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7 activities to get kids learning while protecting the planet

Finished the #kids2030 Challenge? There’s so much more to learn!

Erin Johnston
10 March 2021

We launched the first annual #kids2030 Challenge in October 2020 and already hundreds of young people from across Canada and beyond have shared their solutions to reduce plastic pollution (you can see some of them on display in our gallery). From plastic-collecting submarines to a machine that converts plastic into electricity, there’s been no shortage of innovation and creativity.

But what if you’ve completed the #kids2030 Challenge and you’re ready for more? Look no further! We’ve rounded up 7 more activities and projects kids can do to continue learning about the earth and take action to protect it.

1. Clean up the ocean with AI

A trained AI bot differentiates fish from trash. Image: Code.org.

AI for Oceans by Code.org is a great example of how technology can be used to reduce plastic pollution. Students train an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot to classify fish and differentiate them from pieces of trash, so that fish can be protected while the trash is eliminated. It’s a hands-on way to explore machine learning and AI bias.

2. Do your bit for the planet

Do your :bit, the annual challenge from the micro:bit Educational Foundation, is back! 8-18 year olds can put their imaginations to the test by combining creativity and technology to come up with solutions for the Global Goals. Try out one of the climate-themed micro:bit coding projects for inspiration and then get to work on your solution - there are great prizes to be won.

3. Showcase your backyard’s biodiversity

Image: Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants

BackyardBio is the perfect excuse to get off the couch and explore the great outdoors. Hosted by Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, students are invited to take photos of the plants and animals they find and share them with other classrooms, families, and community groups worldwide. It’s like a global scavenger hunt! The program starts in May 2021 but you can register and start snapping photos right away.

4. Make sense of the plastic problem

Analyzing a problem can help us find alternative or better solutions. Through Ocean School’s Critical Reflection lesson, students will reflect on the issue of plastic polluting the ocean. From gathering the facts to taking action, you’ll use your imagination to come up with solutions to this and many other problems.

5. Get hands on with climate action

From hydroponic farming to protecting pollinators, InkSmith’s micro:bit-powered Climate Action Kit encourages kids to explore the ways tech can be used to protect the planet. The kit comes with all the necessary robotic parts and instructions to build loads of different projects - or maybe you could invent your own! The KCJ community can even save 5% on the purchase of a kit by using promo code KCJCAK5.

6. Become an Ocean Defender

Image: Sea Smart School

Sea Smart School’s online Ocean Defender courses were developed by marine biologists and environmental educators. Students will foster their critical thinking skills while learning about all the amazing creatures that live in the oceans and what we can do to protect them.

7. Zoom in on climate change

Image: World’s Largest Lesson

Earth: it’s everybody’s home, an activity from World’s Largest Lesson, uses Google Earth tools to explore the natural world. You’ll see which human activities are impacting the climate crisis but you’ll also learn what youth activists around the world are doing to support the Global Goals.

And that’s not all! You can find even more activities and resources for young change-makers, courtesy of our supporters. No matter who you are or where you live, there are endless ways you can protect the planet - and have fun while you’re at it.

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