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Michigan TOY - Rick Joseph
Rick Joseph, a fifth/sixth-grade teacher at Birmingham Covington School in Bloomfield Hills, MI, was named Michigan Teacher of theYear for 2015.

In 2013-2014, Rick participated in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development, which was jointly funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and the Japanese Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. He traveled to Japan to study how schools in Japan encouraged sustainable practices in students and he still keeps in touch with other teachers who participated in the program. 

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On April 26, 2015, a group of 14 K-12 Japanese teachers arrived in Washington, DC to participate in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The teachers attended an orientation in Washington, DC and visited schools in the DC area offering ESD-related curricula, focusing on sustainability, the environment, the green schools movement, and nutrition.

After the orientation, the teachers visited K-12 schools throughout the DC metro area as well as other ESD resource sites such as the Japanese Teachers Participating in ESD ActivitiesSmithsonian Science Education Center and the Washington Youth Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. The teachers enjoyed learning about the programs being implemented in the U.S. and learned about activities that could be implemented in their schools back in Japan. Following a two-night homestay with DC-area residents, the 14 Japanese teachers traveled to San Francisco where they were joined by the 14 U.S. participants for a three-day joint conference focused on the collaborative development of ESD curricula.
In June 2015, the 14 U.S. participants will travel to Japan to visit Japanese schools focused on ESD. The two groups of teachers will meet in Japan for another joint conference where they will solidify relationships and collaborations begun in San Francisco.

The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Embassy of the United States in Japan. The program is administered by the Japan-U.S. Education Commission (Fulbright Japan) and implemented by the Institute of International Education and the Asia/Pacific Cultural Center for UNESCO. 


Join us on Sept 18, 2015 for a global cloud film premiere! This is the second annual Character Day, which launched last year with over 1500 schools and organizations collaborating in the premiere of the film The Science of Character.

This year, Let It Ripple, a San Francisco-based 501c3, will premiere two new films, The Adaptable Mind and The Making of a Mensch, along with new discussion materials, a more in-depth research hub, and a robust global conversation around 'character' from different perspectives -- science, education, philosophy, and more. 

Click here to learn more about Character Day and to preview the films.

Good Thinking YouTube Videos
Elementary and middle school educators in search of multimedia teaching materials can turn to the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). The STEM initiative run by the Smithsonian Institution has launched a web series called Good Thinking! that seeks to clear up scientific misconceptions through its cast of pleasant, colorfully-animated characters.

Click here to read more and to access the videos.


Education Week's guest bloggers Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton write about the benefits of study abroad for elementary and secondary school students. They also share their idea of a well-designed program which contains several ingredients for success. 

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Peter Bittner, guest blogger for Education Week, explores an underutilized—and free—resource: undergraduate students studying abroad. How powerful would it be if they each committed to sharing their experience with one classroom?

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