Some Suggested Activities
Career “Speed Dating”
Do your students think they would ever choose a career such as a scientist or researcher, like the experts like they meet in this interactive? Try this activity with them to see if they can find a perfect career match.
Direct students to fill out the first column of this career profile(PDF) to help them see what they value in a career.
Students would then explore questions answered by three experts, looking for information about their careers. (They may want to preview the experts and their responses to determine which three they should pick to include in their chart.) They would record this information in the other columns on the chart.
Finally, students would use a 0 – 10 scale to assess whether that career would be a good personal match for them. A rating of 0 would mean that there is no match; a rating of 10 would mean that the career was a perfect match for them. If they do not find information related to a topic, they should draw a line through that rating space.
Follow up the activity by asking students (in groups or individually) to present their findings. Did they find any perfect career matches? Why or why not?
An important extension of this activity would be a discussion on planning for that career. Discuss how the career “matches” prepared for their job.
- View Career Speed Dating Lesson Seed
- Using Meet the Experts in Your Classroom - Learn Nancy Miller's (creator of Career Speed Dating) approach to and rationale for using Meet the Experts in the classroom
Sometimes, young people feel powerless in the face of the large environmental problems that our world faces. By learning a bit about these problems and what work is being done to solve them, they might be inspired to do their part.
Review individually, in groups, or as a class (depending on your computer situation) the questions the experts responded to discussing the biggest environmental problems our world faces. Create a list of the problems mentioned.
Brainstorm to think of things the students can do to help alleviate the problem. Investigate why these actions can help the environment. For example, the emissions our vehicles create when they burn fuel are often named as one of the sources of heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming. Consider personal actions in their everyday life, as well as letter writing or poster campaigns, assemblies to make their peers aware, and the like. Investigate why these actions can help the environment. Perhaps your class would like to choose one key activity to pursue for the year.
For example, many of the experts named global warming ads the biggest environmental problem we face. Look at some of the suggestions on these web sites to get some ideas of places to start:
- Union of Concerned Scientists: What You Can do About Global Warming
- EPA Kid’s Site: Climate Change: You Can Make a Difference
- Sierra Club’s Ten Things You Can Do to Curb Global Warming
Same As and Different Than
Many readers find it useful to use graphic organizers to jot down their ideas as they encounter information as they read.
You may want to distribute copies of this organizer to help students compare different experts’ responses to the same question. They could write the question in the center circle and then add names and a summary of how the experts responded to the lines that branch out from the center.
- Environmental Health Challenges Lesson Seed - Explore the environmental challenges discussed by the experts and your students as well as others.
- An Expert Contribution Lesson Seed - Imagine a week in the life of an environmental health professional.