World Environment Day is on 5 June 2016 and raises awareness of the need to protect, preserve and enhance the environment we all share and live within.
Declared by the UN General Assembly in 1972, each year World Environment Day aims to strengthen public awareness. Every year there is a different theme and for 2016 the slogan "Go Wild for Life" encourages us to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does. The illegal wildlife trade and the related products are eroding Earth's precious biodiversity, while causing the extinction of whole species of animals.
There is no better place than the classroom and schools to start teaching children and about the environment and how it affects daily lives. World Environment Day can be celebrated in many ways in schools, whatever age of the children. Here are a few activities that could be incorporated in general science lessons about the environment for younger children as well as biology projects suitable for older children.
Go Wild for Life
This is the theme of this year's World Environment Day, so it seems appropriate to start with this topic. A good introduction is a discussion of the facts and figures in illegal trade. Talk about the animals involved and the reasons why, along with what is being done to stop this trade and what will happen if it continues.
The importance of biodiversity and preservation efforts can be discussed with older students and the consequences of species extinction. Browse headlines together and find out what is happening in the world right now and then brainstorm ways to make a difference locally and globally.
Even the youngest of school children can understand the weather, which is a good place to start when it comes to climate change. Begin with looking at a Weather Climate Poster , which demonstrates how climate and the weather are related. Using beautiful graphics and bright photos will engage the children and then you can see how the facts influence local weather conditions outside the classroom window.
How about making it rain in your classroom! This clever Edulab Water Cycle model lets students duplicate the individual processes of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation and precipitation). This comes with a set of 10 study prints and transparencies, which will aid students' understanding of the water cycle and enhance awareness of the various states of water.
This natural energy kit has 19 hands-on activities, which explore electric, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and nuclear energy.
Plant & Animal Life
Plants are integral to our own survival and that of animals, in fact the environment as a whole. Pond dipping is an activity that captures children's imagination and attention. Explore pond life with a kit and investigate form and function, comparing small and large organisms and study Daphnia.
Bring the 'environment' closer to home by investigating the effectiveness of landfills in disposing of solid waste by building your own mini landfill. Investigate the bio-degradability of various waste in a sanitary versus an open configuration and use the results to determine the advantages and disadvantages of these two standard types of landfills and explore their long-term effects on the environment.
Whether it’s the air we breathe, the food we eat, or how we power our lives, the environment links us to people and economies all over the world. The classroom is a great place to start exploring the issues and to understand that the decisions we make on a daily basis impact the whole world. Contact Edulab for all your science needs today!