Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

The Frick Environmental Center is one of the greenest buildings in the world, with both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification. Over the past two years, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has been working with local high school teachers to create interactive, sustainability-based lessons about the Frick Environmental Center. The lessons are finished and we are looking for teachers to test them out in the classroom!

Participating teachers commit to using 2 or more lessons from one of the themed bundles listed below. Try individual lessons, mini units, or full units from one of the lesson bundles before end of April 2023 and earn:

  • A $200 stipend (paid on May 1st, 2023)
  • A free hour-long tour of the Frick Environmental Center for a class of up to 30 (transportation to Frick Environmental Center included)
  • Three Hours Act 48 credit
  • One ticket (plus a guest ticket) to attend the Educator Cohort Celebration in May 2023

Educators must register to receive the stipend and field trip. See flyer for program here.

Topics for the bundles include:

  • Frick Environmental Center Energy Usage: Use real life solar and building energy usage data from the Frick Environmental Center Building Dashboard to bring your science and math classrooms to life. The data is perfect for practicing graphing, understanding what net-zero energy means, and more.
  • Solar Energy: Frick Environmental Center’s 161.7kW solar array produces enough extra electricity to power 11 nearby homes! Deep dive into solar energy’s potential as a renewable energy including real-world activities with data from the Frick Environmental Center Building Dashboard, learning how solar panels work or building your own solar oven.
  • From Slavery to Freedom Garden: The From Slavery to Freedom Garden at the Frick Environmental Center was created in partnership with the Heinz History Center, which showcases plants found in woodlands and fields that were used for food and medicinal purposes along the journey to freedom. This bundle is truly interdisciplinary, including English, social studies, and science components.
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs): The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are 17 goals that guide environmental, economic, and social change worldwide. This bundle includes a full-length unit and mini-unit that will work in tandem with a tour of the Frick Environmental Center by highlighting the goals embodied in the Living Building Certification.
  • Sustainable Building Design & Water: The Frick Environmental Center is Living Building Certified, which is one of the most challenging building standards to meet. Using the Living Building Challenge and the Frick Environmental Center as a framework, classes can explore sustainability elements like green building materials and green infrastructure.

Contact Ellen Conrad (econrad@pittsburghparks.org) for more information.