Green Schools Quest

The USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter is challenging public and private schools within the Chapter’s territory (Missouri and Southern Illinois) to devise and implement, with the help of Green Mentors, the most creative, effective and no or low cost sustainable practices for their schools – because WHERE we learn matters!


47 schools are participating in the 2016-17 Green Schools Quest! Click here to view a list of school and mentor participants.

2016-17 TIMELINE

April 12, 2016 – Registration opens for schools & mentors
September 15, 2016 (extended from Aug) – Deadline for mentors to register
September 15, 2016 – Deadline for schools to register
September 21, 2016, 8 – 10 am – Mentor Training Session
September 27, 2016, 3 – 5 pm – Mentor Training Session
October 2016 – March 12, 2017 – Participating schools work with their Green Mentors to pursue a sustainability project
March 12, 2017 – Conclude the 2016-2017 Green Schools Quest
April 11, 2017 – Winners announced at Annual Green Schools Event
Mid-April-May 2017 – Awards presented


Each school will form a Green Team which may be a single classroom, a grade level, an entire school or a student club (Districts are encouraged to register individual schools separately).  Each Green Team will select a low or no cost ($250 or less) project to begin October 2016 and conclude on March 12, 2017. Participating schools will have the opportunity and flexibility to  engage in projects fitting their schools’ unique needs and resources. Projects must be NEW or MAJOR EXTENSIONS of existing initiatives.


While the immediate impact of these projects may result in energy/water savings, cleaner air, or healthier learning environments; USGBC-Missouri Gateway hopes that the Green Schools Quest will strengthen relationships between schools and the community.  We also hope to create a lasting awareness of the importance of green schools, and catalyze a movement that fosters an attitude among youth and future generations to appreciate and model sustainable practices.

It is a goal of this overall project for each school project to achieve multiple of the following impacts:

  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Lower school operating & maintenance costs
  • Conserve our natural resources
  • Improve the learning & teaching environment
  • Encourage students to think creatively about sustainability
  • Promote environmental stewardship in our communities
  • Increase facilities indoor air quality
  • Energize sustainable curriculum in the school systems
  • Encourage the school to be the community epicenter
  • Create a generation of environmentally conscious adults
  • Engage the business community and building industry to help students green their schools


With the help of their mentor, each Green Team will document their impact, such as energy or resource savings, during the project and submit their project’s process and impact for judging by an impartial panel by March 12, 2017.

Cash Awards ($750 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place) and trophies will be presented to three participants in each category: elementary school, middle/junior high school, and high school. Winners will be announced at the Annual Green Schools Event taking place from 5:30-7:30 pm on April 11, 2017.  The USGBC-MGC Green Schools Committee will then present awards to winning teams at their schools or school board meetings between mid-April and mid-May 2017.


Resources listed below are also accessible via Google Drive.

Milestone Schedule
This is a resource that you’ll want to keep handy and refer to often. The Milestone Schedule provides a month-by-month outline of key actions and considerations for your project.

101+ Ways to Green Your School
Perhaps your school already has a project in mind. If not, this list of ways to green your school can help you to generate ideas. Financial investment, age group, and impact areas are identified for each project listed.

Resource List
This compilation of local, regional, and national resources includes a number of non-profit organizations to consider reaching out to for assistance, and more.

Green Building Educational Pieces
Two short (20-30 minute) lessons have been developed to help participating students better understand green building. The first is an introduction to the concept of green building and how it applies to a school setting. This piece is intended to be delivered by the Green Mentor. The second is focused on teaching students about the different parts of a building and how they interact, as well as the environmental impacts of constructing and operating buildings. The second piece is an optional, supplemental activity that would ideally be led by a school teacher.

Tips for Spreading the Good Green Word
One of the most important green actions you can take is to share what you learn with others. This document provides ten tips to help you spread the word about your efforts to green your school.

Tips for Small Scale Video and Documentation
At the conclusion of the Green Schools Quest, school teams will submit a digital presentation which can be in the form of a PowerPoint, Prezi , video (maximum 5 minutes) or other digital medium, in addition to a cover sheet, 1-2 page report and photo releases. This document outlines tips for video and digital documentation, including suggestions for editing software, royalty-free music and basics like fonts and transitions.

Scoring Rubric
Project submissions will be evaluated by a panel of impartial judges utilizing this scoring rubric. Considerations include measured performance, project documentation, perpetuation, creativity, and communication.

Submission Cover Sheet
The cover sheet is to be submitted at the conclusion of the Green Schools Quest, along with a 1-2 page report, digital presentation, and photo release forms. This form asks for basic school and project information, including key measurables such as number of students/faculty/community members impacted and resources saved.

Photo Releases
A photo release for every student in the digital presentation must be submitted.  Two options are available: an Individual Photo Release Form to be signed by each student’s parent/guardian, or a Certificate of School Official photo release upon which a school official certifies that the school/district has secured and has on file all appropriate image release and permission agreements and consents from parents/guardians of school children who appear in the school’s submission.

Green Apple Day of Service – USGBC-MGC’s Green Schools Quest is part of this global initiative spearheaded by USGBC’s Center for Green Schools

2015-16 WINNERS

1st Place – Hancock Place Elementary School
2nd Place – East Elementary in the Alton School District
3rd Place – City Garden Montessori

1st Place – North Kirkwood Middle School
2nd Place – Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School
3rd Place – Crossroads College Preparatory School
Honorable Mention – Forsyth School
Honorable Mention – Little Flower Catholic School

1st Place – Nottingham Community Access Job Training High School
2nd Place – Governor French Academy
3rd Place – St. Louis University High School

Click here to view the final documentation from the 2015-16 winning submissions!

Click here to view a brief description of each 2015-16 Project Submission!


GSQ 2014-15 Winners2014-15 PROJECTS

Final Documentation from 2014-15 Winning Submissions

Brief Description of each 2014-15 Project Submission



2013-14 PROJECTS

Final Documentation from 2013-14 Winning Submissions

Brief Description of each 2013-14 Project Submission




This project is supported by the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Green Building Council as well as USGBC-MGC 2015 Green Schools Sponsors: Automatic Controls Equipment Systems, Inc., Brightergy, Madison County Planning & Development, RideFinders, and St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership.


or (314) 577-0225.