You might want to watch this amazing video on EVs made by high school students in Sleepy Hollow, New York…

In School

IN SCHOOL

IN SCHOOL

Students are rocking some major change, both inside and outside of school. When she first started striking from school on Fridays, Greta Thunberg was alone. Her simple action galvanized millions of young people worldwide to protest the lack of action on climate. This culminated in the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. In the U.S., some school districts allowed students to leave for the protests without penalty in New YorkChicagoPortland, and Michigan; and in Los Angeles, schools held “walk-ins.”

In school, students have organized climate change clubs, planted vegetable gardens, implemented zero-waste programslobbied to add solar panels and replace their heating and cooling systems with heat pumps. Students have helped replace diesel fueled school buses with electric and put charging stations into their parking lots to encourage electric cars. Some kids have even been successful in pressuring teacher’s unions to divest from fossil fuels in their pension funds. 

Climate education in school is crucial.

New Jersey became the first state to add climate change into their curriculum for all K-12 students in June 2020. In Boston, public school students from the Boston Student Advisory Council and dedicated science teachers came together to create Climate Curriculum, a framework of lessons to incorporate climate change education into K-12 science lessons. It also recommends resources. Other states are lagging far behind, with only 36 states and Washington D.C. explicitly acknowledging the reality of climate change in their standards; the rest reference the human role as a possibility or a matter of scientific debate, or omit it entirely. This is a place where you can use your voice to teach your teachers about the issues.

Efforts to amend school district curriculum have found success in PortlandIdaho, and Oakland. With the help of the local Sierra Club, a student group pushed through a resolution that integrates climate literacy into the curriculums of all Oakland public schools. Erin Ahlich, who was part of the Oakland student group, said the “most impactful” action was attending school board meetings, where the group gave speeches and presented signed petitions. Students in Utah also organized with petitions, driving their school district to a 100% clean energy commitment. 

Kids are also using school projects to take direct action. In this 2018 video Sleepy Hollow School students in Westchester explain and promote the virtues of electric cars.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Illustrations by Kathleen Founds

NEWS

A gamer’s quest to prepare kids for climate change

By Daisy Simmons 09/11/23
Is it an oxymoron to tackle reality by imagining you’re on a quest in a made-up world, along with a cast of fantastical characters? To Lil Milagro Henriquez, the founder of a Northern California youth…
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Opinion: What my generation is facing — A high schooler’s take on the climate crisis

By Cash Mendenhall 08/05/22
On July 17, Salt Lake City met the record for the highest summer temperature in recorded history, and by the time you read this that record may very well be broken.
Read more

Find Your Purpose in Carbon Removal

By Kianna Marquez 07/28/21
As a young person, the level of action necessary to overcome the climate crisis feels insurmountable. The overwhelming challenge of mitigating the effects of accumulating greenhouse gases on atmospheric warming often paralyzes me—I have even…
Read more

Local art teacher looking to bring surrealist art to South Bronx mural

By Robbie Sequeira 07/06/21
From the spacious mural of late Puerto Rican hip-hop legend Big Pun that adorns Intervale Avenue to the decadent murals of baseball greats outside Yankee Stadium, The Bronx has its fair share of beautiful artwork.
Read more

Northeast Elementary to raise funds for solar energy

By Kristy Bock 07/06/21
NC GreenPower announced earlier this year a list of awardees from 15 North Carolina schools that were awarded a solar educational package valued at $42,000. The schools will also receive donated SunPower solar modules, a…
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Presenting 2021 Best of Green Schools Award winners

07/06/21
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network (GSNN), revealed recipients of the 2021 Best of Green Schools Awards. Awardees include individuals, schools,…
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Electrifying school buses will benefit local economy and children’s health

By Anne Mellinger-Birdsong 07/05/21
After a school year like no other, Georgia’s students are well into their summer vacations. The diesel school buses that carry nearly half of America’s students sit idle, giving children and communities a break from…
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Woodland Hills School District wins national award for green initiatives

