The Way We Live

...and how our choices impact our environment


Helping Students Protect the Environment and Live Well--Scroll to the bottom of the page for enrollment details.

Part I:  Mon., June 15 (9-4) & Tues. June 16, 2015 (9-4)
Part II: Sat. November 14, 2015 (9-12:30)

Students post their needs and wants

Students in Janesville 6-8th grade classes identified "needs" and "wants" and made decisions about material possessions as they relate to quality of life. Teachers Emily Stensland and Liz Foelske included global studies, and a mentoring project, in their unit of study. 

Location:  Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency Education Center, 1954 County Home Rd., Marion, Iowa

Audience: Targeted specifically to PreK-8th grades. Great for nearly all subject areas. 9-12 grade Language Arts, Social Studies and Environmental Science are welcomed, as materials are adaptable. Other secondary teachers: Contact instructor before enrolling.

Credit: One hour of graduate OR undergraduate credit

Cost:  $75 or free*  

*FREE for 5 Undergraduates: Up to five undergraduate education majors are eligible for a $75 stipend upon successful completion of the workshop. Stipends are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early!

*FREE for Eligible Teachers:  A limited number of $75 teacher stipends are available upon successful completion of the workshop. Click here for more details!

Stipends are provided through the generous support of solid waste agencies, the Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program. 

Bonus:  Extend you and your students' learning, while making the study more challenging and meaningful, by conducting a student-driven community engagement project!  Classrooms receive $50 to assist with project expenses.

Workshop description: Explore with your K-8 students the products Americans use daily—“the stuff of life.” These products have a life cycle: They are extracted, transported, produced, used and disposed of around the globe—including in Iowa. Study how this “stuff” is a primary source of environmental problems and examine how this relates to life satisfaction. Then, identify individual and collective actions to address these challenges. Course content is real and relevant. Materials introduced are interdisciplinary and classroom-ready and are designed so your students learn essential skills and concepts from the Iowa Core as well as NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.  Click here for learning objectives. 


"Helping Students Protect the Environment and Live Well" workshop participants

You will receive:

  • One hour of graduate (or undergraduate) credit
  • $50+ of free books and resources such as Agatha’s Feather Bed, by Carmen Agra Deedy, and The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brambeau
  • Free meals and refreshments
  • Tour of the Cedar Rapids Linn County Landfill
  • Loads of great classroom-ready resources and background information so you enrich your teaching and make your work more challenging and meaningful

Requirements: After attending Part I, participants develop a mini-unit using at least two new-to-them resources provided at the workshop. Educators wanting graduate credit then return to their classrooms and teach mini-units, integrating their new knowledge and materials into existing curricula. In the Part II November workshop, educators exchange information, discussing what worked and what didn’t.  It's a fun, exciting workshop!

Participation in all of Parts I & II is required for undergraduate and graduate credit.

Instructors: Susan Salterberg and Denise Tallakson

Our instructor philosophy: We aim to model effective teaching strategies and introduce concepts and materials with passion, enthusiasm and honesty, challenging you to think critically. We also are committed to providing you with practical, engaging resources to help your students learn essential skills.

Contact Susan Salterberg to learn more (, 319-337-4816).

To enroll:  The workshop is full, but we strongly encourage you to complete the enrollment form to secure a spot on the waiting list. Often, we have cancellations. Email Susan Salterberg with questions. 

Use the following information within the indicated sections of the Enrollment Form.  Other sections on the form should be self-explanatory.

7.  Class Nbr -- Undergraduate enter 70835; Graduate enter 70836      
Indicate Undergraduate or Graduate credit
10.  List your previous degree information if taking the course for Graduate credit
16.  Click “I AGREE” to submit your Enrollment Form.  You will receive an automated reply saying it has been submitted.

Click here to enroll.

Supported by: REAP Conservation Education ProgramIowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program, and area landfills and solid waste agencies