Teaching 1 Million Children in the UK about Climate Change

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The first ever Schools Low Carbon Day will be taking place on 24th June 2010. The aim of this national event is to educate one million children about climate change and inspire them and their families to change their day-to-day behaviour in order to reduce carbon emissions.

The Schools Low Carbon Day is being organised by Cool the World, a registered charity set up by a group of mothers concerned about climate change. Cool the World’s vision is for schools to set aside a morning to get children to focus on their own energy consumption and think about proactive things that their families can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

This will be an extremely important day as climate change is likely to affect our children more than ourselves. Schools therefore have a vital role to play in educating these children about the rising issues, and ways in which we can try to prevent them from getting progressively worse.

Research has shown that our children influence our own behaviour, and families are more likely to recycle if their children are taught the benefits during their time at school. It is crucial therefore that schools have the relevant lesson plans and calls-to-action available to them on 24th June.

The Schools Low Carbon Day morning will be split into three sessions. The first session will provide them with an overview of global warming and session two will be a proactive activity which will reinforce the learning in session one. The third and final session will be an ‘action’ period in which children will focus on their own energy use, calculate their carbon footprint and pledge to do something to cut it.

On the Schools Low Carbon Day website there is a Kids Carbon Calculator, which lets children work out how much CO₂ their lifestyle emits in a year. Once the children have learned what sort of impact their lifestyle is having on the environment, they are encouraged to think of some changes they could make, e.g. watching less TV or taking a shower instead of a bath. They will then calculate their footprint a second time, imagining that they have already made those changes. This will allow them to see what a difference they can make.

There are lots more ideas about teaching climate change on the Schools Low Carbon Day website, from full lesson plans to example pledges. Interested schools can visit www.lowcarbonday.com > to sign up for the event.

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