This article originally appeared in the Rochester Business Journal, June 22, 2021.
The Harley School has been awarded a grant by the Edward E. Ford Foundation for the advancement of the school’s climate change curriculum, enhancement of its sustainability plan and dissemination of educational resources to schools across the country to amplify impact.
Just 12 other schools received grants from the foundation, whose mission is to improve secondary education by supporting independent schools and “encouraging promising practices.” The Harley School will receive $96,225 and plans to match the award with the support of the school community.
The school already has made the understanding of climate change a priority. Harley’s student-run sustainability club studies ways the school can limit its carbon footprint, including a composting initiative for school lunch trays. The Commons is an immersive learning space devoted to education for a sustainable future where students manage a structure with low impact in energy, water and carbon dioxide consumption.
The school says it will use the grant to determine methods through which instructors can integrate critical investigations around climate change into existing course materials. The goal will be to provide a holistic education through studies of the beginnings of CO2 production during the industrial revolution, zoonotic disease past and present in Europe, and the politics of climate change in the United States.
Technology upgrades also will be made with items such as laser cutters and 3D printers to enhance learning in biomimicry and sustainable farming innovation.