Tackling Energy on the First Official New York City DOE Climate Action Day!

Energy is what makes our bodies move, plants grow, and technology function. It plays a vital role in everyday living, and yet so little time is spent teaching students where the energy that powers our lives comes from, and how to manage it wisely. This year, the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Energy & Sustainability is taking on this topic and more with the introduction of Climate Action Days! Held four times each school year with themes including Energy, Water, Waste, and Green Space, Climate Action Days give students and teachers new opportunities to learn about the science behind sustainability and unite their communities in the name of climate education. This year’s first Climate Action Day is December 6th, and with a focus on energy, we’re thrilled to support this new and exciting occasion. 

Our spectacular Education Team has created a variety of tools and resources to help schools dive into the topics of conservation and responsible use of energy. In preparation for December 6th, we’ve shared resources including climate action-focused activities and lessons at our Election Day Professional Development Sessions, ranging in complexity from easy and accessible to involved and in-depth. These resources are tailored to each grade band ranging from K-12, in the hopes that challenging students’ presumptions about their energy usage and daily habits will inspire the critical thinking that leads to sustainable living. We want teachers to feel prepared and in-the-know, and begin the planning process early to ensure fun yet rigorous opportunities for climate education. 

Not only do we want this to be a day about education, but true to its name, we also want it to be about action. Through the activities shared, students and teachers will approach the subject of energy with inquisitive minds, with opportunities to improve their school’s relationship with energy on multiple levels. At the elementary school level, activities include learning about their school building’s energy rating and finding simple solutions to increase that rating. Similarly, high school students have the opportunity to research solar-powered cell phone charging stations and fundraise to purchase and build one at their school. These small but meaningful moments of collective climate action can make lasting change if done with consistency throughout the New York City DOE. By putting our full weight behind the first of many such days to come, our goal is to inspire a passion for climate education that extends beyond the Hydroponic Classroom. 

With more Climate Action Days on the horizon, we hope this will be the first of many celebrations that will empower the next generation of climate scientists, activists, and leaders. We’re excited to team up with the NYC DOE Department of Energy and Sustainability, as well as all our fellow sustainability partners throughout the city. Partner teachers who have not received our Climate Action Day resources should reach out to their respective Education Team members for access before December 6th. If you are a NY Sun Works Partner School and plan to participate in Climate Action Days, please tag us in social media posts using “@NYSunWorks” and use the hashtag #ClimateActionDays. For more information about Climate Action Days, visit the Sustainability Info Hub on the DOE’s official website.