LAUSD to Teach Students Water Conservation

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20, 2015) – Los Angeles Unified School District officials said Wednesday they have received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency to teach students about conserving water.

The grant will create a pilot program focused in the 2015-16 school year on water sustainability, part of the “One Water LA” Educational Initiative. That initiative is a collaborative effort between the District and Los Angeles Sanitation, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Metropolitan Water District to reduce water use at schools and homes, and to educate and empower students on water conservation.

The “One Water LA” program was formed in April 2014 from Board President Steve Zimmer’s resolution on water conservation and drought awareness. The Division of Instruction in collaboration with the District’s afterschool program, known as Beyond the Bell, and the Transportation Services Division will work with the environmental agency to put the pilot program into effect. This will help L.A. Unified to foster the next generation of environmental stewards.

“Scientific evidence demonstrates that the climate is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, with elevated temperatures, melting icebergs, extreme weather patterns, species extinction and other effects,” said Zimmer. “Los Angeles is currently experiencing extreme drought conditions and it is the responsibility of educators to ensure the next generation is equipped with the necessary tools to develop solutions, not only for climate change but for other problems, or else the Earth as we know it today will cease to exist in the future.”

The sanitation agency, which is funding the “One Water LA” initiative, also will train students at their Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion. Other educational organizations involved in the effort, include EcoTelesis/UCLA Engineering Extension, Climate Resolve and LA Waterkeeper. The student’s learning will be aligned with content standards, including California Next Generation Science Standards, a common level of scientific knowledge that all students need to graduate high school.

“Educators need to create the next generation of Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) experts in the workforce and this curriculum will increase the STEM education pipeline from middle to high school,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said about students studying STEM. “It is important to educate students to be college-prepared as STEM majors and career-ready for STEM jobs.

Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766