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USA/Taiwan—Eco-Campus Partnership

The National Wildlife Federation was awarded a three year grant through the International Environment Program Partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and EPA Taiwan (EPAT). The program was launched at a media event in March 2015 at North Chevy Chase Elementary and the keynote speakers were Ambassador Shen from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative’s Office (TECRO) and Ms. Jane Nishida from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Taiwann ESIn its first year, the program provided high-quality collaborative educational experiences for students in Houston, TX; Broward County, FL; New York City; New Jersey; Los Angeles/Ventura County, CA; and the Washington, D.C., metro area to connect with students in Taiwan. These experiences took place on an innovative online collaborative platform called iEARN. Teachers participated in a rigorous professional development that taught them the basics of project-based learning (PBL). In its second year, 60 participating schools from Houston and Austin, TX; Broward County, FL; New Jersey; New York City; Los Angeles/Ventura County, CA; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA, metro area; and the Washington, D.C., metro area were paired with 60 sister schools in various parts of Taiwan.

Project Goals

  • To develop a national program that will bring communities in both the U.S. and Taiwan closer together
  • Our long term goal is that every K-12 school in Taiwan has the opportunity to be matched with a sustainable sister school in the United States
  • Our hope is that this will serve as a model for replicability in other global regions and countries
  • This project will enable global project-based sustainability programming that supports the integration of sustainability practices and principles into participating schools and fosters a common commitment to the environment, conservation, and sustainable development

Environmental and Education Goals

  • The development of collaborative projects based on environmental or sustainability themes
  • These projects will provide the building blocks that support both the USA’s and Taiwan’s long-term commitment to environmental sustainability and environmental literacy
  • An increased intercultural understanding with the school community – helping students to develop a more well defined world view
  • Improved competency and confidence in using technology to communicate and share information
  • And creating opportunities for shared pedagogies, joint curriculum development and dialogue between students and educators in each country

Benefits of the Eco-Campus Schools Partnership

  • Improved student environmental literacy
  • Development of sustainability themed projects
  • These will be collaborative between classrooms and schools in each country
  • Sharing of information, research, ideas, and results
  • Curriculum support, extension and enrichment through project-based learning
  • Project-based learning provides deeper knowledge of subject matter
  • Increased student motivation, creativity, and innovation
  • Improved research and problem-solving skills necessary for 21st-century education skills
  • A greater awareness and exploration of community issues and future career paths
  • Increased engagement with peers, adults, and community members
  • Provide a venue for exploration of culture, identity, and the important global world view

“This gives students a cross-cultural concept and global perspective. I learned how to guide students to solve problems on their own and make friends with people from all over the world.”
~ Jiun Fan Lin, Tainan Kuang Hua High School

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