Kids love exploring the world around them, and Earth Day offers a great way to introduce them to environmental science and engineering. The following sampler includes activities, lessons, and resources ranging from starting a school-wide energy audit to “green” buildings, the science behind solar ovens, and sustainable design.
New! EPA’s Earth Day 2013 guide to events and activities around the nation includes an April e-mail Earth tip of the day and photo uploads.
Engineering, Go For It Past Lessons:
- Landfills and contamination
- Build a Solar Still
- Map the Green Space
- Life After Trash
- Trash Talkin’
- Oil Spill Solutions
- The Energy of Decay
- Green Roof Design
- Living Together to Work Together
Activities and Projects:
- Green Education Foundation’s Top 10 Earth Day Projects. How to start a school garden, “green team” activities, and more! Includes a link to lessonopoly’s science of solar ovens and other sustainability projects.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality initiative offers resources and lessons on air quality and information for teachers about promoting healthy school environments. EPA also worked with the NEA’s Health Information Network to create standards-based lessons on indoor air quality.
- NASA’s Climate Kids has interactive games, videos, and other fun resources about weather and climate change for elementary school-age children.
- HowToSmile.org’s environmental science activities for various age groups.
- The Cool School Challenge, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund and developed by a high school environmental educator, engages students and teachers in practical strategies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions school-wide. Schools that complete the Challenge automatically qualify for a bronze level award through the Eco-Schools USA program!
- Earth: The Operator’s Manual from PBS includes climate-change lessons, activities, videos of “Energy Heroes,” and a step-by-step guide to cutting home or school energy use, including a carbon-footprint calculator.
- Project Noah is a site for citizen-scientists (and curious kids) around the world to explore and document wildlife by uploading photos of beautiful, strange, or unknown creatures and finding out what they are.
Earth Day-themed newsletters, articles, and videos from our eGfi blogs:
- Earth Day (April 18, 2013)
- Handle with Care (April 17, 2012)
- ‘Acts of Green’ Span the Globe (April 12, 2011)
- Earth Day at 40 (April 3, 2010)
From our eGfi Students’ blog:
- Houses Could be Powered by Artificial Leaves (green design)
- Energy-generating Waterfall Proposed for 2016 Olympics (waterfall in Rio)
- Sustainability Workshop from Autodesk (video series)
- World’s Greenest Office Building? (sustainable design)
- Sustainable Slopes (indoor snow park in Sweden)
- Power Walk Floor Tiles (pedestrian-generated electricity)