The California Air Resources Board announced the kickoff of California’s second annual Climate Generation program, a high school competition challenging students to connect environmental issues with their school work and daily lives. The competition creates an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in leadership and project management by working together to design and implement programs that promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of their school or community.
CARB, the lead agency for implementing AB 32, California’s climate change law, is overseeing the state’s competition. “The name ‘Climate Generation’ says it all,” says Mary Nichols, CARB chairman. “This is an opportunity for young people who will be living with the effects of climate change to focus their passion and enthusiasm on real-world solutions in their school today.”
Last year’s top prize was awarded to Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton. Arroyo High School in El Monte and Ukiah High School in Ukiah won second and third prize, respectively. The Climate Generation Program, an outgrowth of CARB’s collaboration with the British Council on the California Climate Champions program, encourages young people to engage climate issues at local, national and international levels.
The Climate Generation program is integrated into California’s Education and the Environment Initiative, a new K-12 curriculum focusing on science, history and sociology. The State Legislature adopted the initiative in 2003 to instill in students the understanding that California’s economic prosperity, public health and environmental future depend on the condition of the earth’s ecosystem. This mandated the creation of a standards-based curriculum that integrates environmental education, including climate change.
California high school classrooms, environmental clubs and other student groups are eligible to participate in the 2011-2012 Climate Generation Program. The classroom projects must benefit the school or community and relate to one or more of the following topic areas: Energy conservation; renewable energy; water conservation; transportation; school operations; and/or awareness/communication (outreach).
Classrooms and student groups must register and submit a project report. Registration is open until Feb. 3, 2012. Project reports are due April 2, 2012. For more information, go to www.coolcalifornia.org/climate-generation.