By Lisa Niver Rajna
April 22 is Earth Day. What will you do to celebrate our planet? With so many options out there, what will you choose? I’d like to share a few of my favorites that teach our children and show that we can make a difference. With snowfall last month in the San Fernando Valley for the first time in nearly fifty years, major earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, Santiago, Chile and Haiti in the last year, and other environmental issues like the enormous volcanic eruption of Iceland, science is everywhere and a part of everything; it just depends what lens you use to look through.
For Earth Day, I recommend you get out there and join up with “Heal the Bay”, or the “TreePeople” to help save our planet. But you don’t even have to leave home to get involved. You can help “Santa Monica Bay Keepers” with our new Marine Protected Areas by “sending Governor Brown this letter to voice your support for the creation of protected areas to safeguard our underwater Yosemites for generations to come.” (from CalOceans.org)
Learn from Jewish World Watch about how our use of conflict minerals impacts the Congo. Pledge to purchase conflict free products for your computer, phone and electronic needs to help our planet and all its people.
Don’t forget to recycle your trash, especially cans and bottles. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth; turn off the lights when you leave a room. Fix any leaky faucets right away. These simple actions can make a big difference to our planet.
Share some screen time with your child using my favorite Earth Day links. Act like a secret agent and learn to save our planet! Help Green Power Girl and the Green Power Heroes sent from Mother Nature to empower humans with clean green power. Join GPG, Jah Wind Power, Marina Del Ray, Mercury Man and Buddy Biomass as they battle the Fossil fools! You can also help our Earth by learning more about plants in the Great Plant Escape!
When I think about teaching science and what is important I focus on major issues and connecting the subject to something in the lives of children. To quote Educational Quality Concepts:
“The whole point [of teaching science] is to teach problem-solving, to teach critical thinking. These are not things peculiar to science; they are things peculiar to life. And if a child becomes both literate and has a high ability to solve problems in an everyday situation…then there’s no limitation on what the child will be able to do in later life.”
When we studied rocks and minerals in the Fourth Grade Educational Equity Concepts, we learned about the Conflict Mineral Trade Act and Pledge to help the people of the Congo. We also wrote to President Obama and he even wrote back!
Help your child make a connection to Earth Day and to our planet. We can help our Earth and we each can make a difference.
Heal The Bay Events:
*April 16, Beach Cleanups (10am to noon) Will Rogers State Beach and Torrance Beach
*April 16-17, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Earth Weekend
*April 30, L.A. River Cleanup
Santa Monica Bay Keepers Events:
*April 23rd, Cabrillo Earth Day Festival, All Day Tabling With Other Non-Profits And Causes.
*April 30th, LA River Cleanup
Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. has over 12 years of classroom teaching experience and an additional 11 years working in camps and on cruise ships.