Are you an educator with the passion to inspire students to take environmental action? Prove it, and get rewarded for all your hard work–with a $5,000 prize!
Applications are now being accepted for the Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award. The National Environmental Education Foundation seeks to honor an outstanding middle school teacher who successfully integrates environmental education into their curriculum and engages students in interdisciplinary solutions to environmental challenges. The award recognizes an educator who can serve as an inspiration and model for others.
Join teachers and students in exploring our Ocean Connections as part of National Environmental Education Week, April 10-16, 2011
We might have divided it up and given the different areas different names, but there really is only one ocean. And it is the dominant feature of our planet. No matter how far we live from the coast, we are all connected to the ocean, sometimes in nearly invisible ways.
From the vast network of streams and rivers that make up the major watersheds on Earth (all of which drain into the ocean) to the ingredients in products we use every day, there is no escaping our dependence on the ocean. The ocean supplies us with food and medicine, cycles our water, generates most of the oxygen we breathe and balances our climate. Recognizing the vital importance of the ocean to all life on Earth, National Environmental Education Week’s 2011 theme is Ocean Connections.
National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) is the nation’s largest environmental education event held each year the week before Earth Day – this year, April 10-16. EE Week inspires environmental learning and stewardship among young people by connecting educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students’ understanding of the environment. The goal of EE Week is to assist educators in incorporating more high-quality environmental education across the curriculum. In 2010, over 2,000 schools and organizations across the country organized EE Week events. Collectively these organizations reached millions of students with environmentally themed lessons and activities.
Have you had a glass of water to drink today? How much energy do you think went into treating and transporting that water from its source – probably a lake or aquifer – to your kitchen faucet?
In the United States, 13 percent of the total energy produced each year is used to treat, transport, and heat our water. While that sounds like a lot of energy, getting clean water in the United States is as easy as turning on the tap. In some places around the globe, it is not that simple.
In some parts of the world, water is pumped by hand to fill buckets that are carried by women and children from a public source to their homes Photo Credit: WaterAid/ Layton Thompson
Water around the World: Carrying Water
In the United States and other developed countries, cleaned and treated fresh water is piped directly into our homes – we can turn on the tap for drinkable water any time. However, in less-developed countries, human energy is a necessary part of daily water use. About two-thirds of the world’s families do not have a water supply in their homes and must fetch water in jugs and buckets from wells, rivers, hand pumps, and other public sources. This water is usually collected and carried by women and children.In Asia and Africa, the average woman walks a total of 3.7 miles to collect and carry fresh water home each day. The average weight of water that a woman in Africa and Asia will carry is about 40 pounds! Water is usually carried on the head, back or hips, which can cause severe health problems. On average, a person living in sub-Saharan Africa uses four gallons of water a day, while someone in the United States uses 82 gallons of water a day or more.
Many African women must travel miles by foot each day to fetch enough water for their families
Photo Credit: WaterAid/Layton Thompson
How many trips would you have to make if you had to carry all the water your family uses in a day?
Do you have an inspiring story of how you and your organization are bringing environmental education to students? National Environmental Education Week would like to hear about it! Simply upload your photos and stories to the EE Week Photo Blog. Your story can be about activities, either inside or outside the classroom, before, during or after EE Week.
Keep reading for details about the photo blog contest!
Above: Recycle Bicycle, EE Week 2009 Photo Blog Contest winner.