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Encouraging All Kids to Grow-up Green

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On behalf of Green Schools NS, I recently attended the Association of Science Teachers Conference on October 27, 2017. This conference brought together teachers from all over the province to take part in a day of knowledge sharing. There were booths from many fascinating organizations that were set up in a trade-show style and many teachers dropped by to learn about organizations like Green Schools. Our team also hosted a workshop on our program’s curriculum links from Primary all the way to grade 12.

We spent the day engaging with the dozens of teachers that stopped at our table. They were interested in our program and how we support classes and the larger school community. The attitude of teachers who approached our table indicated that clearly there is a high level of interest in teaching students how to live green and also plenty of enthusiasm for making our schools and communities more environmentally friendly.

Green Schools NS is a program that is here to support teachers with activities, slideshows, and packages that are linked to the Nova Scotia provincial curriculum outcomes. Our program strives to bring environmental education themes into all classes because we know that humans are not separate from the environment. Protection of the environment is not part of the standard curriculum, but we can help! We have only one Earth and we know that our youth play a large role in helping to preserve it.

Something I have noticed at various engagements with Primary classes is that when I ask who has seen wind turbines or solar panels almost all hands fly into the air. This is interesting to me because these students are about five years old and yet they know what these technologies look like and are able to recognize them. When asked about wind turbines, students name all of the many different places they have seen them.

This makes me wonder, is this technology something their parents are talking to them about? Are these students naturally curious and simply interested in learning more? In each grade two or three class there always seem to be a handful of students that have a specific interest in energy and technology. They know more than would have been taught in school and yet they surprise me by having many answers to my questions. A moment that will forever stick in my mind is when a second-grade student asked me if we can get energy from tornadoes. When I told her that tornadoes have a high amount of concentrated energy but we don’t have a way to harness that energy her reply was, “I’m going to grow up and invent something that will do that.”

We all need to ask ourselves, what can we do to ensure these students maintain and develop their curiosity? The renewable energy sector is growing quickly and the world needs people who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about developing energy efficient technology. These classrooms are full of changemakers! Green Schools NS is on a mission to make sure we provide excellent support to allow this passion to flourish.

-Amber McMunn
Engagement Officer, HRM

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