It started with a question - What does it take for a community to be sustainable?
It is founded in how we choose to learn and collaborate as a community.
Sustainability implores us to recognize the interdependent actions of all of us in a community.
When people, young and old, are excited to learn, know how to critically think, problem-solve, and take risks, they become community contributors.
Deeper Learning models such as project-based learning and place-based education foster these skills.
Umi means ocean or sea in Japanese. Umi represents the largest ecosystem on the planet, and its intricate web of interdependency that exists in the millions of living communities under water. It’s a representation of what it is to be interdependent and sustainable in a community.
The Umi Project focuses on doing the hard work of creating intentionally designed systems in education that contribute to the future we want for the next generation.
The Umi Project supported the design of Tiny Trees Homer’s Forest School’s Curriculum Framework for their K-1 microschool program, and submitted application requirements for statewide child care licensing.
In 2020, The Umi Project partnered with Anchorage STrEaM Academy to provide support in Project-Based Learning systems and instructional coaching. In 2021, The Umi Project worked with the Academic Policy Committee and facilitated and completed the school’s first Strategic Plan.
The Umi Project designed, built and launched the Climate Action Toolkit project in partnership with Green Island Films in Honolulu, HI, available for free to all educators worldwide.
In 2021, The Umi Project provided professional development on deeper-learning systems and project-based learning to over 10+ school groups in Hawaii, Alaska and California.
The Umi Project co-facilitated a Deep Dive session at High Tech High’s Deeper Learning Conference 2021 with Pacific Blue Studios of Honolulu, HI.
In 2021, The Umi Project designed and filmed a course for kids ages 8-15, titled Be a Climate Change Champion! available on the platform: DIY.org.
In 2021, The Umi Project partnered with Terra.do and Global Leadership Adventures to facilitate a virtual internship for students from around the world, focused on clean energy and climate change action.
From 2019-2021, The Umi Project intentionally designed and facilitated the on-boarding and professional development for DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach Charter School’s instructional leaders.
In 2021, The Umi Project supported student voice and choice opportunities and program design for Honolulu SEEQS’ unique EQS interdisciplinary course for middle schoolers.
In 2019, The Umi Project partnered with the Anchorage School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department to intentionally design and roll-out teacher learning teams to build literacy in CTE courses. This year, The Umi Project is providing instructional coaching and program support to the CTE: Farm and Food Systems in Alaska program.
In 2020, The Umi Project consulted for the Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance (KBNERR) and facilitated their NOAA Strategic Market Analysis and Community Needs Assessment.
Listen to S1E8 of the MLTS in Hawaii podcast: The Umi Project: Intentionally Born
Watch Dr. Sturm’s teaching style in the 2017 Charter School ToY feature video
Watch Designing & Facilitating a Project-Based Practice from 2018 Schools of the Future Hawaii
Explore the Climate Action Toolkit, a collection of projects designed by The Umi Project.
Read more from Dr. Kay Sturm:
Adaptation in the Time of COVID-19: Making Big Decisions to Ensure Equitable Access to Virtual Learning (Green Schools National Network)
5 Ways to Integrate “Place” into PBL (PBL Works Blog)
Personalized PBL: Not Just Students on Computers (PBL Works Blog)