Young Voices on Climate Change is a film series featuring young people who are making a difference! They are shrinking the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities. Author and Illustrator, Lynne Cherry, originator, producer and director of the Young Voices for the Planet films, is well-known for her popular children’s books especially her rain forest classic, The Great Kapok Tree and her environmental history A River Ran Wild. Movies include Kids vs. Global Warming, Girl Scouts, Team Marine, Anya: Citizen Science in Siberia, Plant for the Planet, Green Ambassadors, Dreaming in Green, Olivia’s Birds and the Oil Spill. (http://www.youngvoicesonclimatechange.com)
Kids vs. Global Warming (http://www.imatteryouth.org/) is a non-profit organization started by then 12-year-old Alec Loorz. The organization’s goals are to inform kids about climate change and to mobilize them to take action - according to the slogan “iMatter”. With the custom designed mobile application iMatter youth around the world are connected and motivated to take action themselves against climate change.
C2C Fellows (http://www.bard.edu/cep/c2c/) is a national network for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring to sustainability leadership in politics and business, engaging 300 students each year in intensive, weekend leadership trainings. These regional workshops cover communication, entrepreneurship, environmental and climate science, media, raising capital, and other critical topics. Upon graduation from the workshops, students join the C2C Fellows Network. The network, based at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and headed by the Center’s director Dr. Eban Goodstein (email@example.com), provides C2C Fellows with an ongoing community: updates, web-based events, career counseling, a social network of like-minded leaders, and ongoing educational opportunities.
Focus the Nation (http://www.focusthenation.org/) is the country’s leading clean energy youth empowerment organization. Since 2008, it has helped more than 300,000 young people embrace the challenges, excitement and realities of moving their communities toward clean energy solutions. Garett Brennan is the director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alliance for Climate Education (www.acespace.org) is the national leader in high school climate science education, dedicated to educating America's high school students about the science behind climate change and inspiring them to do something about it—while having fun along the way. They've reached ~1.5 million high school students through their assemblies, and they are now focusing on helping inspired youth with leadership training. They have spawned tons of youth groups across the country. They're working with Six Americas on research which shows measurable gains in youth's understanding and concern about climate change even after just a 45 minute assembly presentation. Matt Lappé (email@example.com) is their education director.
350.org (http://350.org/) is an international environmental organization, headed by author Bill McKibben, with the goal of building a global grassroots movement to raise awareness of anthropogenic climate change, to confront climate change denial, and to cut emissions of one of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, in order to slow the rate of global warming. One of their main programs – the campus divestment movement -divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in clean energy now has more than 250 campus groups in 188 countries and is to a very large extent being initiated by young people:
- http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/ (Youth Climate Movement blog)
- http://www.facebook.com/DivestVC (a student at Vassar College won their divestment campaign)
The Will Steger Foundation (http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/about-us) established in 2006 by polar explorer Will Steger educates, inspires and empowers people to engage in solutions to climate change.
- In partnership with RE-AMP, an active network of nearly 160 nonprofits and foundations across eight Midwestern states working on climate change and energy policy with the goal of reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80% by 2050, the Emerging Leaders Program of the Midwest (http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/midwest-outreach) is committed to engaging, and empowering youth leaders on climate change solutions across the Midwest through access to high profile decision makers, funding resources, mentorship, and training and leadership opportunities. It is the fiscal sponsor for the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network, a statewide coalition of MN youth in college.
- A core program of the Will Steger Foundation, YEA! MN (http://willstegerfoundation.org/local-outreach-minnesota/learn-more-emerging-leaders-local) supports a network of high school environmental clubs working together across the Twin Cities Metro Area to empower student leadership on climate change solutions at home, at school, and in the wider community. The YEA! MN network includes 25+ public, private and charter high schools from a cross-section of urban and suburban districts.
- http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/about-us/wsf-blog/itemlist/category/119 (Youth Action blog)
- WSF co-sponsored the Next Generation Environmental Congress (http://www.wearepowershift.org/blogs/minnesota-rising-youth-take-action) with the Sierra Student Coalition, an event where youth had the opportunity to weigh in on the state’s environmental priorities and to take action on climate change.
