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Title: YouthCaN - Youth Communicating and Networking


Summary

Students sharing their interests and projects around protecting the environment in their communities and collaborating with students in other areas doing the same.


Description

YouthCaN is a growing network of youth clubs, classes and community groups who share an interest in studying and protecting the environment. These groups are youth-directed. They coordinate local hikes, explorations of the environment, investigations of environmental topics and share these explorations through online YouthCaN forums and at local and international conferences and workshops.

YouthCaN groups often organize local gatherings or conferences to share their projects in their communities. Sometimes these conferences involve youth from several locations. Gatherings have happened at sites around the world including the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, USA, Japan, Taiwan, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Senegal and several locations in the USA. Perhaps you can plan one in your town or school!

Local groups around the world organize periodic hikes and other activities for their members and share those activities with YouthCaNers in other locations through the forum. For example one of the YouthCaN groups in New York City holds weekly Friday meetings at the American Museum of Natural History. Others classes/students can join these meetings in person or via Skype or other technologies. YouthCaN groups around the world determine their local environmental activities and timelines.

This project is co-sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, iEARN, SmallFEAT Education and a number of high school environmental organizations.


Facilitators

  • Jay Holmes, United States
  • Nawrez Hsayri, Tunisia
  • misheck mutuzana, Zambia

Languages

English

Student Age Levels

12-14 (Middle), 15-18 (Secondary)

Dates

Ongoing -

Possible classroom activities

Student projects have taken many forms and are largely dependent on their interests and the locations of the school. Past projects have included: school planting projects (trees, native wildflower gardens, pollinator/butterfly gardens), habitat restoration/protection (restoring natural pond and stream habitats, working with parks staff to protect habitats of endangered animals and plants) , solar cooking, alternative energy, beach (and other habitats) Clean-ups, biodiversity investigations. Projects also include raising community awareness of environmental action through community events and conferences.


Expected outcomes

Outcomes: improvement of local environmental conditions and awareness in the community. Development of leadership skills amongst the participants.
Products: Culminating video or report of student projects from each local YouthCaN site.


Group contributions to others and/or the planet:

YouthCaN is related to a number of the SDGs. For example, since YouthCaN students often analyze the water content and quality in their neighborhoods, this contributes to an understanding of and attainment of SDG #6. Further, since YouthCaN students look at such issues as consumption/waste, composting, renewable energy and natural habitats, the project is also linked to SDG # 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life below Water) and 15 (Life on Land).


Curriculum area

Environmental Science, Environment and Society, ELA/Humanities/Social Studies


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