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Discovery Elementary School | LEED Gold | Photo: Alan Karchmer

Discovery Elementary School

Support mastery of STEM concepts with Building Learners—a K-12 education program that uses the operations of a school building to teach students about sustainability.

Students are empowered to use their building as a learning laboratory by collecting, analyzing, and conducting real-world investigations that inform their school's improvements around waste, energy, water, health, and transportation. Working with the school’s facility manager students also gain exposure to sustainability careers and build positive relationships with members of their community.

Use the school as a learning tool
The Building Learners lessons teach students the science behind buildings and sustainability concepts, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to investigate and improve the eco footprint of their school.

Track and evaluate real-world data
Students collect and track their school’s water, energy, waste, transportation, and environmental health data using the Arc platform.
Learn more.

Supporting students, teachers and facility managers

  • Hands-on and project-based learning experiences
  • Data analysis and practical problem-solving skills
  • Exposure to green careers

  • Engaging, standards-aligned STEM-based curriculum
  • Lesson planning tools to inspire students to design green solutions

Facility managers
  • Conserve resources as a result of student-led projects
  • Buy-in for sustainability improvements
  • Dashboard to track and communicate school sustainability metrics


Students were excited to create real change in the school. They were excited to come to class and work on this project because they could see a measurable difference in the sustainability rating of our school...This experience motivated them towards becoming more active around environmental issues in general.” – Chris Donnelly, 10th grade CTE Environmental Science teacher, Boston, MA

Case studies



  • In Arc for Schools: Practical Tips, experts describe how Arc is used in schools to improve sustainability performance and enhance student learning. Learn how Arc can help your school collect data to paint a picture of its current sustainability performance and set goals for improvement.
  • In the Building Learners series, we hear from teachers, school sustainability staff, and mentors about how the K-12 program empowers students to use their school building as a learning laboratory, while meeting learning targets and supporting career connections.
    • Intro to Building Learners
    • Teaching with Your School Building
    • Students Drive Sustainability
    • Green Professionals Propel Project-based Learning

Explore Building Learners lessons

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