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Earth Day 1970-2017: What's Changed
https://www.amnh.org/explore/videos/earth-and-climate/earth-day-1970-2017-what-s-changed

American Museum of Natural History

This video illustrates the environmental challenges and achievements since Earth Day was established in 1970. It can be used as an extension or engagement resource. However, it would need to be carefully framed with the objectives of the lesson.

Video length is 3:57 min

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»


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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This video would provide a good base for discussion around the many environmental topics addressed. If framed carefully, the video can help motivate students to engage with environmental issues.

About the Science

  • This video summarizes some of the environmental challenges faced and progress made in the period between Earth Day 1970 and Earth Day 2017. Some ambiguity exists in the science content. For example, the reference to clean cars only means that particulate pollution has been addressed. However, that might imply to students that climate change has been addressed (which is not the case and is a critical concept to grasp). Similarly while bald eagles have made a comeback, many more species are becoming extinct. Hence, if this video is used as a resource, the teacher will have to critically discuss the content presented in the video.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    Great resource.
    - Shows the negative ways in which our planet has changed over the past 30 years including, population increase, CO2 emission increase leading to temperature increase, sea level rise increase, water usage increase, animal population decreases
    - Also shows the positive ways in which things have changed after signing The Clean Air Act in 1970 (cleaner vehicle emissions, recovered species, more jobs created, a stabilizing ozone layer, etc.)
    Suggestions:
    Should be noted that these numbers will definitely change in the future years to come.

About the Pedagogy

  • The video is comprised of simple graphics that clearly illustrate key points and flow through connected concepts.
  • The video can be paused to offer opportunities for discussion.
  • Students may feel emotionally depressed after watching this video. For that purpose, the teacher needs to be attentive towards the framing of this resource (when they use it and how they use it).

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This short video can be easily viewed online.
  • Video transcript is available.
  • The video is not narrated and words go by very fast. However, by changing the settings on the youtube video, one can slow the speed from normal to 0.75 or 0.25 which slows the video.
  • Some details are tiny and appear at the very bottom of the screen, so the teacher will have to draw students' attention towards them.

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