By Andrew Goldstein 07/01/21
The Woodland Hills School District this week was named the winner of a national award for its work organizing and promoting green initiatives. The Green Schools National Network and Center for Green Schools on Tuesday…
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High school students complete Blue Planet Foundation climate change advocacy program

By Kacie Yamamoto kyamamoto 06/07/21
Nine Oahu high school students graduated last month from the Climate Crew, an educational program for high school students rooted in climate science and data-driven advocacy.
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Belmont Students Organize N.H. Climate Change Science Summit

By Annie Ropeik 05/26/21
Students at Belmont High School will lead a virtual summit on climate change science with state experts Thursday. Sophomore William Riley and junior Chris Pare, co-presidents of the Lakes Region school’s outdoors club, say they’ve…
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New Jersey Adopts Climate Change As Part Of Core Curriculum In All Public Schools

By Tonya Mosley 05/07/21
Last year, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to require all its public schools to adopt climate change education into its curriculum.Chatham High School in the township of Chatham, New Jersey, is…
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Cloquet students combat climate change, one tree at a time

By Jamey Malcomb 05/03/21
Cloquet High School science students and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources partnered to improve their school forest and combat climate change in recognition of Arbor Day on Friday, April 30.
Read more

KEY RESOURCES

Climate Change is a Generational Justice Issue

02/09/21
We are a non-partisan, grassroots, youth-adult campaign with a mission to empower schools to speak up for climate action. We advocate for elected officials to combat the climate crisis in order to protect current and future…

Resources for schools

08/10/20
On this page, you will find resources that you can use to help connect students to climate change in your classroom.  

Climate Change Education

08/08/20
There is overwhelming scientific agreement on human-caused global warming. More than 97 percent of publishing scientists and a synthesis of peer reviewed studies confirm this scientific fact. Virtually all national and international science academies and…

Nine-part series: Climate change: Are we ready?

05/28/20
This nine-part series explores how we’re teaching through climate change. We report on how climate change emergencies are disrupting student learning, exacerbating mental health problems, devastating school infrastructure, and how the coronavirus pandemic is a…

Schools for climate action

04/02/20
A non-partisan, grassroots, youth-adult campaign with a mission to empower schools to speak up for climate action. We advocate for elected officials to combat the climate crisis in order to protect current and future generations.

MORE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION

Inspiring Student in France Creates Environmental App to Motivate Others to Make a Difference Daily

10/11/19
Maxime Leroux, a 19-year-old student in France is creating an online community of people executing one "save" per day for the sake of the planet.OneSave/Day is...
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You Asked: How Can Students Make a Difference on Climate Change?

09/20/19
Two students weigh in on how they’re taking action and why it matters. ...
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Student initiative, active involvement help make cafeterias ‘green’

09/06/19
At North Hills, compostable food trays are being used in the four elementary schools and the middle school....
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Many kids take a passion for the planet back to school

08/30/19
For many kids, heading back to school also means getting back to club and student organizations focused on environmental sustainability....
Read more

Global warming can be frightening. So this teacher focuses on solutions.

06/18/19
Global warming can be frightening. For Sarah Duffer of Asheville, North Carolina, that made it hard to teach in her high school science classes. Duffer: “In the past, it’s been really difficult to get students…
Read more

Why Drive Electric?

06/04/19
Sleepy Hollow High School in Westchester made this add for electric cars.
Read more

Westchester High School Electric Vehicle Video Competition

05/03/19
Sustainable Westchester, Westchester County Government, & EarthKind Energy are pleased to present the 2019 Westchester High School Electric Vehicle (EV) Video Contest
Read more

Philippines passes law requiring students to plant 10 trees if they want to graduate

05/28/19
Legislation passed by the House of Representatives formalizes existing tradition and could result in 175 million new trees each year if approved by Senate.
Read more

Ride the bus

01/16/19
Buses are better for the environment and you are about 70 times more likely to arrive to school safely. And ideally, it’s an electric bus!
Read more

