New workshops helping students prepare for the climate from their classrooms
Flexible workshops designed to help students understand the impacts of climate change and how they can make a difference
Keep New Zealand Beautiful, an iconic nonprofit celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, today launched Climate-Ready Classesa series of student-focused workshops that explore climate change issues in an engaging and motivational way.
Using interactive activities and examples to start conversations about climate change, Climate Ready Classrooms have been designed with the New Zealand curriculum in mind to help learners of all ages understand and deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. .
Young people are the influencers of environmental change
With more than 1.1 million people under the age of 18 in Aotearoa (1), the workshops are designed to equip young learners with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to act as agents of change. “Nearly a quarter of our population is under 18, which means young people will increasingly be the main influencers of environmental change,” said Heather Saunderson, CEO of Keep New Zealand Beautiful.
Climate anxiety – the feeling of being helpless and overwhelmed by the effects of climate change – is a recognized condition (2) and is particularly prevalent among young people. “Having students discuss climate change in a structured way plants the seeds for action, while helping young people overcome their climate anxiety in constructive ways,” said Ms Saunderson.
“With programs such as Climate Ready Classrooms, we aim to inspire young, bright minds to explore climate change issues and help them gain the knowledge and confidence to become agents of change for our planet.”
The teacher-led workshops, which cover an introduction to climate change, the carbon cycle and biodiversity, the greenhouse effect and carbon footprints, and climate action, are designed to be adaptable and be delivered flexibly, making them suitable for primary and secondary students with NZ Curriculum links for levels 1 to 8. At the end of the course, students receive a certificate of completion recognizing the climate actions they pledged to take.
In line with UNESCO’s goal of increasing climate literacy among young people, the program also aligns with 12 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals set here.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful was founded 55 years ago in 1967. While the charity’s original mandate was waste reduction, New Zealand’s economy and population have boomed since then, as well as the size, scope and implications of our waste problem.
“Litter and litter pose critical challenges to our climate and have a direct impact on biodiversity loss,” said Ms Saunderson. “Like our other programs, Climate Ready Classrooms aims to educate, inspire and empower Kiwis of all ages to be more climate aware, to help ensure a cleaner, more biologically diverse and climate ready future for Aotearoa.”
Keep New Zealand Beautiful acknowledges the advice and resources of Keep Scotland Beautiful in the development of the Climate Ready Classroom program. Find out more about the partnership and the sharing of expertise between the two organizations here.
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