Last fall, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and DonorsChoose.org partnered to launch the Teach for the Planet challenge, asking teachers to come up with their most innovative ideas to teach students about sustainability, climate change, and the environment.More than 500 teachers answered this call, and after a review process from teachers and industry experts, and DonorsChoose.org staff, we selected 12 finalist projects. We then opened voting up to the public, and more than 100,000 votes later, four projects were ultimately chosen as the winners of DonorsChoose.org’s first-ever “innovation challenge.”Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the third phase of the Teach for the Planet challenge to spread the best project ideas across the country. Thanks to continued support from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, teachers who want to incorporate the finalist projects into their own classrooms will be able to do so. Take a look at this FAQ to learn how to do so.6/11 UPDATE: We encourage teachers from grades 6-12 to submit projects for your classrooms.Please note that funding is no longer available for projects from grades PreK-5. If you’re inspired by one of these projects, feel free to adapt these ideas for your own classroom, but note that the Almost Home offer will not appear for projects from grades PreK-5.FAQWhat’s this all about?We selected 12 finalist projects that demonstrated particularly innovative, effective ways to teach about sustainability, climate change, and the environment. If you’d like to use one of these project ideas for your classroom, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will sponsor a match offer for you!What are the projects?6/11 UPDATE: We encourage teachers from grades 6-12 to submit projects for your classrooms.Please note that funding is no longer available for projects from grades PreK-5. If you’re inspired by one of these projects, feel free to adapt these ideas for your own classroom, but note that the Almost Home offer will not appear for projects from grades PreK-5.Grades PreK-2S.O.S.!! (Solar Offers Sustainability) Part 2Beach Buddies- Teach for the PlanetPlanting Detroit Solutions for PollutionGrades 3-5Sustainability! Cafeteria Trash Compost to Garden TreasureEngineered Lake Trout Delivery SystemLet's Adjust Our Behavior and Save Water!Grades 6-8Shaking with Sustainability!Earth Doesn't Deserve to Be Deserted!Sustainable Urban Agriculture for the PlanetGrades 9-12Sustainable Concert Design & Light Sculpture Art ShowClimate Change Investigations Leading To ActivismCollecting Bugs to Change the Planet (and My Students)!!!What’s this match offer?An Almost Home match offer will take your project to under $100, if other donors provide the remaining funds needed. Instead of fundraising $1,000, then, you’ll only have to fundraise $100!What do I need to do to get the match offer?
- Review the project you want to bring into your own classroom.
- Post a project on DonorsChoose.org and request the same (or similar) materials that were in the original project. For example, Ms. Mowry requested a Crayola colored pencil set, but if you’d prefer a different brand of pencils or other writing utensils entirely, feel free to request those instead. You can request more materials if you have more students (or less, if you have fewer students!), up to a limit of 2x the original project cost.
- Include "Teach for the Planet:" before your project title. It should look something like this:
- Make sure the rest of your essays are unique and reflect your own classroom and needs.
- Select Environmental Science as your subject area
- For the first sentence of the essay describing how your students will use the materials, write “This project is inspired by” followed by the name of the project you’re replicating. It should look something like this:
- Hit submit! If our screening team sees any issues, we’ll reach out to you to let you know.
When will I get my stuff?Over the summer, DonorsChoose.org goes on ordering break. To make sure that your items don’t get lost, we stop ordering materials for funded projects 35 days before the last day of school for students. Instead, we’ll order them for the start of the next school year. Check out this help center article for more information about ordering break.Could you give me some more information about the projects that I can replicate? Definitely! We asked the teachers to give us some more information about their projects. Check out what they had to say here.I have more questions!Great! Get in touch with us through our help center here, and we’ll help out however we can.