- WSF hosted the British Council Climate Champions in Minnesota (http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/component/k2/item/1104-grants-through-climate-generation-program)
- Summer institutes in “Energy Education” at the Audubon Center of the North Woods and “Minnesota’s Chancing Climate” at Fort Snelling State Park (http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/summer-institute)
- http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/climate-lessons-blog (Climate education blog)
Energy Action Coalition (http://www.energyactioncoalition.org/) is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement. Working with hundreds of campus and youth groups, dozens of youth networks, and hundreds of thousands of young people, Energy Action Coalition and its partners have united a burgeoning movement behind winning local victories and coordinating on state, regional, and national levels in the United States and Canada. EAC has convened the three national Power Shift summits since 2007, each of which has brought their movement and their demands for 100% clean energy to Washington D.C. in an unprecedented way. Check out the blog WeArePowerShift.org where nearly every post is contributed directly by a student working on climate on his/her campus or community. Jeff Mann (firstname.lastname@example.org) is EAS’s Online Director.
National Wildlife Federation (NWF)’s Campus Ecology Fellows (http://www.nwf.org/Campus-Ecology/Get-Involved/Apply-for-a-Fellowship.aspx) confront global warming on their campuses and help to educate and engage the campus community on global warming impacts and solutions. Founded in 1989, its student outreach programs, campus consulting, climate action competition, and educational events and resources reach about 1,000 campuses each year. Since 2000, NWF has awarded over 150 Campus Ecology Fellowships to students across the country working on projects ranging from campus-wide energy audits to implementing sustainable forestry practices; reaching more than 2.5 million students, faculty, staff and community members at the fellowship campuses. New in 2013 as an extension of the Campus Ecology Fellows Program, NWF is offering an Emerging Leaders Fellowship track which will offer Fellowships to post-graduate, young professionals (ages 21-35) interested in career development and leadership opportunities within the conservation movement.
Our Children's Trust (http://ourchildrenstrust.org/) is a nonprofit organization, based in Oregon, whose purpose is to protect earth’s natural systems for current and future generations. It is made up of mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers – the adults that are here to empower and support youth as they stand up for their lawful inheritance: a healthy planet. Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery is a 10-part groundbreaking documentary series of 9 young people who bravely share their stories of harm, activism and hope around the climate crisis. These youth have gone to court to hold their governments accountable for protecting the Public Trust resources that are essential for their well being and survival. What they want is simple: real Climate Recovery Plans, guided by our nation's best science, not dictated by politics and fossil fuel lobbyists. They come from California, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Massachusetts, but their stories cross state lines and tell a common American story.
Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools (www.greenschools.ky.gov) is a project-based and student-centered program that empowers students and staff to move their school toward becoming safer, healthier, and more environmentally sustainable. This inquiry-based program uses the entire school building and grounds as a learning laboratory for students. All grade levels of all existing (and even schools in the process of being built) are invited to join KGHS.
Fayette County Public Schools (http://www.sustainability.fcps.net/) in Kentucky has launched a Sustainability Initiative to demonstrate their dedication to sustainability and energy efficiency. They have quite a few projects going on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including a Lexus Eco Challenge project by 8th grade SCAPA students to promote a meatless diet for reduced carbon footprint. In addition, several schools are implementing “No Idling” campaigns at their schools. Most schools are engaged in awareness campaigns to reduce consumption through behavior initiatives, such as Henry Clay High School’s “Go Green Club,” who has recently installed timed power strips in all classrooms.
Interfaith Youth for Climate Justice (IYCJ) www.IYCJ.org is a free year-long program for students active in local congregations in the Washington, DC area. We are an interfaith learning community through which students from different faith traditions spend a year gaining the knowledge, skills and experience they need to be leaders for climate justice. Students engage in hands-on exploration of environmental issues, learn the environmental teachings of different faith traditions, participate in community service and paid summer internships, and plan and implement action projects. In its first year – 2011-12, 22 students from 4 major faith traditions, and 9 different congregations completed the program Most were not environmental activists when they started - now they all are!
The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit (http://www.adkyouthsummit.org/) serves schools throughout the Adirondacks – bringing together high school juniors and seniors, college students, educators, school administrators, and facility staff to discuss how climate change is affecting them and their future.
