Sustainability Toolbox

Metro Vancouver ​​​​​​​​​Sustainability Toolbox​​​ 2020 - A  Youth4Action Leadership Field Course




The Metro Vancouver Sustainability Toolbox (MVST) is a unique, experience-based youth leadership program and full-credit high school course. MVST brings together diverse students from across Metro Vancouver who share a passion for influencing sustainability in their school community through inquiry, collaboration and leadership. This action-packed course features a range of fun and experiential learning opportunities to develop an understanding of the complex built and natural systems we depend on every day. Students explore the challenges, tough choices and opportunities facing our region while developing the knowledge and competencies necessary to take action and to influence a sustainable and livable region.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the Metro Vancouver Sustainability Toolbox has been re-designed to offer a primarily online model in 2020. As public health orders are relaxed and in-person events may be resumed, Metro Vancouver’s top priority will remain to ensure the health and safety of all participants. MVST 2020 strictly adheres to the guidelines established by the BC Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Authority.


Students will… 

  • Get to know the built and natural systems we are connected to and depend upon everyday
  • Learn principles of sustainability, systems thinking and leadership
  • Develop skills to lead and influence awareness, action and innovation at school and beyond
  • Apply learning to implement impactful projects tied to interests, passions and SMART goals
  • Create lasting connections as part of a regional network of engaged leaders
  • Get to know a range of sustainability success stories to inspire awareness and collaborative action
  • Experience the power of teamwork, effective strategies and tools for school-based action
  • Identify effective strategies to balance commitments, manage stress and stay healthy
  • Meet and be inspired by thought leaders and change-makers from across Metro Vancouver, including subject matter experts, community partners, elected officials, entrepreneurs, planners, leaders of all ages, including past Youth4Action program participants
  • Become familiar with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Get to know Metro Vancouver’s leadership role in supporting a livable region
  • Visit local parks, water and waste management facilities, businesses and farms (if feasible)
  • Explore, share, present, listen, think, reflect, exert, create, support, celebrate, build, connect, question, learn, laugh and more!
  • Receive four credits in Sustainability Studies 12 (Recognized by the BC Ministry of Education)

What’s the commitment?

Successful applicants will participate in all aspects of summer and fall classes, including scheduled online group meetings. This program is offered at no cost to successful applicants, however, a full commitment to participate and attend all program components at specific times is required (please refer to listed dates).

Due to the collaborative and leadership-based components of this special course, students are asked to commit to ‘keeping up’ with the online content timeline. Weekly expectations may include watching short videos, researching relevant topics, reading short selections, video group meetings and information sharing 1-2 times per week. Several written submissions will also be required.

Students should set aside several hours each week for MVST, similar to the time frame expected of an ‘in person’ senior elective course. MVST is designed not to impede students’ success in their other coursework, nor demand excessive time commitments beyond what a regular course would demand.

MVST 2020 Key Course Dates - August 9, 2020 to November 2020 

August 9th – September 4th: Students will participate in weekly content, submissions, online/in-person classes and meetings on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, August 18 @ 10am-12pm (or in-person field camp day 10am-3pm if permissible) 
  • Thursday, August 20 @ 10am-12pm 
  • Tuesday, August 25 @ 10am-12pm (or in-person field camp day 10am-3pm if permissible) 
  • Thursday, August 27 @ 10am-12pm 
  • Tuesday, September 1 @ 10am-12pm (or in-person field camp day 10am-3pm if permissible) 
  • Thursday, September 3 @ 10am-12pm

If COVID-19 restrictions permit, students will have the opportunity for small group field experiences on select Saturdays through the fall. Traditionally, these full day (10am-3pm) leadership clinics take place in various locations around our region. If current restrictions continue, content and experiences will be moved online for these dates. In lieu of some Saturday classes, weekday evening online check-ins via Zoom may be needed. The MVST staff team will keep all students informed of expectations as restrictions lift and other activities become possible:

  • Saturday, September 12, 2020 – 10 AM to 3:00PM (or 10am-12pm if online) 
  • Saturday, October 3, 2020 – 9 AM to 4:00PM (or 10am-12pm if online) 
  • Saturday, October 17, 2020 – 10 AM to 3:00PM (or 10am-12pm if online) 
  • Saturday, November 7, 2020 – 10 AM to 3:00PM (or 10am-12pm if online) 
  • Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 11 AM to 1:00 PM (or 10am-12pm if online)

A series of mid-week online check-ins and webinars will be required:

  • Wednesday, September 16 - Youth4Action Community Intro @ 4:30pm-5:30pm 
  • Wednesday, September 23 - Youth4Action Webinar @ 4:30pm-6:30pm 
  • Wednesday, October 21 - Youth4Action Webinar @ 4:30pm-6:30pm 
  • Wednesday, November 18 - Youth4Action Webinar @ 4:30pm-6:30pm



  • Youth 4 Action





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Who are the instructors?

Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Education Team, in collaboration with the Burnaby School District, provides expert instruction for this dynamic course. The team consists of BC certified teachers and sustainability facilitators with a wealth of experience leading field and online courses and supporting youth engagement and development.


Who should apply?

Metro Vancouver students in Grade 10 to 12 (in 2020-2021) who share a passion for actively influencing sustainability in their school and community are invited to apply. Students from each of the following school districts in Metro Vancouver are encouraged to apply:

  • Burnaby
  • Coquitlam-Tri-Cities
  • Delta
  • Langley
  • Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows
  • New Westminster
  • North Vancouver
  • Richmond
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver          
  • West Vancouver



Deadline for application is June 30th, 2020

Apply now

Email if you have any questions.