When the Earth erupts, what can you do?

When the Earth erupts, what can you do?

There are active volcanoes across the globe. When they erupt people can die and whole communities vanish. Scientists of the University of Iceland take measurements and samples standing on the ridge in front of the active part of the eruptive fissure of an active...

Living near an active volcano can be scary. Even scarier is living near an active volcano without an adequate emergency plan in place. With extreme weather events and natural disasters on the rise in recent years, help your students develop an emergency preparedness plan for their community in this piece from correspondent Tira Shubart.

Exercise: Read the article as a class and discuss why emergency preparedness plans are not equitable around the world. Then, evaluate your school and community’s level of emergency preparedness. What makes for an effective plan? Are there any weaknesses to your community’s existing emergency preparedness efforts? What could be improved?

To wean the toy industry off plastic is no easy game

To wean the toy industry off plastic is no easy game

The global toy industry has a plastics predicament: How to feed children’s appetite for new toys, keep prices low and not harm the Earth in the process. A pile of plastic toys at a toy landfill. (Illustration by News Decoder) Plastic is omnipresent in our lives...

90% of the world’s new toys feature some form of plastic. As the industry continues to grow, especially in places like North America, how can we ensure toy makers are thinking of the environment — and not just profit? University of Toronto Journalism Fellow Preety Sharma covers potential solutions.

Exercise: Sharma’s article suggests that pro-environmental behavior is most commonly adopted when it is a default option. That means it is the easiest or cheapest option. In pairs, have students think about the default options in their lives. Are these the most environmentally-friendly options, or is there room for improvement? For example: students may think about the accessibility of recycling/compost bins in their local community, the types of food packaging they see in the grocery store, etc.

Remembering NASA’s Christmas present to the world

Remembering NASA’s Christmas present to the world

On Christmas Eve 55 years ago an astronaut snapped a photo that caught the world’s attention. The global selfie made us rethink our place in the universe. On 24 December 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders became the first humans...

Mining nickel comes with big costs

Mining nickel comes with big costs

Massive industrial complexes for nickel mining have transformed an Indonesian island long home to fishing villages and school children. Workers walk near excavators to gather soil containing nickel ore at PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry, a nickel processing complex...

Understanding nuance and context is a critical skill to develop in young people. In this photo essay from guest writer Garry Lotulung, students learn about the impact of the green transition on local communities in Indonesia, where nickel is mined to produce batteries for electric cars. Globally, transitioning to renewable energy is a positive — what’s the impact for Indonesians on the ground? 

Exercise: In groups of 2-3, students will engage in a See-Think-Wonder activity with the photos in the article’s gallery. Each group will focus on a different photo, logging first what they see in the image, what they think is happening and what they wonder about after examining the image. The see stage develops students’ observation skills and focuses on gathering information without making interpretations. The think stage helps students develop critical thinking by interpreting and coming to conclusions using visual evidence in the photo. The wonder stage prompts inquiry and intellectual curiosity. After the See-Think-Wonder activity, read the article as a class.

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