MORE NEWS

‘Start listening to us:’ Local students create climate change art for Earth Day

By Justin Scacco   04/23/21  
Amid melting snow and spring temperatures at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, a group of skiers stop in the resort’s village to take in a freshly installed piece of artwork created by local students.
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School’s solar panel savings give every teacher up to $15,000 raises

03/16/21  
Renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar are generating more power in the U.S. than coal. Ben Tracy visits a rural Arkansas school district using the sun's rays in an unusual way.
Read more

MCPS to become nation’s biggest operator of electric school buses

By Nick Iannelli   02/25/21  
Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland’s largest school system, will add hundreds of electric bus school buses to its fleet, and will become the biggest operator of electric school buses in the U.S., with the goal…
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A lesson in electric school buses

By Steven Mufson and Sarah Kaplan   02/24/21  
Hundreds of electric school buses are about to hit the roads in Montgomery County in an effort to cut tailpipe emissions that warm the planet and can affect student health.
Read more

Belleville School District to Add Two New Electric Buses, Funded by a State Grant

By Tap Into Newark Staff   02/22/21  
The ride to school will soon be more environmentally friendly for some Belleville students. The school district will be adding two new electric school buses from Lion Electric valued at $834,604 through a grant contributed…
Read more

BSD Electric Bus Delivery

02/05/21  
BSD is the first school district in the state of Oregon to receive delivery of two electric school buses, with the help of a $561,727 grant from Portland General Electric. Learn how the district was…
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Central Kitsap School District adds electric touch to school bus fleet

By Jeff Graham and Kitsap Sun   02/02/21  
Dozens of students at PineCrest Elementary in East Bremerton are enjoying a unique ride to school these days in an electric bus that began its transportation duties on Jan. 22. The zero-emission electric bus is…
Read more

Oakland Students Won the Right to Vote in School Board Elections

By Samuel Getachew   11/16/20  
“Well, you didn’t vote for me,” Feinstein said. The message was clear, and it is omnipresent in the attitude of politicians toward underage constituents: You don't vote, so your voice doesn't matter.
Read more

Getting Climate Studies Into Schools

By Susan Shain and Veronica Penney   09/02/20  
It’s back-to-school season. Kind of. Whether children are studying at home or in person, though, they might not be learning much about the climate.
Read more

‘Climate Change Is Racial Injustice’: Students Speak Their Truth In Winning Podcast

By Elissa Nadworny   06/17/20  
The club was supposed to meet once a week. But for many of the members of Men in Color, Wednesday afternoons turned into Monday afternoons and Thursdays too. "After school, we were always in Mr.…
Read more

Williamsville student’s climate change documentary wins national contest

By Heather Waldman   06/16/20  
Scientists have been studying climate change and predicting its potential impacts to the planet for decades. But the issue has only recently started to take root with the general population. According to 2019 research data…
Read more

Students in Salt Lake City drive school district to 100 percent clean energy commitment

By Chris Crowell   06/15/20  
Earlier this month, the Salt Lake City District School board passed a resolution unanimously establishing the goal of transitioning the school district to 100% clean electricity by 2030, and off of fossil fuels for heating…
Read more

New Jersey becomes first state to incorporate climate change in K-12 curriculum

By Scott Fallon   06/03/20  
New Jersey will become the first state to incorporate climate change into the curriculum of kindergartners through high school seniors, state officials announced Wednesday. The new standards, which take effect in September 2021 and 2022,…
Read more

Students rewarded for offering solutions to Climate Change, Digital Divide

05/29/20  
On Thursday, May 28, Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation wrapped up the school year with a virtual awards ceremony that rewarded students for their hard work completing in two of the most difficult real-world…
Read more

Newburgh teacher and students contribute to NASA climate change research

By Helu Wang   05/21/20  
Aileen Toback said she felt “unreal” when she learned she had been hired by NASA to be an educational ambassador for a climate change research program.
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Breath of fresh air: Environmental student’s internship fixes on climate action

