According to a survey conducted by Amnesty International in 2019, Generation Z ranks climate change as the most vital issue facing the world today. With a generation that is so empowered, connected, empathetic, and with a drive to make a difference in the world, having real-life examples and tools to teach them about conservation and sustainability is crucial.
When our Florida Virtual School (FLVS) curriculum team and teachers began to develop our brand-new environmental science course, we knew we wanted to partner with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment, as well as funds affiliated working researchers and educators to better understand our ocean ecosystem and help foster the next generation of marine conservationists.
By partnering with the foundation, we can teach students about sustainability and conservation through real-life examples and activities so that they can build a connection with the environment around them. This is important for student success because we want them to engage with the lessons and master the content, while also feeling excited and passionate about the work they are doing.
In fact, almost every page of the course includes real-life examples and hands-on, call-to-action, and enrichment activities that immerse students in case studies of environmental issues and success stories around the world. Additionally, the course presents these examples through integrated content including audio, videos, quizzes, games, and more, so that students interact with the lessons and deepen their comprehension. Below, we have outlined some of these real-life examples included in the course and the importance in showing students how they can positively impact the environment.
The ocean vs. plastic
One topic that is covered in the course is how the plastic we throw in the trash impacts the ocean. Students who grow up in coastal areas likely have a better understanding of the ocean and its inhabitants because they can experience sea-related activities first-hand. However, those who live further away from the ocean, may not be able to fully visualize what is happening to the marine environment. What’s exciting is that we can take students from anywhere in the world to the ocean through videos in the course supplied by our Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation scientists.