Copenhagen, Denmark (2 June 2021) – The Alcoa W5 project supported by the Alcoa Foundation and delivered through the Eco-Schools programme has officially started its fourth year of implementation. Over the next 14 months, thousands of students in 33 schools across four countries will participate in hands-on actions around the themes of waste, water, energy (watts), climate change (warming) and biodiversity (wildlife).
The Alcoa W5 project will increase teachers’ knowledge of Green STEM – looking at the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines through an environmental lens – and its implementation in their indoor and outdoor classrooms. Green STEM provides students with opportunities to work with real-world sustainability issues where their learning outcomes help solve concrete problems in their school and local community through collaboration and critical thinking.
This year, schools in the project will also be working closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - 17 interlinked and ambitious global goals that are intended to ensure a sustainable world by 2030. Teachers and students will be connecting their learning and activities with the SDGs to help accelerate the achievement of the goals.
On a national level, National Wildlife Federation in the USA, FEE Norway in Norway, Keep Australia Beautiful in Australia and EcoSchools Canada in Canada will provide teacher training, develop resources, and support Alcoa volunteer opportunities. Canada is a new country in the project.
Lindsay Bunce, Executive Director of EcoSchools Canada, says, "EcoSchools Canada is thrilled to be a partner on the Alcoa W5 Project. In Canada, we will be working with nine schools in the province of Quebec to deepen environmental literacy and community action. By exploring issues that are pertinent to each community, focused on warming, water, watts, wildlife, and waste, schools will be inspired to launch meaningful projects and awareness-building campaigns. These include planting pollinator gardens, reducing single-use plastic waste, and planting trees. Over the next 14 months, EcoSchools is excited to support each unique school to take meaningful action for their community and the planet."
Daniel Schaffer, CEO of the Foundation for Environmental Education, says “Schools around the world have had a very challenging past year due to COVID-19. They have had to adapt and re-think their way of teaching and learning. The importance of Green STEM has been highlighted again during the pandemic. This creates opportunity for a project like this and the continued support from the Alcoa Foundation is vital in such challenging times. To support the programme, we will also focus on training of teachers through FEE Academy, an online teaching and learning platform.”
Rosa Garcia Pineiro, President of the Alcoa Foundation, says “Alcoa Foundation is proud to continue to support green STEM education and environmental literacy efforts in collaboration with our Alcoa W5 partners. We appreciate the opportunity to explore issues unique to each community and equip the next generation of leaders with better knowledge and tools to support our communities to be more resilient. We are also pleased the program will be aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goals in this year’s implementation, providing an opportunity to show communities´ support to a better planet. We thank our partners for their continued dedication and creativity as they implement this program in the midst of the global pandemic.”
Learn more about the Alcoa W5 project at https://www.ecoschools.global/alcoaw5