Education

Members of the Collaborative recognize that for many generations adults in the industrialized nations have burned fossil fuels without regard for the impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere and on global warming. Future generations – our children and their children – are faced with cleaning up the mess we have made. We hope the resources on this page will help youth by providing inspiring stories of young people in action, useful information about the causes of global warming, and access to organizations set up specifically to organize and educate youth as change agents in the struggle to stabilize the Earth’s climate.

Youth Initiatives on Cape Cod

Cape Cod Climate Kids: Caring for our Warming Planet

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb

In the summer of 2016 Pleasant Bay Community Boating partnered with scientists from The Center for Coastal Studies, the Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences, the national Global Warming Express Program and Mon Cochran, author of the ebook Just Right: Climate Science for Young Readers to provide a two-week climate science, arts, and action adventure for 8-12 year old youth. The two-week program involved daily outdoor field trips on Pleasant Bay and on the Atlantic Ocean, climate-related indoor activities, an introduction to the climate sciences (marine, atmospheric, earth and planetary science, and chemistry), a taste of the arts (performing, visual arts, writing, music), and advocacy skills-building. The Cape Cod Climate Kids video provides a nice summary of the 2016 program. This program will be offered again during the summer of 2018. For more information contact Mon Cochran at mmc6@cornell.edu.

Youth Climate Summit 2017

[Mon — needs a review of the event here…]

Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids, Inc. (OPAK)

OPAK is a new 501(c)3 educational organization on Cape Cod that empowers youth to become curious ambassadors for the environment through the arts. They offer both in-school and afterschool enrichment programs, as well as summer day programs that highlight unique ocean themes like Plankton & Plastics. All of OPAK’s programs stress the need for youth to become lifelong environmental advocates by teaching them how to use their work to spark conservations about critical issues involving the ocean and their local ecosystems. OPAK will be running its summer 2017 day programs out of the Old Harwich Middle School. Each week of the program will have field trips, guest artists and scientists, plenty of STEAM activities and ocean art projects! For information please visit their website: www.opakedu.org or contact Jeffery Morgan, Executive Director at jmorgan@opakedu.org.

Documentaries Focused on Youth Actions

Several organizations have been developing excellent documentary shorts describing the climate-related activities of activists youth and youth groups.

Young Voices for the Planet

These videos are designed to share what other youth have accomplished and inspire you to take action on behalf of the planet. To view please go to http://www.youngvoicesonclimatechange.com/youth-climate-videos/

These videos are designed to share what other youth have accomplished and inspire you to take action on behalf of the planet. To view please go to http://www.youngvoicesonclimatechange.com/youth-climate-videos/

Our Children’s Trust

This is an amazing organization that is assisting youth to file law suits against various states and the federal government for the right to live on a planet with a stable climate and a healthy atmosphere, for present and future generations. Their documentary films “feature the brave young people leading the effort to secure that legal right. For those stories go to https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/short-films/

Media on Climate Science & Clean Energy by and for Kids

Global Warming Express

[Mon — needs a review]

Ebook Series on Climate Science, Climate Change, and Clean Energy

Mon Cochran, a writer in Orleans, MA, is currently completing a climate-related e-book series for young readers that features Pleasant Bay, here on Cape Cod. The first book in the series, titled Just Right: Climate Science for Young Readers, is designed to introduce middle school aged children how Earth maintains a livable temperature and the ways that they can contribute to that effort.

In Just Right Tom, age eleven, and his sister, Julie, age nine, are spending the summer with their grandfather on Cape Cod. When he himself was a child, Grandpa bonded deeply with his native land and waters, and is fascinated by the concept of Earth as a living organism. He proposes that the three of them spend the summer finding out—through direct outdoor experience and the vast resources of the Web—what makes our planet “just right” as a home for living things.

After a quick voyage into space to get the really long view of Earth, the threesome makes a plan. Tom decides to become an expert on our atmosphere, and Julie sets out to learn about the oceans. Grandpa takes the land, Earth’s crust, as his specialty. They learn firsthand how these natural systems work by observing whales feeding, seawater creating deltas on the falling tide, the myriad kinds of rocks on the beach, and wind filling a boat’s sails; they gain deeper understanding in their explorations online.

Weaving video, still photos, infographics, and maps into this narrative, Just Right gives nine-to-twelve-year-olds a basic understanding of how Earth’s vital organs—atmosphere, oceans, and land—interact to support life and stabilize the climate, as seen from the perspective of children their own age.

Just Right: Climate Science for Young Readers is available free on the web. The web-based version can be read at http://justrightclimate.org. A version designed to be downloaded onto an Apple computer, iPad, or iPhone is also available at that address.

Mon is just completing the second ebook in the series, titled Sun, Wind, and Water: Clean Energy Solutions for the Next Generation. Sun, Wind, and Water follows Tom and Julie into school after their summer on the Cape, where they convince their teachers to assist them with special projects on solar and water power. In chapters on solar and water-generated energy the children work in teams with other classmates to gather information on the workings of the technologies (solar panels, hydroelectric turbines) currently available for producing electricity without fossil fuels. They share this information with their classmates and with Grandpa, who in turn briefs them on what he uncovers about the workings of a wind turbine.

During spring vacation Grandpa and his two grandchildren take a trip to Samsø Island in Denmark, world renowned as ‘Energy Island,’ to learn how the island transitioned from fossil fuel dependent to fully independent in less than ten years. On the island they meet young Danes their age, who recount for them the steps taken by the island residents and give them a tour of the wind, solar, and bio-fuel projects that make the island a net exporter of alternative energy. Upon return to Boston the children discover that the nearby island of Martha’s Vineyard is making a similar transition from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy, and visit that island to learn more about an American community can become independent of carbon-emitting fossil fuels. The ebook ends as Tom, Julie and their friends are organizing to advocate for solar projects in the Boston area and clean energy legislation at the state level.

Sun, Wind, and Water: Clean Energy Solutions for the Next Generation will be available free at justrightclimate.org beginning in June, 2017. For more information on this ebook project Mon can be reached at mmc6@cornell.edu.