Green Career Expos
Four Green Career Expos will be hosted over the course of the grant period. At these expos, high school students will learn about potential “green” careers and meet with employers in an informal setting, and learn more about career tracks, job and internship opportunities offered by companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations located in the Metropolitan Washington DC and Baltimore area.
Two Green Career Expos took place in March 2014. The purpose of these expos is to showcase green career opportunities to District high school students. The nonprofit grantees performed targeted outreach to high school guidance counselors, created flyers and an optional on-line RSVP form, recruited panelists and exhibitors, and created activities for students to engage with exhibitors.
While these expos were extremely successful in introducing many people to green careers, the intended audience of high school students proved very difficult to reach. Interestingly, many people attending the panel discussions were adults considering changing careers (at Rooting DC) or middle school-aged students (at the DC STEM Fair). Direct outreach to high school guidance counselors also did not prove to be effective; students attended on the recommendation of their teachers. Additionally, many students did not pre-register online before the events, making it difficult to determine the actual number of student attendees. Many of the lessons learned from these expos will be taken into consideration when planning the two future expos.
Rooting DC took place on March 1, 2014 at Wilson SHS. It included the following:
- Jobs in the Food System panel discussion: Panelists included Chris Bradshaw, executive director of Dreaming Out Loud; Myeasha Taylor, school garden coordinator at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School; Lauren Williams, executive chef at Chartwells; and Nick Wiseman, co-owner and founder of DGS Delicatessen. The panel was moderated by Amtchat Edwards, conservation education specialist at the US Forest Service. Over 1000 attendees went to 70 workshops related to urban agriculture and the food system. It is estimated there were approximately 18 high school students. Students were given a bingo card to complete when visiting vendor/organization tables, but none were turned in.
The DC STEM Fair took place on March 22, 2014, at H.D. Woodson SHS.
- Green STEM Careers panel discussion: Panelists included Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine; Dennis Chestnut, executive director of Groundwork Anacostia River DC; Phillip San Gabriel, teacher at H.D. Woodson SHS; and Neil Qusba, program director at DC Greenworks. The panel was moderated by Rebecca Davis, consultant with the DC Environmental Education Consortium.
- The STEM Expo included a student scavenger hunt, to encourage interaction with the 26 exhibitors, most of whom had engaging, hands-on STEM activities. The system for collecting the completed forms did not work, so it is unknown how many were completed.