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A Ripple Effect

As Green New Deal Housing’s Train the Trainers (T3) cohort passes the quarter mark, momentum is building, and a transformative educational journey is well underway. Through a blend of in-person and virtual sessions, educators and green building enthusiasts are immersed in a comprehensive curriculum, and exploring ways to implement green principles and practices into their work and curriculum. Participants are not merely absorbing information; they are actively applying insights and crafting training methods.

Here is a brief overview of what participants have learned so far: decoding what “green" really means in the context of buildings, clean energy basics, and the fundamentals of building science. The Green New Deal Housing curriculum also emphasizes putting theory into practice. During the last teaching session at MN North College Itasca campus, instructor Josh VandeBerg demonstrated a blower door test to illustrate how homes are tested for air leakage. The sessions are inspiring and preparing the participants to train others in these green building principles and skills.

Implementation was a hot topic during the most recent in-person learning session. To kick off those conversations, Rachel and Josh prompted the cohort to reflect on the impact from previous sessions. Cohort members were excited and eager to apply T3 teaching principles, but also expressed a healthy apprehension: The sentiment that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" echoed in the discussion. The reflections from the cohort underscore a crucial trait in great builders and teachers: recognizing the importance of saying “I don’t know,” getting other experts involved, and continuing to learn. We feel grateful to work with a cohort that practices this skill with open minds and plenty of feedback.

The ripple effects of the T3 program are already tangible. Two high school teachers in the cohort are preparing to use the “build a wall competition,” a learning activity taught in the very first T3 session, in their classrooms. The T3 learning activities are being used exactly as designed - as accessible resources for educators to enhance and supplement their existing curriculum. Through these activities, their students will learn building science concepts like thermal bridging and the benefit of continuous insulation.

In the spirit of sharing free and accessible resources, Green New Deal Housing is posting the T3 program’s virtual learning sessions on youtube. You can watch our most recent learning session on Health, Equity, and Economic Growth through Energy Efficiency, taught by guest instructors Dana Saylor and Linnea Morgan of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, here.

Stay tuned as the cohort continues their transformative journey as accelerators of green building principles and skills. These future trainers will play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future for all of us. Green New Deal Housing’s T3 program is more than a professional development opportunity; it’s a catalyst for change.

The Train the Trainers program is sponsored by:

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