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Teaching Sustainability Competencies to High School Students using Small-Scale Community-Based Construction Projects

Teaching Sustainability Competencies to High School Students using Small-Scale Community-Based Construction Projects
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Author(s): Mehmet E. Ozbek (Colorado State University, USA) and Caroline M. Clevenger (Colorado State University, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 58
Source title: Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ken D. Thomas (Auburn University, USA) and Helen E. Muga (University of Mount Union, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5856-1.ch014



This chapter provides case studies for teaching sustainability concepts to high school students, by implementing the service-learning model by way of small-scale, sustainable hands-on construction projects that can be built in a high school shop class. It presents two curriculum tools to assist high school shop teachers develop similar projects. These curriculum tools contain general instructions, as well as suggested “discussion points” to highlight the inherent complexity of sustainability and engage high school students in discussions surrounding sustainability. These tools, entitled “Constructing a Sustainable Great Dane Dog House,” and “Constructing Musical Instrument Stands Utilizing Sustainable Materials,” serve as reference documents for dissemination and distribution to support the development of similar future small-scale community-based sustainable construction projects. By providing case studies, this chapter supports future efforts to integrate sustainability into high school education, encourages further and similar activity development and documentation, and provides a model for promoting leadership and community engagement through service-learning for high school students and beyond. The service-learning activities outlined in the case studies have the potential to meaningfully engage high school students to increase their interest in and knowledge of sustainability.

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