Mayors, U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement,; Newsweek, April 16, 2007 issue)

    Could we take on the Fairchild Challenge? The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois is organizing a series of ten contests including events for T-shirt design, recycled artwork, a poetry slam, picture book design, photojournalism, civic engagement, etc, all focusing on a variety of Illinois-specific ideas. At this point, the competition is designed for high school groups, but there are allowances for elementary or middle school possibilities. You can find out more by contacting Tree Sturman ( or 847/835-8343).

    What is our schools carbon footprint and what might we do to reduce it? How can our community become more aware of its greening/cooling responsibilities? What about organizing a Lights Out Campaign, already happening in many US cities? Or

    a Household Hazardous Waste Pick-up? Can we address the challenges of greenwashing---questioning the environmental-friendly

    claims on common products? Timeline: February 15: Applications due February 28: Notification of selection, Project work begins immediately July 15: End date for all projects

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    Access application instructions on the web at: Your application must include a letter of commitment from your local community partner. Your application (within a maximum of two pages) will address your choice of community issue, explaining how the investigation will be accomplished, within the prescribed timeline, with direct connection to your standards-based curriculum, assigning responsibilities and explaining projected expenses and projecting the possibilities for local media coverage Submit five copies of your application postmarked by February 15 to ISTA Executive Director Harry Hendrickson, 218 Cumberland Drive, Rochester, IL 62563. ISTA expects to be able to fund up to 30 projects, hoping for a wide geographic distribution of selected projects. We think that the competition will be high. We hope to pursue possibilities for sustaining this project over time, based on your interest levels. Project proposals that will receive the highest priority will incorporate the following components: A strong link between student and community leaders investigating community

    environmental issues. A creative and focused plan that can be accomplished in the established time frame. Projects

    that propose possible longer-term sequencing or stages are encouraged. Alignment of the authentic student investigations to the Illinois Learning Standards, possibly

    extending current curriculum beyond the classroom. Commitment from local community or municipality for matching funding or in-kind

    services. The budget request is based on the best bang for the buck!! This includes the consideration

    for the anticipated number of students who will be involved. Local media coverage is incorporated into the design. We look forward to this chance for statewide action---thinking globally, acting locally. For further information contact Harry at or 217-498-8411.