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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Earth Day: One Big Assignment

Students around the planet save the planet.
By Edutopia
Edutopia Team

Earth Day is a little like Black History Month -- you celebrate it while resenting the need for it. But something in the air (not the sulfur dioxide, we're thinking) suggests this year's festivities might involve a little extra oomph. Our politicians may still be dragging their feet on the matter of basic science, but our students actually study the stuff, and never have we seen so many of them attempting to make so great a change.

Knock sustainably harvested wood, but when even first graders grasp global warming, we must be moving in the right direction. Here at GLEF, we want to acknowledge not just the planet on this thirty-seventh Earth Day but also the students around the world dedicating themselves to saving it. Read about their various projects below, tell us about others you've seen, invent your own -- but first, turn down that halogen, huh?

Kids at Work

Teacher Resources

Edutopia Magazine and Edutopia.org Articles

  • Curing Nature Deficit Disorder
    Helping students develop their nature quotient provides a valuable pathway for developing the other intelligences.
  • Clean My Ride
    The cloud of black soot that school buses churn out could soon be a thing of the past.
  • Down and Dirty
    From planting seeds to recycling cafeteria leftovers, students learn the cycle of life in gardens.
  • The Edible Schoolyard
    This 1-acre urban garden and fully equipped kitchen are the home to a thoughtful, curriculum-based program.
  • Going Green
    In Chicago's urban sprawl, an environmentally friendly school blooms.
  • It's All Happening at the Zoo School
    At Minnesota's School of Environmental Studies, learning is about becoming an expert and solving real problems
  • Kid Power
    What children are learning through Roots & Shoots and other such programs is that they have a voice.
  • Swamped: Louisiana Students Become Wetlands Custodians
    The Wetland Watcher program is part of a schoolwide emphasis on service learning.
  • Take a Hike
    As gaming devices supplant games of catch, schools counter nature-deficit disorder with outdoor experiences.

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