Prototyping climate change solutions with school children

“They are going to be solving a set of problems that they have been studying in their climate science classes.”

Robert Castellino with Climate Colorado says rapid prototyping is a process used by engineers to bring the kids together to focus on challenges around the climate crisis that they are facing in their school that affect local issues to affect the global climate crisis.

3rd and 8th graders at the STEM Magnet Lab School in North Glenn will be using the technique during the school Climate Challenge Summit,Thursday, Oct. 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. . Four challenges have been developed for third and eighth graders to address problems they are faced with at school that affect the classroom climate and student performance.

Rapid prototyping is a process Climate Colorado pioneered and explored while conducting events around the state to solve local climate challenges. The rapid-prototyping portion of the summit will last about two hours. Students will work with facilitators, presenters and guides through an eight-step process to develop, test, reiterate and present ideas. At the end of the summit, eight teams will present their solutions to all those who participated and then make a pledge to make them happen.

Tracy Calderone, STEM School Coordinator says the students will look at issues directly impacting them and the school building, e.g. how to get to zero waste.  “We were looking for a way to give our students a hands-on experience in the classroom and to help them learn how they can solve their climate challenges and actively engage in making them happen over five years.” 

Ultimately, participants will take away a personal action plan and make a commitment to go Net Zero and Zero Waste and reduce their water consumption 50% by 2020 known as the Switch 2020 Campaign.

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