Climate Learning: Back-to-School
August 26, 2015
Last week, my colleague and I attended the White House Back-To-School event after the White House announced Earth Day Network’s Champions for Earth Angry Birds game in a list of impressive climate commitments.
First, a little about the announcement—Earth Day Network has partnered up with Rovio to produce a climate version of the most downloaded mobile game in the world: Angry Birds. This joint initiative will allow millions of players to interact with information related to the conservation, protection, enhancement, and support of our environment and natural resources. Stay in the loop, because you’re more than likely to hear about some pretty cool birds that you might just recognize… The game comes out on September 21st so keep on checking your “local” app store!
My colleague and I walked into an energized room. Laura Petes from the Office of Science and Technology Policy opened up the event, asking us to introduce ourselves to another person in the room. Immediately the educators, students, administration, and non-profit representatives started talking enthusiastically to their neighbors, looking for points of collaboration. Petes had to work to bring the room back to order.
The event consisted of short presentations on upcoming resources and commitments, fireside chats, and most impressively, a student panel. The panel included two high school students, two college students, and Christy Goldfuss, the Managing Director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality as moderator. The students were asked how they got involved in climate action as well as their plans moving forward. It injected a sense of hope into the room, hearing these students unfazed by the daunting task in front of them. Many discussed how their classes and service projects now propelled them forward towards green careers. Jack Ruiz, a panelist and student about to set off to his first year at Columbia University, started a biofuel project in his high school that he eventually took back to his mother’s hometown in a small village in Guatemala. Seeing the difference he could make in one village’s lifestyle, as well as the world, inspired him to gain an education in the environmental field so he can continue to make a difference.
Earth Day Network was honored to attend this event and continues to collaborate with many of the organizations represented.