the STEP process gives students an interdisciplinary awareness as they work
through an environmental problem. Students learn the process of research and
development across multiple disciplines such as natural science, public policy,
communications, business, ethics, social science, and education. Inspiring the
next generation of leaders to solve environmental problems requires an approach
that is experiential, data-informed, collaborative, and interdisciplinary.
as an integral part of environmental education at IES, it is always exciting to
imagine what will come next. Students and faculty are currently exploring the
idea of converting cafeteria food waste and campus landscape waste into biogas
in order to offset natural gas use on campus. Twelve years have created many
such surprises as students have innovated to solve environmental problems one
STEP at a time.
Here is more information on
the biodiesel project and two other STEP projects:
Biodiesel:STEP students developed a business plan for
producing biodiesel from campus cafeteria waste vegetable oil. Today, the
Searle Biodiesel Lab produces over 20 % of the fuel for our campus
shuttles, eliminating vegetable oil from our campus waste stream and reducing
fossil fuel use.
Uncap Loyola:This two-year campaign began with the STEP
students’ concern about the injustices of water privatization. The result was a
campus ban on the sale of bottled water and the installation of 50 water refill
stations across campus.
Loyola Farmers Market:Conceptualized and planned by STEP students,
the Loyola Farmers Market increases access to fresh, affordable, locally
produced foods in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago while supporting
small producers who use sustainable practices.
For more information on STEP: