It turns out that kids 8-12 are sponges for information about the climate. Since science is not a core curriculum subject in many elementary schools, The Global Warming Express (GWE) fills the gap with In-School and After- School Programs, offering a solution-driven, positive, creative approach to engage students in the exploration of science, climate science and solutions.
Learning About Climate
The science education portion of the GWE program relies upon three books by Molly Bang that offer kids a fun and colorful exploration of how sunlight, wind, plants and “buried” energy have sustained the planet. Every class session includes practical examples of the science with an emphasis on participation by the students. The program is designed for kids to have fun while learning.
Expressing What We Know – And Feel
During the first semester students are also introduced to and practice writing about what they have learned, public speaking and performing (song, dance) to express their ideas and understanding of climate.
Small and Big Goals – Taking Action
After the winter break the focus changes to action. Kids in each group are challenged to decide upon, as a group, a small and big goal that their group will work on for the second semester. Small goals are typically actions that the kids can accomplish themselves, with some assistance, in a relatively short time. Big goals frequently involve others – like the Santa Fe plastic bag ban – and may span into a subsequent year’s program.
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Meanwhile, during the second semester kids will have multiple opportunities to take part in actions, like marches, rallies, town halls, events like Renewable Energy Day, where they will meet people interested in what they are doing and have to say. Many GWE kids prepare speeches or performances that they give along side of elected state officials like Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, ABQ Mayor Tim Keller and Senator Tom Udall, to name a few.
GWE is filling a pipeline of youth climate leaders who will carry on taking direct action, influencing policy and propelling their communities towards sustainability. They leave GWE with a passion for solving this global problem and a confidence that their actions will make a difference.
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THE GLOBAL WARMING EXPRESS...
... is a By Kids / For Kids Think Tank Program for kids ages 8-12. The program is designed to be mentored by grownups, but powered by kids, who decide what Small Goals and Big Goals they want to accomplish.
The Global Warming Express is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, based in New Mexico..
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