By Amy Duke   05/20/20  
Leaving her footprint on the natural world — in a reduced-carbon kind of way — has been a long-held aspiration for Sarah Schanwald. The recent Penn State graduate, who holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental…
Read more

Promoting climate change literacy in schools: More important than ever

By Rebecca Franke and Sarah Ranney   05/18/20  
Has the pandemic left you with a desire to get involved in a better future? Have you been looking for a way to have a personal impact on the climate emergency? An enduring contribution which…
Read more

Getting Schooled

By Miyo McGinn   02/11/20  
In some parts of the country, climate change may be the most controversial subject that science teachers bring up in their classrooms. “People oppose environmental things because they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s just a bunch of…
Read more

How can schools best teach about climate change?

By Thomas Day   02/10/20  
“Are we going to die?” High school science teacher Kirstin Milks starts her course on environmental change every year by allowing students to ask questions. Invariably, one of her students at a school in the…
Read more

How Minnesota students are combating climate change, one school building at a time

By Erin Hinrichs   01/24/20  
Students at Stillwater Area High School began adjusting to a small — yet significant — change at the start of the new year: no more plastic forks and spoons. Single-use plastic utensils have been replaced…
Read more

How Minnesota students are combating climate change, one school building at a time

By Erin Hinrichs   01/24/20  
Single-use plastic utensils have been replaced with metal flatware in the school lunchroom.
Read more

Inside Idaho’s Long Legislative Battle Over Climate Change Education

By Katie Worth   12/20/19  
What schools should teach kids about climate change — or whether to teach it at all — has become hotly disputed in at least a dozen states. But rarely has that debate been more contentious…
Read more

Green Tips: How College Students Can Go Green

11/14/19  
Being at college is a great time to learn about ways you can go green and incorporate eco-friendly behaviors into your daily routine. Here are some of our Green Tips to help you get started.
Read more

Italy to become first country to make learning about climate change compulsory for school students

By Gianluca Mezzofiore   11/06/19  
From next year, Italian school students in every grade will be required to study climate change and sustainability, in an attempt to position the country as a world leader in environmental education.
Read more

Requiring schools to teach climate change risks backlash in Oklahoma

By Caroline Halter   07/11/19  
Melissa Lau is preparing for the coming school year. She teaches 6th grade science in Piedmont, just northwest of Oklahoma City. Inside her classroom, she’s laid out over thirty cross sections from the trunks of…
Read more

How should climate change be taught in schools across America?

By Andrew Urevig   06/20/19  
From elementary to high school — and from science class to social studies — teachers are taking the initiative to tackle climate change and other environmental challenges.
Read more

Global warming can be frightening. So this teacher focuses on solutions.

By Ariel Hansen   06/18/19  
Global warming can be frightening. For Sarah Duffer of Asheville, North Carolina, that made it hard to teach in her high school science classes. Duffer: “In the past, it’s been really difficult to get students…
Read more

Why Drive Electric?

06/04/19  
Sleepy Hollow High School in Westchester made this add for electric cars.
Read more

Westchester High School Electric Vehicle Video Competition

05/03/19  
Sustainable Westchester, Westchester County Government, & EarthKind Energy are pleased to present the 2019 Westchester High School Electric Vehicle (EV) Video Contest
Read more

Kids to teachers: We need to talk about climate change

By Zoe Sayler   03/21/19  
Portland resolved three years ago to build climate literacy into public school curriculums, but 17-year-old Sriya Chinnam, one of the strike’s organizers, said the district hasn’t delivered: “We are demanding that they take charge and…
Read more

Philippines passes law requiring students to plant 10 trees if they want to graduate

By Harry Cockburn   05/28/19  
Legislation passed by the House of Representatives formalizes existing tradition and could result in 175 million new trees each year if approved by Senate.
Read more

The Greta Thunberg generation pushes Harvard to deal with climate crisis

By Bill McKibben   11/03/19  
The plural of “privilege’’ is “establishment,” and Harvard University is the greatest example on American soil — the richest private university on earth, and one that’s proven too hidebound and intellectually dishonest to grapple with…
Read more