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WISE Website – Whole Systems Integrated Sustainable Design for Education: An Interactive Website for Educators and StudentsEPA Grant Number: SU833205
Title: WISE Website – Whole Systems Integrated Sustainable Design for Education: An Interactive Website for Educators and Students
Investigators: Parajuli, Pramod , Guthrie, Michelle , Hemenway, Toby , Lans, Kristen
Institution: Portland State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2006) Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Information Technology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability
The WISE website tool will be effectively disseminated to a range of middle schools in order to promote sustainable design solutions that address the needs of people, prosperity, and the planet through education and hands-on design projects.
Phase II of WISE will expand the website’s use both nationally and internationally, within the Columbia River watershed and the developing world. The three main strategies of Phase II are as follows.
WISE Website Dissemination: This will be facilitated at conferences and workshops within the Columbia watershed, nationally and internationally. The WISE research team will present to 15 groups of peers, experts and educators in the field of sustainability and sustainability/Ecological Education. International presentations will focus the use of the WISE website to developing countries.
Action-grants: Holding a grant competition for proposed WISE action projects within the Columbia River Watershed. This will be achieved by: a) soliciting proposals from a broad range of potential WISE user middle schools in the Columbia River Watershed and in the developing world; b) judging proposals based on t heir understanding of WISE and the relationships of sustainability to people, prosperity and the planet; and c) offering a range of action-grants for successful applicants. Out of a pool of applicants who will have been required to train in and work through the WISE program in-depth, approximately 13 schools will be awarded WISE project implementation action grants. Twelve schools will be selected in our Columbia Watershed, and one school will be selected in the developing countries of Nepal or Ecuador. Phase II of the WISE project would offer a rare opportunity for children, educators, and community partners to engage in the process of designing and co-creating a sustainable world.
Website Development: Further development of the WISE website will expand the site to include interactive mapping, more in-depth information and “Wiki” or editable section. Mapping became a central focus of the website and integrating it into the website will help students learn more about their surroundings and connect to one another. An editable forum or Wiki serves as a link between students at various schools, providing the opportunity for students to share their ideas and successes.
The success of the project will be measured in terms of the actual extent of the dissemination and use of the WISE tool by schools. Focus of evaluation will be on what learning needs of divergent stakeholders were being met and what demonstrable impact was evident in the school design. Quantitative as well as qualitative evaluation tools will be developed to assess if the WISE project is resulting in new knowledge or skills. Also measured will be: changed attitudes; opinions; values; motivation; aspiration; behavior; practice and school-wide decisions; and if WISE effected policies in school buildings, energy use, food production and use, transportation, and the built environment.