Key points:

  • Sustainability initiatives are increasingly important to school districts, students, and their communities
  • One school district is combining sustainability initiatives with STEM learning to empower students in their learning
  • See related article: How outdoor learning spaces lead to STEM engagement

Modesto City Schools is located in Northern California, and we receive more than 260 days of sunlight annually. While the sunshine typically provides ideal climate conditions, it can also be a double-edged sword. For several years, California residents have been affected by drought and have gained a thorough understanding of the need for water frugality and sustainable lifestyles.

Modesto City Schools has prioritized sustainability initiatives designed to address climate change, reduce our carbon footprint, combat air pollution, and educate the next generation of students about a sustainable lifestyle—and that includes renewable energy.

Our district has invested in several infrastructure upgrades including: the electrification of our school bus fleet, the construction of vehicle charging stations, solar PV parking structures, and the transition to battery powered maintenance equipment.

While these projects are critical to our sustainability journey, Modesto City Schools has taken the initiative a step further by investing in the construction of six new Sustainable Outdoor Learning Environments (SOLES) to help inspire the next generation of sustainability leaders.

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