“If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. There would be nothing to figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if we lived in an unpredictable world, where thing changed in random or very complex ways, we would not be able to figure things out. Again there would be no such thing as science. But we live in an in-between universe, where things change, but according to patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature. If I throw a stick up in the air, it always falls down. If the sun sets in the west, it always rises again the next morning in the east. And so it becomes possible to figure things out. We can do science, and with it we can improve our lives.”
Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos
This quote embodies the essence of my ImagineIt project. Change is inevitable and has a lasting impact on the how we live and function. Students study in science the topic of renewable energy. This is energy produced from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, water, geothermal heat and various forms of biomass. Renewable energy is an excellent alternative energy source.
To begin this journey I applied for and received an opportunity to participate in the Field Museum Earth Force program. Earth Force is a non-profit organization that help youth solve environmental problems or concerns. Earth Force provides a step by step approach to problem solving. I decided to use this program because, after analyzing what I wanted to accomplish, I needed a more systematic way to approach my project. I could have jumped in and started teaching however, I wanted an exciting introduction that would add a more structured approach to the topic. I want students to walk away with a sense of responsibility of what it means to be a global citizen and what they can do to promote renewable energy. The Earth Force curriculum and approach to service learning is an exciting and refreshing. This began my introduction.
Earth Force is a six-step process. The steps are (information taken directly from the Field Museum website):
Step 1: Community Environmental Inventory-Gather information about environmental assets & issues
Step 2: Issue Selection-Democratically select an environmental issue for further study
Step 3: Policy and Community Practice Research-Identify policies and practices related to the issue
Step 4: Options for Influencing Policy and Practice-Select a policy or community practice to change
Step 5: Planning and Taking Civic Action-Create and carry out a plan for action
Step 6: Looking Back and Ahead-Reflect on the project and identify next steps
I used the first three of these steps to launch my ImagineIt project.
Artifacts to follow as the saga continues ...