Category 7: Environmental Awareness Issues

Environmental Issues
A: Task:

Design a website and/or create a video story that exposes local environmental concerns or that highlights special efforts to promote a sense of awareness and action (e.g. disaster preparedness, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, beach erosion, solid waste management, water, air, and noise pollution).

The theme for CyberFair 2024 is COLLABORATE & Unite!

Let's unite to protect our communities, our environment, our culture, our health, our animals, and our future.

"In collaboration we find strength, support, and the power to overcome any challenge. Magic happens when we collaborate with an open heart and a shared vision." ~Unknown

B: Learning Objectives:
  1. Students will understand that nothing in nature lives alone; all living things are influenced by their environment and each organism in turn influences its environment.
  2. Students will examine their connection to the ecosystem by looking at the influence of the environment on their lives and the impact their behaviors have on the environment.
  3. Students will better understand the world around them and take individual action for positive change.

C: Discussion Questions:
  • What are the demands being placed on the finite resources of your community?
  • How can changes in students everyday behavior have an impact in creating deterioration or harmony?
  • How can students think globally by acting locally?
  • What does having respect for yourself and a feeling of self-worth have to do with caring about your world?
  • What is the topography of your community like?
  • How is trash handled?
  • What can be done about using potentially hazardous household products?
  • Do you know where your wastewater goes after you take a bath, use the washing machine, or flush the toilet?
  • What are the 12 most common trash items found on beaches?

D. Suggested Activities:
  1. View past projects produced by students in this category.
  2. Give a brief geological history of your area.
  3. Develop knowledge of your community by describing its bioclimatic areas (rainfall and temperature).
  4. Describe the geographical demarcations (latitude and longitude) of the largest town or city in your community.
  5. List the various programs at your school and community that deal with the environment. Explain the background of these programs.
  6. Explain how people in your community have changed in regard to environmental awareness. Find an older person who has lived in your area prior to 1960 and develop a "The Way Things Used to Be" experience sheet.
  7. Investigate how waste produced in our homes and schools--trash, hazardous materials, sewage, urban run-off and litter--impacts local habitats.
  8. Check with your community and/or city council to find out what development plans are being made and how they will affect the environment.
  9. Elected officials at all levels make decisions that impact the environment. Call or write them to find out what they are doing to preserve and protect the environment.
  10. If possible, arrange for the class to visit the nearest landfill. Call the site in advance to request an official guide. If this is not possible, arrange for an official to visit the class to present key information about modern landfills.
  11. Brainstorm with the class a list of questions related to the effects of poor trash disposal on the health and life spans of people during specific periods and in specific geographical locations, such as the Middle Ages in Europe.
  12. After viewing some examples of common household hazardous products and discussing how easy it is for people to ignore their potential danger, challenge the students to accurately and vividly present (in the artistic form of their choice) guidelines for buying, using, storing and disposing of hazardous materials. (The students can form pairs or threesomes and plan and create their message, presenting it to other classes.)
  13. Develop a questionnaire/survey to determine the most conscientious recycling business in your community. Decide on an appropriate award or presentation for that company or business.

E: Examples of Projects