Becoming green is a journey of a thousand miles that begin with a single step: education. Here, we can share the stories, ideas, and resources that keep us going.

Japan & Lessons to Learn

Jason Flom 5th grade teacher in Tallahassee, FL

In thinking about the triple calamity in Japan, I'm left wondering how to cover the topics with my students. Earthquake --> Tsunami --> Nuclear meltdown. In one part the earth sciences have considerable applicability. We can study the process, for sure.

However, the tragedy of events exists at the intersection of humans and the environment. Without humans, it would be a brief inconvenience for fauna, perhaps even creating new opportunities for speciation that increases the biodiversity of the region. However, with man's imprint (the nuclear contaminants), the geologic and hydrologic events have effectively created another untouchable spot on the planet.

How do we address these issues with students?

What resources are best suited to bring them up to speed on current events and other similar past events?

How can we channel students' curiosity and energy toward the future?

What take-aways (understandings) do we want them to have?

What questions should we ask ourselves? What should we ask students?

Comments (1)

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Community college science instructor from California

I think I'm not understanding

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I think I'm not understanding what you mean by a tsunami creating opportunities for speciation and increasing biodiversity. A tsunami may certainly kill some organisms leaving resources available for others. Consequently, such a disturbance may lead to an increase or decrease in biodiversity. This disturbance may also set up conditions that eventually lead to speciation but the connection is not very clear to me. Did you have a specific organism or scenario in mind?

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