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How to use Technology to Tackle Climate Change

How tech tools can help kids learn about — and combat — climate change

Katherine Lissitsa
9 April 2020

Politicians debate it, activists fight it, journalists write about it, artists reflect on it, and everyone around the world is aware of it. Climate change and its consequences have greatly affected both natural and urban environments across the planet. Climate action is a necessary step to ensure that we are protecting the place we all call home.

Taking Climate Action

Combating climate change is no easy feat, but there are certain small steps that everyone can take to contribute to the greater cause. Here are some of the recommendations outlined by the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development:

  • Composting food.
  • Buying eco-friendly products.
  • Consuming less meat.
  • Recycling products that are made of paper, plastic and metal.
  • Using public transportation, biking or walking as an alternative to driving.

We at KCJ not only support the UN’s goals, but have integrated them into our #kids2030 initiative. In addition to the recommendations above, we believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI), coding, and technology can play a significant role in positively altering the course of climate change.

Turning coding into something more than just acquiring technical skills is at the heart of our mission, which is why many of our #kids2030 activities have an environmentally-conscious spin. For example, kids can tackle Global Goal #13: Climate Action, and connect to their environment by building a micro:bit weather station. Being able to measure wind and water levels is an important part of tracking changes in climate and weather patterns.

Kids can also get hands-on with Global Goal #15: Life on Land thanks to the Climate Action Kit, a coding kit developed by Canadian EdTech leader, InkSmith. The kit’s components connect to your micro:bit and it includes lesson plans as well as all the robotic parts needed to complete 5 different projects around the theme of Life on Land - from programming an automated feeder for an insect farm to tracking how many bees visit a flower! KCJ is excited to be working with InkSmith to help more students across Canada use code to take action against climate change (and to sweeten the deal, the KCJ community gets a 5% discount through this link, 15% of sales are donated to KCJ’s programming, and 5 trees are planted).

How Tech Can Tackle Climate Change

Tackling climate change through technology is on our radar, and we are far from the only ones.

Since October 2019, Google has been collecting data around estimated greenhouse-gas emissions. They have publicly released estimates for over 100 cities around the world, including 73 in North America and they plan on expanding their inventory in the years to come.

Called the Environmental Insights Explorer , the project also collects transportation data, including biking, driving and transit. Together, the data can help environmentally-conscious policymakers and urban planners to make more eco-friendly decisions.

AI — another key element of the #kids2030 initiative — can also be a useful tool when it comes to combating climate change.

According to MIT Technology Review , AI could help scientists speed up the process of developing materials that use energy more efficiently, such as solar fuel. AI can also play a role in optimizing a building’s energy efficiency by adjusting heating, cooling, and ventilation to save energy. Satellite imagery,computer vision and ground sensors can detect the sounds of chainsaws to track and prevent deforestation.

If you’re doing anything to help others learn about climate change, or if you’re taking on the challenge using technology — share away! We’d love to hear more ways in which tech can be used for the greater good. To learn more about the #kids2030 initiative and how you can get involved, visit: https://kidscodejeunesse.org/kids2030

We’re celebrating Earth Day 2020 with a special online coding workshop! Kids can build their own recycling challenge video game while learning about Global Goal #13: Climate Action. Sessions run from April 20-24 and registration is free.

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