Teaching Climate Change to Children

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concordschool CONCORD- Lyndon State College’s Climate Change Communication group visited the Concord School earlier this week to educate students on global warming and how it is impacting the climate.

The Climate Change Communication group was founded in 2014 to help teach local communities about human-caused climate change. With assistance from the college’s Atmospheric Sciences faculty, the group strives to show data and information about climate change that is scientifically accurate.

Members of the club gave various presentations to the middle schoolers, and explained the facts on how humans affected the environment. Kevin Freeman, a student at Concord School, says the presentations opened his eyes to climate change.

"It was just shocking to see. A lot of people use cars, but I didn't think they used them that much. I saw the graphs and they were a lot higher than I thought”, Freeman says.

The group makes approximately 4 visits to local areas each semester. During the academic year of 2014-2015, the group visited schools including Lyndon Institute, Newark Street School, and Burke Town School. Each presentation is about an hour long, and includes an open discussion afterward.

Students at the school participated in the discussion and gave their ideas on how to improve the environment. Freeman had an idea related to food packaging.

“They should actually use a full bag of chips instead of half of it, probably use a lot less plastic”, Freeman says.

Allison Lafleur, a member of the group, praises the students for the ideas they come up with.

“Another kid came up with the idea of powering cars with hamster wheels. It's always interesting to see what their creative ideas are”, Lafleur says.

Lafleur discusses her hopes in what the students learn about the environment after, and how it has more of an impact than being taught in a class.

"Some sort of message gets across to them, they know that it's kind of more important than bringing out the textbook, you know, that goes in one ear and out the other”, Lafleur explains.

Janel Hanrahan is an Associate Professor of Lyndon State College’s Atmospheric Sciences Department. As the supervisor for the group, she explains the impact these presentations have on the students.

"Students talk about it for weeks after, they go home, they talk about it to their families, they're concerned about it, and they want to learn more”, Hanrahan says.

After the presentations and discussions, Freeman is worried about the future of the climate. He wants action to be done now, before it’s too late.

I hope they do something soon, before one of the younger kids have to make a decision”, Freeman said.

The next scheduled presentation for the group will take place at the Burke Town School next month. To find out more about Lyndon State College’s Climate Change Communication group, click here.