A set of flexible classroom resources that inspires hope in students as they learn & design for a sustainable future
Wildsight is thrilled to partner with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to offer the Future Makers program to 12 teachers in the region for free. Emails, letters, and posters were sent to all CSRD schools in January 2024.
Research has shown that some youth now don’t have the tools to imagine anything but an apocalyptic future for themselves.
Instead of messages of doom, FutureMakers provides students with the knowledge to create a thriving sustainable future. The decision-making power is put into students’ hands to inspire hope for their future and give them space to feel creative, resilient, and capable.
What resources are included?
- Video lessons – Lessons start with inspiring, informative videos that introduce 5 sustainable community design topics (food, waste, water, transportation, energy). Videos also showcase examples of new technology and inspiring solutions that lead the way to a sustainable future.
- Extension buffet – If you would like to take the learning a little deeper and have time to reinforce the concepts there is a “buffet” of easy-to-use extension activities, including hands-on activities, games, and outdoor learning opportunities.
- Student planning booklet – After each video lesson, teachers give students time to record their ideas in their planning booklet, and discuss. The booklet helps guiide students through the process of designing a sustainable community of the future, with room for student notes, drawings, and reflection.
- Build time – Students use the ideas from their planning booklet to plan and create their whole community design. Teachers define how students will build and present their project, which can be tailored to specific classroom resources and goals. Build options can include cardboard, Lego, Minecraft Education, or posters. Students design, build, and then share.
- Waste field trip – Now your students can understand what happens after they put something into the waste or recycling bins. This Field Trip is often one of the most memorable experiences in our Beyond Recycling program, and should not be missed. Bussing included – *A special CSRD bonus
- Teacher Forum – At the bottom of each lesson page, check out the Teacher Forum where you can share your experiences and connect with other teachers utilizing the program – *A special CSRD bonus
- $200 honorarium -A $200 honorarium is available to teachers who complete the FutureMakers program. To access the honorarium teachers must complete all 7 FutureMakers modules and comment on each lesson. – *A special CSRD bonus
- Environmental Educator support – Have a question about FutureMakers resources? Need support as you prep for the program? Our professional environmental educator is at the ready to answer any questions – big or small – *A special CSRD bonus
How long is the program?
Developed with flexibility in mind and minimal prep required, each lesson can take less than 30 minutes or you can choose to expand the learning with options from the “extension buffet”. FutureMakers schedule includes 7 video lessons plus build time (which is defined by the teacher). Participating |CSRD Teachers gain free access to the FutureMakers program till June 30th, 2024.
How much would this cost?
JUST the FutureMakers online resources are valued at approximately $299. The CSRD has added extra value by including:
- a CSRD local waste field trip with busing included
- $200 honorarium for teachers who complete the program
- support from a Professional Environmental Educator
- online teachers forum
We estimate this increased value of the CSRD FutureMaker program to be $599.
How do I access the program resources?
All the program resources are located on the easy-to-use Future Makers website. Once logged in, getting started is as easy as clicking play on the video. Once the online registration form has been completed, CSRD Teachers will receive an email with all the details to access the password-protected FutureMakers website.
FutureMakers is designed for students in grades 4 through 7.
Why hope-based environmental education?
Research has shown that many of our youth don’t even have the tools to imagine anything but an apocalyptic future for themselves and the importance of hope, grounded in truth, in presenting complex environmental topics. Instead of starting with all of the shocking statistics, depressing facts, and stories of despair, FutureMakers helps students dream of a safe, clean, and thriving future, a future they are happy to see themselves as a part of. As psychologist Renee Lertzman argues, there is a delicate balance that must be considered between holding our conflicted feelings about the state of the future.
What schools are included in the CSRD?
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is the regional government for seven rural electoral areas and four member municipalities, Golden, Revelstoke, Sicamous and Salmon Arm, which serves more than 57,000 people in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) includes schools in SD#6, SD#19, and some areas in SD#83. FutureMakers launches to the public in Spring 2024 in partnership with the Outdoor Learning Store
What happens if the 12 CSRD spots fill up?
Additional spots may be made available. You will be notified via email after you complete the online registration form.
When will I gain access to the program resources?
Please complete the registration form. Once you have completed the registration form you will be notified by email that your registration has been received. Please whitelist firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure our emails do not get sent to your junk mail. A FutureMakers webinar will be hosted for participating teachers in early Feb 2024. Watch your inbox for details. FutureMaker online resources will be available after the webinar. All participating CSRD teachers will be sent a recording of the launch webinar with details on how to access the program. FutureMakers program resources will be available for use till June 30th, 2024.
How was the FutureMakers program developed?
FutureMakers was developed based on the Beyond Recycling program that has spent over a decade developing environmental educational resources for youth. The Beyond Recycling program has many rave reviews for the year-long, educator-led deep dive into sustainability in the Columbia Basin region of BC. In 2021, over 90 Beyond Recycling teachers provided feedback to define the ideal environmental education resource. Our team of 12 professional environmental educators gathered to review teacher feedback and develop an impactful new series of independent BR teacher lesson resources. The aim was to develop easy-to-use resource for busy classroom teacher that helps students address their future with a perspective of hope. In 2022/23, 9 teachers piloted the new environmental education resources. Participating teachers utilized the program and shared their experience, and brilliant minds with us by providing feedback in exchange for a two-hundred-dollar honorarium.
Since 1987, Wildsight has been recognized as a leader in large-scale conservation, sustainable community initiatives, and environmental education. Wildsight is a registered charity. While our work focuses on the Kootenays, and has received recognition from the communities in which we work, we are renowned throughout the province and across Canada for our effective conservation and environmental education programs, excellence, and innovation in all that we do. At our heart, we are a grassroots organization, harnessing our power from the people whose lives affect and are affected by our work. We strive to inspire a conservation ethic in our children and in our communities so that the future leaders of tomorrow will be equipped to deal with the challenges of sustainability. Since 2001, Wildsight Education programs have connected over 90,000 kids with the natural world.
Does it link to the curriculum?
The FutureMakers program ties into the BC curriculum in many ways with direct links to science, social studies, applied skills, design, and technology. The BC curriculum’s ADST design guidelines are used as a base for the final culminating activity. The extension buffet also includes curriculum-connected activities as part of the program extensions (i.e. English Language Arts, Arts, Mathematics). Specific links to the curriculum will be included in future versions of the program.