Green Chemistry: The Green Curriculum
"Benign by design," green chemistry is designed to have less impact on the environment by creating lower levels of waste and toxicity than traditional chemistry. Green chemistry is also a compelling way to assist teachers as they strive to interest middle school students (ages 9 – 13) in science and math.
Curriculum & Teacher Training
The curriculum and teacher training work of Beyond Benign seeks to deliver teaching and learning tools to K-12 educators in order that they may share dynamic science experiences with their students with an emphasis on objective reasoning through the consideration of economy, society and the environment in equal measure.
Through the framework of green chemistry, K-12 Education at Beyond Benign is able to explore curriculum content across the board with a view to the future and the sustainability of social, industrial, economic and environmental sustainability. Curriculum materials take an independent stance where students are put in the position of decision maker and scientific issues are put under a neutral microscope.
The staff of the K-12 Education Department of Beyond Benign are all former or current classroom teachers who are committed to dynamic science instruction, where every student is a scientist with the potential to affect the future. Staff has experience in developing curriculum units, lesson plans and professional development experiences for all grade level teachers in science and using a multi-disciplinary approach to connect science to issues-based education and real world problems.
Green Chemistry in New York State Schools
"Green Chemistry in New York State Schools" is a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation project funded by Region 2 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote green chemistry in New York schools. DEC is conducting chemical inventorying and assessment, developing a chemical hygiene plan at four high schools, one in each of the following regions of the state: Capital District, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. Additionally they are offering a green chemistry training workshop for science teachers led by Beyond Benign. Two successful trainings have been completed with over 60 teachers being trained within the Hudson Valley at Liberty High School on Oct 7, 2011 and the Capital District at Siena College on January 20, 2012.
Teachers were provided with an introduction to green chemistry, a printed guide of green chemistry laboratories and lessons and access to tools and resources to implement and integrate into the curriculum. By working in teams and engaging in hands-on activities teachers walked away a number of concrete ways to implement green chemistry practices into the classroom. Here's what Kathy P teacher from the Hudson Valley had to say about the Liberty workshop, "I wanted to walk away with practical and safer labs and I am!"
Green Chemistry Online Course for Educators
2013 Summer Registration Open
Green Chemistry is the science of creating safe, energy efficient and non-toxic products and processes and offers a concrete path towards solving the environmental problems our society faces today.
This course begins with an introduction to the 12 principles of green chemistry and then concentrates on the exploration and creation of green chemistry lesson plan materials. Educational resources that are proven vehicles for bringing green chemistry concepts to high school students will be introduced. These lesson plans are designed to integrate into current curriculum and meet national education standards in science and connecting disciplines.
The materials are designed for high-tech, low-tech
and no-tech implementation so that teachers with
varying resources have an avenue for implementation.
21st Century Chemistry
Much effort has been made by individual teachers, educators and professors to introduce green chemistry concepts into lecture courses, substitute green chemistry laboratory exercises in place of traditional toxic labs, and use green chemistry as a research framework. This effort has been effective at creating individual leaders in the green chemistry educational movement. However, a widespread, systematic method for implementing green chemistry throughout educational institutions does not yet exist.
The Green Chemistry Commitment is designed for higher educational institutions in order to provide a platform for changing the education of chemists. Colleges and universities will sign-on to commit to changing curriculum, laboratory exercises, course materials, methods and research practices. As a non-profit organization who partners regularly with colleges and universities to advance green chemistry, Beyond Benign is well poised to lead this program, through collaboration with academic partners.