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April 22, 2019

Meet 4 Kids Who Are Fighting for a Cleaner Planet

By Patricia Janes

Celebrate Earth Day with these free Scholastic articles, videos and activities about kids who are making the planet a better place to live.

Grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Key Takeaways

    • Showcase positive environmental stories.
    • Connect current science and real-world math to Earth Day activities.
    • Inspire and empower students of all backgrounds to make a difference.

    These days, it can be challenging to find positive environmental stories. But here at Scholastic’s STEM magazines, we think it’s essential to showcase the power of every student to make a real difference in creating a better world for everyone.

    To celebrate Earth Day, I wanted to offer you some of my favorite stories about kids fighting for a cleaner environment. I hope you and your students are as inspired by their achievements as I am.

    Earth Day STEM Articles, Videos and Activities for Elementary School

    Reducing Plastic Pollution: Milo Cress was nine years old when he noticed that restaurants often served his drinks with plastic straws that he didn’t ask for. “It seemed like a huge waste,” he says. Now 16, Milo is part of a growing movement to encourage restaurants and cities to go straw-free. For a science connection to Milo’s story, pair this Scholastic SuperScience article with a video and activity about ocean currents to show students where their plastic waste often ends up.

    Connecting Math to Climate Advocacy: Twelve-year-old Shalvi Shakshi’s life changed forever when a Category 5 storm hit her hometown in the island nation of Fiji. She researched how climate change and warming ocean waters may be increasing the amount of these dangerous storms. Since then, she’s been traveling to climate conferences to raise awareness about how her country may be affected by a changing world. Inspire your students with this Scholastic DynaMath video and article, which includes an in-text graphing activity and answer sheet.

    Earth Day STEM Articles, Videos and Activities for Middle School

    Planting Trees for a Greener Planet: As a fourth grader, Felix Finkbeiner had an idea: plant trees to protect the planet. More than 10 years later, Felix’s idea has grown into a worldwide movement called Plant for the Planet. The group has planted nearly 15 billion trees worldwide—and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Pair Scholastic ScienceWorld’s article and video with an activity to help students construct explanations about the carbon cycle.

    Plant for the Plant Academy in German School 2016

    Credit: Plant for the Planet

    Building Tiny Houses with Math: Fifteen might seem like a young age to build a house, but not for Luke Thill. For less than $1,500, he built a 55-square-foot tiny house in his parent’s backyard. The miniature home uses much less electricity than traditional houses, making it an environmentally friendly addition to the neighborhood. Encourage your students’ Earth-saving creativity with this Scholastic MATH article and video with an in-text geometry activity and answer sheet.

    As always, I hope that our engaging articles and digital resources can help you inspire and empower your students to love STEM as much as we do. To bring Scholastic Magazines into your classroom all year long, subscribe today.

    Patricia is the Vice President of Scholastic’s STEM and Art magazines for grades 3 through 12. She is a former teacher who loves all things STEM—as evidenced by her degrees in physics, environmental studies and math. 

    Key Takeaways

    • Showcase positive environmental stories.
    • Connect current science and real-world math to Earth Day activities.
    • Inspire and empower students of all backgrounds to make a difference.

    These days, it can be challenging to find positive environmental stories. But here at Scholastic’s STEM magazines, we think it’s essential to showcase the power of every student to make a real difference in creating a better world for everyone.

    To celebrate Earth Day, I wanted to offer you some of my favorite stories about kids fighting for a cleaner environment. I hope you and your students are as inspired by their achievements as I am.

    Earth Day STEM Articles, Videos and Activities for Elementary School

    Reducing Plastic Pollution: Milo Cress was nine years old when he noticed that restaurants often served his drinks with plastic straws that he didn’t ask for. “It seemed like a huge waste,” he says. Now 16, Milo is part of a growing movement to encourage restaurants and cities to go straw-free. For a science connection to Milo’s story, pair this Scholastic SuperScience article with a video and activity about ocean currents to show students where their plastic waste often ends up.

    Connecting Math to Climate Advocacy: Twelve-year-old Shalvi Shakshi’s life changed forever when a Category 5 storm hit her hometown in the island nation of Fiji. She researched how climate change and warming ocean waters may be increasing the amount of these dangerous storms. Since then, she’s been traveling to climate conferences to raise awareness about how her country may be affected by a changing world. Inspire your students with this Scholastic DynaMath video and article, which includes an in-text graphing activity and answer sheet.

    Earth Day STEM Articles, Videos and Activities for Middle School

    Planting Trees for a Greener Planet: As a fourth grader, Felix Finkbeiner had an idea: plant trees to protect the planet. More than 10 years later, Felix’s idea has grown into a worldwide movement called Plant for the Planet. The group has planted nearly 15 billion trees worldwide—and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Pair Scholastic ScienceWorld’s article and video with an activity to help students construct explanations about the carbon cycle.

    Plant for the Plant Academy in German School 2016

    Credit: Plant for the Planet

    Building Tiny Houses with Math: Fifteen might seem like a young age to build a house, but not for Luke Thill. For less than $1,500, he built a 55-square-foot tiny house in his parent’s backyard. The miniature home uses much less electricity than traditional houses, making it an environmentally friendly addition to the neighborhood. Encourage your students’ Earth-saving creativity with this Scholastic MATH article and video with an in-text geometry activity and answer sheet.

    As always, I hope that our engaging articles and digital resources can help you inspire and empower your students to love STEM as much as we do. To bring Scholastic Magazines into your classroom all year long, subscribe today.

    Patricia is the Vice President of Scholastic’s STEM and Art magazines for grades 3 through 12. She is a former teacher who loves all things STEM—as evidenced by her degrees in physics, environmental studies and math. 

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