DPSCD Go Green Challenge

Now in it’s 6th year of growing green leaders in Detroit Public Schools Community District!

The DPSCD Go Green Challenge (GGC) is a youth-driven sustainability competition among district schools that engages students in STEM projects designed to make their homes, schools, and communities more sustainable – for everyone. The program is free and open to any DPSCD school, grades K-12.


The GGC was launched in Fall 2012 as a voluntary opportunity for schools to reduce their energy costs and share in the savings. Last year 53 schools completed over 500 greening projects – earning $21,000 in awards and prizes for schools. Over the past 5 years the program has saved over $1,700,000 and awarded $112,000 back to schools. Recognizing that going green is more than just energy conservation, this year the DPSCD Go Green Challenge continues to include projects on water conservation, recycling, and gardening. As a result, the program has provided a platform for teachers to engage their students in STEM projects that empower students and unlock their leadership potential!


New this year, the DPSCD Go Green Challenge will offer three different levels of engagement ranging from a limited, 2 month engagement around one sustainability theme to full year engagement around 4 sustainability themes or one sustainability challenge or opportunity in a school’s campus or community. These changes were made in order to allow for increased participation among all DPSCD schools and to offer deeper learning and leadership experiences for Green Teams that have been participating in the program for several years. More detail can be found on each of the challenge tiers below.


Tier 1 Challenge

An AmeriCorps Green School Coordinator will visit your school weekly over a period of 2 months to facilitate one Challenge in any of the following areas: Recycling, Energy, Water and/or Gardens and Nutrition. The Challenge will include place based education around the theme of your choosing and can be tied in to support existing curriculum and pacing. Your school can choose to participate in as many challenges as program scheduling allows, but will not participate in competitions between schools. 

Tier 2 Challenge

A team of AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators will visit your school weekly over the course of the school year to facilitate all 4 Challenges: Recycling, Energy, Water and Gardens and Nutrition. Your Green Team will participate in place based education around each theme as well as compete with teams from other schools to conserve the most resources in your school. Some leadership development and community engagement experiences will be made available to Tier 2 schools. 

Tier 3 Challenge

In this challenge, students take the lead in developing a community-based sustainability project. Over the course of their project, students will:

  • Investigate the wide-ranging concepts of sustainability and social justice
  • Learn about the inquiry and project development process
  • Engage and empower their community
  • Highlight their work among other students and community members

Contact Us

For more information on the DPSCD Go Green Challenge or to sign up to participate in the program, please email dps.gogreen@detroitk12.org.


My parents are talking about their kid’s obsession for separating recycling materials and saving energy by turning off lights. – DPS Teacher

Our students are more careful to recycle paper in halls and powering down electric items after usage. Staff have commented on how responsible and reliable the students are who participate in the program. – DPS Teacher

We want students to think before they throw something away – or even when buying something.  We want them to make a habit of turning off lights and not leaving the water running.  We want students to plant, nurture and harvest healthy foods. – DPS Teacher

The Pasture Elementary Green Gems celebrate Green Day

The Pasteur Elementary Green Gems celebrate Green Day