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EPIC Sustainable Neighborhood Youth Challenge

Inspiring youth to engage neighborhoods in addressing Chicago's greatest environmental opportunities.

PNNM, CAW and USGBC Illinois will foster student-driven projects that answer the question, “How do you make your neighborhood more sustainable?” in the EPIC Sustainable Neighborhood Youth Challenge. PNNM will utilize its expertise and relationships working with teachers and students from Chicago Public Schools and their existing TEENS (Teenagers Exploring and Explaining Nature and Science) program to recruit teachers and their students for participation in community-based projects.

PNNM, CAW and USGBC Illinois will meet to plan the Challenge kick-off, organize experts to speak and organize marketing efforts. CAW will work to develop the Challenge identity. An introductory professional development workshops will be offered before and after the Challenge kick-off for teachers to introduce the project and support their students’ project campaigns.

USGBC Illinois will identify young professional mentors to work directly with teachers and students to support their campaign projects through feedback and sharing about real-life experience related to sustainability issues .

Throughout project development students will identify research field trip locations and apply for travel/admission stipends funded through the project.

CAW will develop, manage and host digital platforms for students to post their projects and engage with the community in conversation around their project ideas.

Finalists will be hosted at the USGBC Illinois’s Limelight event where they will display their campaigns and be recognized for the innovative work.

Partners will be documenting the outputs and impacts of the program and the participant experiences in order to evaluate the program and produce a report to be shared with other organizations.

Throughout this entire project all three partners will meet bi-monthly to plan and organize program components and continue publicity efforts.

Lead Organization:
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Partner Organizations:

Project Goal:
The team will engage with youth and mentors to foster community partnerships, develop civic responsibility, and strengthen their community through action campaigns while gaining knowledge about sustainability topics and the relationships between humans and the natural environment.

Project Tags:
2016 Round 2 RFP, 2017 Round 2 RFP