Speed Greening for Sustainability Literacy

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As our need for sustainable practices grows, so too does the green career industry grows. Green careers bring a wide variety of employment opportunities to students. As these careers are relatively new to the world, students need exposure to the variety of positions available to them after graduation.

Connecting students to green career professionals gives students the opportunity to explore careers outside of their normal perspectives. Students can question the professionals about education and training pathways, the industry’s future direction, and successful entry points into the industry.

Exposure to green careers allows students to make informed decisions on their own career pathways and inspire students to make changes in their personal lives. From solar panel installation to environmental economics to organic gardening, green career opportunities are expanding across the globe and are exciting, unexplored potential professions for many students.

Get started

  • Ask students to research types of green careers. Students should note careers that are abundant in their area and have a direct relationship with sustainability. Once their list of careers is compiled, have students choose 3 to individually research. For each career pathway chosen, students should research the education needed, growth of the industry in the past 5 years, and skills needed.
  • Tell students to choose their favorite career pathway and prepare a presentation, encouraging each student to choose a unique pathway to avoid redundancy. After students present, tell them they will invite 10 professionals from the career pathways of their choosing to the school. Let students discuss and vote on the types of professionals they want to interview.
  • Once students choose the types of professionals, have students research for individual contacts and send invitations. Students should also create questions for each professional and create flyers to advertise the event.
  • Plan logistics for the day. Make sure to plan out how students will talk to each of the professionals. 15 minute intervals for groups of 5 is a good way to ensure each student will be able ask all questions.
  • Allow students to explore green career pathways further with the Learning Lab Green Careers module from USGBC. The lessons will ask students to explore green career pathways, identify their strengths and goals which leads to an in depth research into their field of interest. On Learning Lab, you can find other high-quality classroom content — over 450 lessons — for teachers from kindergarten to high school. To locate more lessons about green careers, search by theme, learning standard, teaching method, or keyword.

Additional resources

  • Use this resource kit from Earth Institute to guide students in researching green careers.
  • Connect with green career professionals remotely (or watch archived sessions) with Nepris.

Example projects