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|Las Vegas Middle School Students Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by 45 Tons as Part of Immersion Learning's Carbonrally League|
MYSTIC, Conn. - By making small changes in their daily lives, two groups of middle school students in Las Vegas have reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 45 tons as part of Immersion Learning’s Carbonrally League.
The league was formed in March, with two teams – the Panthers, 69 sixth-graders led by teacher Judy Kraus at Hyde Park Middle School, and Chico Ico Ico, 45 fifth-graders led by three students at Sandy Miller Elementary School – quickly taking the lead in both Immersion’s league and among all Carbonrally teams around the world.
Immersion, a division of the Connecticut-based Sea Research Foundation, encouraged students across the nation to form teams and complete Carbonrally challenges that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Challenges such as “Top off the Tires” prompted students check their family cars’ tire pressures to help save gas and reduce emissions, while “Veg Out” encouraged students to plant vegetable gardens and “Get off the Bottle” challenged them to use reusable water bottles rather than plastic ones. The Carbonrally League was one of many activities in Immersion’s “Marine Mammals of the Arctic” multimedia program, developed for kids in grades 4 through 8 and designed to inspire them to be part of the world of marine science and conservation by helping to protect Arctic marine mammals and their ocean home. Program elements include hands-on activities and lesson plans for use in schools and after-school settings and online games, projects, videos, photos and live webcasts featuring scientists and animal trainers. Both Hyde Park Middle School and Sandy Miller Elementary School participate in Immersion programs throughout the year. “Encouraging kids to conserve and protect our ocean planet is an important part of Immersion's mission,” said Laura Batt, Immersion Learning’s director of programs. “We were thrilled to partner with Carbonrally to offer kids a fun, competitive online community in which to take action. Carbonrally really helps kids see how a lot of people making seemingly small changes in their lives can add up to make a big difference.”
Through Carbonrally challenges, the Panthers team members worked with their families to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 33 tons. Chico Ico Ico reduced emissions by more than 12 tons. As a reward, all Panthers and Chico Ico Ico team members will receive reusable tote bags. The team leaders will receive a 50 Ways to Save the Ocean book. Each member of the Panthers team will also receive an Immersion pin.
“Each year, we discuss what we can do to help our Earth, whether by recycling, changing light bulbs or other means,” said Sharon Pearson, a fifth grade teacher at Sandy Miller Elementary School and member of Chico Ico Ico. “The students get excited, but it is brief and few students actually follow through. Carbonrally has allowed the students to see that they can make a difference – that even little actions have an impact – and enjoy the camaraderie of working together as a team, bringing their excitement to the entire school.”
Carbonrally has made my class determined to save the Earth,” said Judy Kraus, the teacher at Hyde Park Middle School that led the Panthers. “They are accepting challenges that include changing bulbs, using plastic containers instead of bags for lunch and trading clothes, and have become advocates for reducing, reusing and recycling.”
Students from both teams plan to continue participating in Carbonrally challenges in the future, and many have devised their own challenges and suggested them to Carbonrally. Among the submissions are using plastic plates at picnics and washing them, playing board games instead of using the computer and using search engine Blackle.com to conserve energy.
Visit Carbonrally.com to learn more and make a difference.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., Carbonrally (www.carbonrally.com) is a web platform offering individuals and groups a fun, simple and social way to conserve energy and have an impact on climate change. Carbonrally publishes periodic science-based “challenges” which involve personal changes in behavior. The site enumerates the personal CO2 impacts associated with the challenges, and also reports combined scores for teams and the entire community. Through team play, Carbonrally provides a quick and easy program to engage people in collective energy and climate action. The service is free and available to participants 13 years and older.
About Immersion Learning™
Immersion Learning™ was founded by Dr. Robert Ballard and Dr. Stephen Coan in 2002. Through live broadcasts from scientific expeditions, hands-on activities and an engaging Web site, this non-profit science education organization brings ocean adventures and discoveries from Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, the University of Rhode Island and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to more than 50,000 kids in classrooms, after-school settings, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, and other informal learning arenas each year.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
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