Teachers Train in Sustainability to Change Students' View on Trash

The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point is known for its sustainability innovations and programs and on Tuesday, K-12 teachers got a chance to learn new practices and resources they can use to get their kids more energy conscious.

Kevin Jorgenson is one of 11 teachers who joined in on a two-day hands-on course at UWSP on Tuesday. He's a science teacher at East Junior High in Wisconsin Rapids and though, he's no stranger to teaching sustainability, he said there's always more to learn and new ways to teach old knowledge. UWSP's state-of-the-art waste management education facility allows for real-life experiences for students, and this case for teachers.

"One of the beauties of this building is the hands-on use that we get and when I give different tours to different groups such as this one today, the folks are seeing examples of how they can do some hands-on programs for their classes," said UWSP Assistant Professor in Soil Science and Waste Management, Rob Michitsch.

The class wasn't limited to science teachers. Teachers of all subjects were able to attend and Jorgenson said it's important to get this education across all subject areas.

"The more they (students) hear about it in different areas of education, maybe the importance saying 'well, this is kind of important. This isn't just for geeky science people, this is like wow, my music teacher is talking about this too. So he composts or she composts, it's like maybe this is something we should be doing ourselves'" he said.

"Our non-renewable resources are running out," said UWSP Energy Education Specialist, Sara Windjue. "We do need to use our resources smarter, whether it is energy or water, we need to pay attention to how we use our energy so future generations can also use energy sources that are available today."

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