International Climate Champions (http://www.britishcouncil.in/our-work/international-climate-champions) is a partnership project between the British Council and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) aimed at young people aged 18-23. The program is part of their global project called 'Climate Champions' which is delivered through a network of Climate Champions across the world. The project aims to engage youth participants with society leaders and influencers, as well as reach out to the wider community. Climate Generation engages young people with a proactive interest in climate change who wish to take positive action at local, national and international levels.
Climate Education in an Age of Media (http://cleanet.org/cced_media/index.html) leverages ongoing initiatives of three key partners, UMass Lowell's Climate Change Initiative, Media Arts Studio at Cambridge Educational Access TV, and TERC, to build an innovative climate change education program that reaches high school teachers and students and university students, as well as their broader communities. With support from NASA's Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) program, CAM is developing approaches to bring student media production into climate change education in ways that are engaging, empowering, and can be readily adopted in a wide range of instructional environments. To date, students have produced animations, rap videos, PSAs, interviews with experts and people on the street, mock trailers, and more. Their work has been screened at national meetings (AGU, AAAS, and others), on cable access TV stations, at face-to-face screenings, and at sustainability festivals.
Cool Science (http://www.uml.edu/Education/Coolscience/default.aspx) is a collaborative effort between the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Graduate School of Education and the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences. The Cool Science team brings an inter-disciplinary approach to the challenge of improving public understanding of climate change science. Cool Science aims to engage k-12 students, teachers, parents, and the general public with the science of climate change through public displays of artwork.
Earth Guardians (http://www.earthguardians.org/) is a dedicated network of children, youth, parents, schools, and organizations working together on behalf of leaving a better world for future generations. Based in Colorado, priorities include helping to get bans on fracking and GMO’s in local communities. They are also giving the E.A.R.T.H. multi-media presentation in schools to educate their peers and inspire their generation to action, as well as using the power of performance to build energy and community in the fight for a livable planet.
Plant-for-the-Planet (http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/en), established in 2007 after a nine year old German boy became inspired by the issue of climate change, is a children’s initiative that aims to raise awareness amongst children and adults about the issues of climate change and global justice. The Initiative also works to plant trees, and considers this to be both a practical and symbolic action in efforts to reduce the effect of climate change. In 2011, it reached a goal of planting a million trees.
WE Day (http://www.weday.com/) is an annual "youth empowerment" event organized by the international Free the Children charity. Held in cities across Canada, We Day motivates youth to take action on local and global issues. Since 2007, thousands of Canadian students have attended We Day events, which feature speeches and performances from global leaders, social activists and public figures. Each student group that attends is asked to make a commitment of one local and one global action throughout the year in order to help create positive change in the world. The event also has one of the largest nonprofit Facebook pages in the world, with over 2 million likes. The associated "1 like = 1 dollar" fundraising campaign, where sponsors of the event donated one dollar for each like on the We Day page, raised over 2 million dollars for Free the Children.
Founded over 70 years ago, Plan International (http://plan-international.org/) is one of the largest child- centered community development organizations, working in 62 countries on projects and initiatives that address the causes of poverty and its consequences for children’s lives. Plan’s approach to sustainable development takes place through our child-centered community development program framework, based on a rights-based approach, guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Plan International has been doing excellent work with young people on climate change adaptation through their child-led disaster risk reduction (CCDRR) model, including a panel on youth-empowering children on climate action during the UN High-Level Meeting on Youth in 2011.
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation E-Learning (CAMEL) Climate Change Education www.camelclimatechange.org is a free, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, multi-media resource for educators developed by the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) of the National Council for Science and the Environment. CAMEL provides over 300 interdisciplinary topic areas and numerous resource types to give the educator the tools they need to teach about CLIMATE CHANGE causes, consequences, solutions and actions. The educator is able to create courses, textbooks, administer exams & surveys, invite others and collaborate around teaching materials, strategies and assessment.
Future City Competition (http://futurecity.org/about) is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. See competition photo.
This resource was compiled by Allison Feldman and David Blockstein, National Council for Science and Environment