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Plant for the Planet

Young Voices on Climate Change

This video describes the foundation Plant for the Planet, a foundation created by a 9-year-old German boy, Felix. This foundation has planted more than 500,000 trees in Germany, which he says help sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The student rallies, first his community and then other children, to plant millions of trees to offset our energy-use emissions.

Video length 5:38 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Plant for the Planet program could be used within a classroom to inspire students to make changes by witnessing what other students are doing around the world. Oftentimes individuals don't know what to do to help make a difference.
  • Teachers could utilize this video in a motivational context or as an example of ways in which individuals can make a difference in organizing community projects.

About the Science

  • Through this video, students can witness other students making a difference and actively addressing climate issues. Planting trees may or may not be an effective carbon sequestration strategy - science seems to be changing on this.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Talks about "climate justice" - the idea that each person on the planet only has the "right" to pollute the Earth with 2 tons of CO2 each year.
  • Briefly brings in data that highlights current US and European CO2 emissions annually, which is far above the 2 tons cited.
  • Presents the idea that every person is responsible for contributing to climate change, some more than others.
  • Demonstrates that there are solutions to climate change and "children can do something."
  • A link to Felix's foundation is provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Videos are easily used in classrooms.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

MS-PS3.D1:The chemical reaction by which plants produce complex food molecules (sugars) requires an energy input (i.e., from sunlight) to occur. In this reaction, carbon dioxide and water combine to form carbon-based organic molecules and release oxygen.

MS-PS3.D2:Cellular respiration in plants and animals involve chemical reactions with oxygen that release stored energy. In these processes, complex molecules containing carbon react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and other materials.

MS-LS1.C1:Plants, algae (including phytoplankton), and many microorganisms use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

HS-LS2.B3:Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.

HS-LS1.C1:The process of photosynthesis converts light energy to stored chemical energy by converting carbon dioxide plus water into sugars plus released oxygen.

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