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Kansas City Board of Public Utilities

BACKGROUND:
BPU is centered around serving the community: all of its employees live and work in Kansas City, Kansas, and their children go to the schools participating in this program. In these schools, the budgets are strained, which can limit teachers’ classroom activities. In summer 2013, the state of Kansas adopted new, nationally recognized science standards: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). To meet the new standards, teachers will be revising their lesson plans to create more hands-on experiences for the students, creating an opportunity for BPU to partner with the schools, providing needed resources and supplies.

OBJECTIVE:
Create a positive perception that the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities is a community partner.

STRATEGY:
Become a resource for teachers about safety and environmental responsibility.

TACTICS:

  • VI conducted teacher workshops with representatives from each of the three school districts in Wyandotte County. Using teacher insights from the workshops, we reviewed the NGSS to identify the standards lining up with BPU’s areas of expertise. This allowed VI, in partnership with a curriculum writing team, to create lesson plans that met the standards, and also incorporated environmental responsibility, conservation and utility safety messaging.
  • Two units were created for each grade level: elementary, middle and high school. Next, units were delivered to each the 11 pilot teachers containing field trip opportunities, class speaker opportunities, classroom activities, career application and activity worksheets for implementation in the USD 500, Piper and Turner classrooms.
  • Teachers submitted feedback after testing the lessons in their classrooms. Using their feedback, VI and the curriculum writers revised the plans to create final lessons for full program launch in the 2014-2015 school year.
  • A program website was also launched, which included password-protected lesson plan PDFs available for download and use in all elementary, middle and high school science classes across Wyandotte County.

RESULTS:
VI is tracking website traffic, lesson plan downloads, video views and teacher feedback.