Hi, everyone! I’m Yunhee Choi, iEARN-USA’s new intern from South Korea. This is the first blog post in a six-part series I will be writing during my internship with iEARN-USA.
The first topic is the “Environment.” Actually, I don’t consider myself an environmentalist or an eco-friendly person. However, I’ve experienced abnormal weather ever since I came to U.S. (I had to enjoy cherry blossom festival without cherry blossoms), and while staying in Washington DC, for 4 months studying English, I heard many voices insisting on the prevention of climate change. These made me realize the necessity for putting effort to protect the natural environment. This month there are two special days for the environment: World Environment Day (June 5th) and World Oceans Day (June 8th) so, I want to do something for environment starting with June. Whenever I think about June, I always come up with bright sunshine, warm breeze, and a street full of green trees. Most of you reading this post are on the same page with me because it’s definitely a season of nature. However, there are always exceptions that exist. On the first day of June, last week, President Donald Trump declared that U.S. will withdraw from Paris climate agreement. He said the decision was for US workers and economy but it will be disadvantageous to people and economy in the end. Even though he doesn’t believe climate change, many people in this country are still shouting for the environment and taking actions to prevent climate change. iEARN is one of them. Thus, this is a perfect time to celebrate the environment and talk about iEARN’s related projects.
iEARN has significant collaboration projects which align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations, including SDG 13 “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”, iEARN offer students and educators an online platform to collaborate on projects in which they can discuss and learn how to keep our planet safe.
Natural Disaster Youth Summit 2017 (NDYS)
Ages: All / Dates: September 2016 - August 2017/ Languages: Japanese, English
Project Page: https://iearn.org/cc/space-2/group-120
This year’s theme: Climate Change and “Disaster Risk Reduction, Mitigation, and Reconstruction" in our town / Abnormal weather: Solve the problem by global collaboration!
Started in 2005, Hyogo, Japan, NDYS has been continuing their projects and meetings. Many natural disasters have occurred in the world. Through NDYS students communicate about various disasters and discuss the way to reduce their impact with global friends. This year their slogan is “communication saves lives!”. By sharing their ideas, students can be empowered managing the damages from natural disasters. As future leaders, it is an important experience to exchange between cultures and networking with each other.
Solar Cooking Project
Ages: 5-18/ Dates: September 2016- June 2017/Languages: English
Project page: https://iearn.org/cc/space-2/group-113
No more dependence on fossil fuels! Students can experiment with solar cooking in their classroom with online instruction. Solar Cooking Projects enhance students’ awareness of alternative energy. Join and become a chef by solar cooking!
Some facts about solar cooking:
• There are over 100,000 solar cookers being used in both India and China
• More than 5,000 families in Kenya are using solar cookers because of Solar Cookers International
• Developing countries are fuel poor but sun rich
• In the Touloum Refugee Camp in Chad, Africa, 5,000 women have been trained to use solar cookers and about 16,000 have been distributed.
Water is Life
Ages: 5-18 / Dates: February 2017 - April 2017/ Language: Spanish, English
Project page: https://iearn.org/cc/space-2/group-437
Water is Life aligns with SDG 6 - “Clean Water & Sanitation” and 14 - “Life Below Water”. This project enables students to collaborate on research and plans actions with others in different cultures. The iEARN Water is Life project contributes to attaining the possibility of clean, healthy water and environment.
You can join the projects via their web pages above and explore more projects in iEARN collaboration center - https://iearn.org/collaboration. Let’s make our planet green again!