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Lesson: Design a Green Rooftop Garden

Toronto Green RoofThis lesson for grades 6-8 explores how civil engineering has solved the challenge of moving water via irrigation. Students learn how irrigation systems direct water for use in farming or other purposes. Using everyday items, each team of students designs and builds an “irrigation system” capable of moving two cups of water at least three feet and distributing it evenly in two separate containers.

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Nickelodeon: Earth Day Events Promotion

NickelodeonThe children’s programming TV network Nickelodeon is offering to feature camera footage of events with groups performing “green activities” that promote a healthy Earth environment. Submitted footage may be featured on the network or on their website.

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Amid New Orleans Blight, an Unusual School Puts Down Roots

PlantingFor a former New York public school teacher and six young African-American men, a wrecked grocery store in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward has become a place of second chances. Nat Turner, a former history teacher, is the founder of Our School at Blair Grocery, a fledgling educational venture and commercial urban farm. The enterprise is an unusual hybrid of G.E.D. training and a farm academy.

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Lesson: Winter Insulation

Winter InsulationIn this lesson, students in grades 3 through 8 assume the role of building engineers, testing several materials to determine which would provide the best house insulation. They learn about the role of insulation in preventing heat transfer and discuss the importance of energy conservation in buildings.

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To Go Green, Think White

White RoofsOne way both to save energy and curb climate change is to make surfaces – roofs, even streets – a light color. Solar radiation would be reflected into space rather than absorbed by buildings and pavement. Less air conditioning would be needed. If this were done uniformly, says Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the results could be huge – “the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years.”

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Website: Sustainability Workshop from Autodesk

Autodesk SustainabilityThe Sustainability Workshop video series from Autodesk, an eGFI sponsor, uses animated drawings and real-world examples in short films that explain essential concepts for budding engineers. Some topics include engineering systems, green design, turning an idea into a finished product, and even why modern bicycles look so different from those built 200 years ago.

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Resource: Green Chemistry from the American Chemical Society

ACS Green ChemistryThe American Chemical Society offers a number of resources for teachers interested in teaching environmentally friendly chemistry. Their website features books, online tools and networks, activities and experiments ranked by study level, and an index of colleges with green chemistry programs.

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An Empty Lot Sprouts Green

Growing PlantStudent at Dallas’s independent Lakehill Preparatory School are enjoying their new $2.2 million Family Environmental Center, the Dallas Morning News reports. The idea for the center came from headmaster Roger Perry after he took noticed a swath of vacant land next to the school’s ball fields. The result is an impressive LEED standards complex that houses three science labs, a large meeting hall, and a retention pond.

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Website: Superfund Sites Where You Live

EPA LogoThis comprehensive website, run by the Environmental Protection Agency, provides lists of Superfund sites organized by state. A Superfund site is an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting local ecosystems or people. Important documents, contacts, timelines, and historical information are available for each location.

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