Global Warming Student Speakout

Concerned with Global Warming, students began their study by joining in a project, Global Warming Student Speakout, that gave them a chance to collectively brainstorm strategies for fighting global warming using Google Docs & Spreadsheet. Students collaborated within our school to list their own ideas first, and then shared their ideas with students participating in other schools around the world. The top 50 Ideas were selected and spotlighted in full-page ad in USA Today on November 27.

The students' initial study of Global Warming sparked a passionate interest in furthering their study through the project Race to the Tipping Point: Global Warming, a collaborative project between MAGPI, the Future Earth Institute Inc. of Spring City , PA. (FEI), and other classrooms using videoconferencing. The students involved in this project conducted real research to assist FEI in assessing public attitude of global warming/climate change and educational outreach needs.

Students surveyed individuals on their awareness and understanding of global climate change. The results from all interviews conducted across the project audience were compiled and analyzed. Students will then worked collaboratively to develop presentations to educate their school and community about global warming and climate change and what they can do to help combat it.

USA Today

November 27


Top 50 Ideas

Google recently partnered with Global SchoolNet to invite teachers and students to use Google Docs & Spreadsheets collaborative software in a project to brainstorm strategies for combating global warming. Children of all ages from more than 80 schools around the world participated, and on November 27th we took out a full-page ad in USA Today to put their ideas in the spotlight. Without further ado, here are their top 50 ideas:

1. Include global warming/climate change in school curricula (as part of National Science Standards), so when the students are in charge they can make educated decisions.
2. Increase availability of low-interest Energy Efficient Mortgages to support homeowners who increase the energy efficiency of their homes.
3. Put light sensors in all office and school buildings so all lights go off when the rooms are empty.
4. Require that all products contributing to global warming be marked with a specific color (e.g., chemical pesticides could be marked with a red sticker for being extremely dangerous to the environment).
5. Use less paper; use the back of the paper to print on or write on; use recyled paper.
6. Plant more trees to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
7. Teach recycling techniques in classes and school-wide programs.
8. Make recycling mandatory in all public facilities, such as schools, parks and beaches.
9. Do public service announcements on TV featuring celebrities promoting carpooling, walking, riding bikes, using public transportation, conserving electricity and recycling.
10. Give grants and tax credits to companies that invest in alternative, sustainable, emission-free fuel technologies while ending such subsidies for fosssil fuel production.
11. The media should conduct interviews of legislators to help the public become aware of their ability and willingness to help solve the problem.
12. Replace incandescence light bulbs with fluorescence light bulbs.
13. Restrict the use of chemical fertilizer in agriculture.
14. Provide incentives and policies to encourage car makers to make more fuel efficient cars.
15. Protect wetlands and preserve more open space.
16. Provide tax incentives for regular recyclers and car poolers.
17. Use solar panels in the construction of new homes and office buildings.
18. Substitute local community transportation fleets with hybrid vehicles.
19. Require that car dealers hand out fact sheets that inform car buyers about the pollution levels of different cars.
20. Send scientists to talk about global warming in schools. They can bring hands-on activities so students feel more involved.
21. Unplug all electronics from the wall when they're not in use.
22. Have another Global Warming Student Speakout in one year - to see if any of these ideas have been implemented.
23. Raise mandatory emissions standards for cars and other vehicles sold in the US.
24. Use solar power in the day and use electricity at night when needed.
25. Give tax rebates for using solar power.
26. Congress should ratify the Kyoto Agreement.
27. Establish off-shore wind farms - saves land space and produces reliable power.
28. Levy higher taxes on companies that pollute the air.
29. Wait until you have a lot of clothes to wash before using the washing machine.
30. Provide tax incentives for companies that create Hybrid cars. That will reduce the need for oil.
31. Schools and businesses should be fined for not having recycling bins available to the people on their premises.
32. The media should tell us about what is really going on with global warming. We don't think that we have all the information we need.
33. At the end of the weather forecast, report “CO2 emissions levels today…” or comparative average temperatures (i.e., this year's temperature as it compares to the past several years).
34. Lead by example and convert 50% of government vehicles to environmentally friendly cars by the year 2020.
35. Place recycling bins throughout the city wherever there is a trash can.
36. Require companies to limit the amount of packaging an item can have and it must be recyclable.
37. Block bills that cause more damage to the environment.
38. Media could reduce advertising costs for alternative energy products to inform and increase sales in these areas.
39. Keep your tires fully inflated to improve gas mileage.
40. Replace old appliances with Energy Star appliances.
41. Promote awareness of local recycling centers.
42. Require college and high school students to take a global warming class.
43. Give tax reductions to public transportation users.
44. Protect our oceans - prevent plankton in the ocean from dying.
45. People running for elections should use email, radio and other media to campaign and stop using so many paper signs and flyers that use up our natural resources and then get left out and become pollution.
46. Reuse newspapers as wrapping paper for gifts.
47. Enforce laws about littering.
48. Use less electricity, turn off the TV, read books, walk, run, bike, surf, play tennis.
49. Business should require employees to telecommute several days a week.
50. Provide scientists appropriate resources to help them research the future of energy and the freedom to explore innovative ideas.

Students worked collaboratively, presenting their ideas to educate others in the school and community about global warming and climate change and what they can do to help combat it. View portions of their presentations below: