Discovery Education Monthly STEM Content Highlights – April

We are celebrating the 3rd rock from the Sun: the Earth!

This month we are highlighting something very dear to us all and worth protecting for our future, the Earth. Earth Day 2017 is officially April 22nd; however, we challenge you to help your students take the next step and highlight our planet beyond just a one-day celebration. Think about how you may want to empower your students in taking action.

The Center for Green Schools was created by the US Green Building Council and supports educators, schools, and communities in “greening” their schools. Check out this great resource for how you, or your students, may help make a difference this month and beyond:

STEMtistic of the Month:

48% of the world lives on less than $2 a day.

Only 30% of recyclable waste is actually recycled.

Almost 1 billion people don’t have access to clean H2O.

The students in our classrooms and schools will be the generation tasked with solving some of the most unique, distressing, and critical problems in our world. We need to help them see that these issues are not only solvable but truly worth solving. What are the challenges our world is facing?

  • NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering: The National Academy of Engineering brought together 50 experts from diverse fields to discuss the challenges of Earth’s future. As the population grows and its needs and desires expand, the problem of sustaining civilization’s continuing advancement, while still improving the quality of life, looms more immediate. The Earth is a planet of finite resources, and its growing population currently consumes them at a rate that cannot be sustained. The challenges outlined are those that must be met to ensure the future of life on Earth itself.

  • United Nations Global Issues: As the world’s only truly universal global organization, the United Nations has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone.

Download the April 2017 STEMtistic Image

STEM Content Connection:

Novelis/Discovery Education “Life of a Can: The Never-Ending Story” – Educator Resources / Recycling Program

What is the impact of recycling just ONE can? Novelis and Discovery Education are proud to bring schools Life of a Can, a brand new elementary recycling education program that allows your students to explore this question and much more! Your students will be empowered to make a positive difference in their communities as they explore the never-ending life cycle of a recycled aluminum can.

Life of a Can gives educators the resources to empower and educate students about recycling and how to make an impact in this global issue. Novelis created a recycling startup logistics sheet which digs into these four tips to help get started:

  • Find out who currently collects the school’s trash and recycling, if already collected.
  • Reach out to waste collection or recycling organizations about a potential partnership.
  • Reach out to local sustainability-focused businesses about a potential partnership.
  • Form a committee, start a green team, or start a recycling club at school.


Tips to Startup Your Own Recycling Program


MORE STEM Content Connections:

Discovery Channel Racing Extinction: Earth Day Challenge

Small acts multiplied by thousands help power real change. Take the Earth Day Challenge and join thousands of people who are making easy personal changes that, when added up, will help protect species around the Earth. This movement started by the Sundance Film Festival and Academy Award Nominated documentary is built on the work of a team of artists and activists who expose the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that change the way we see the planet. View this epic film and impactful activities in Discovery Education Streaming Plus.


Discovery Education / 3M Young Scientist Challenge: Young Scientist Lab

The 2017 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC) has opened for entries and is looking for the most innovative problem solver in America. Applications are open through April 19th as students are asked to solve a local or global problem using innovation, creativity, and a lot of passion. Click here for the Application Process. However, beyond having your students applying, there are some great lesson plans on solving some of the global challenges we are facing:


LIMBS International: Learning For LIMBS

Show students how innovation doesn’t always mean more technological, pricey, or complex; sometimes simple is innovative and more useful. LIMBS International developed and provides simple prosthetic knees for people in developing countries across the world. Your students can learn and take action through this program and see the results of their action. Innovation and social action all in one!


Rock Your World: Inspiring Students to Change their World – Curriculum

Know that your students are interested in making a difference and don’t know how to start? Some great lesson ideas, support structures, and info on how to help your students start a social campaign, write persuasively, develop PSA films, or communicate messages of change through music.


Disney Be Inspired: Friends for Change

Need ideas for your students on how to start being a change maker in the community? Want to get/give students ideas of projects and places to start? Walt Disney has put together some great resources and ways to connect with others making an impact in the local community.


Generation On: Give Back the Green Way

As the youth division of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service and founded by former President George H.W. Bush, Generation On is about igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world. The monthly theme of environment showcases ideas on how students can help improve the environment by giving back the green way! Ideas and content for students, families, and educators.

Discovery Education Resources:

Earth Day Virtual Viewing Party / #CelebrateWithDE

Multi-modal K-12 resources, Discovery Education Blog /  Discovery Education Streaming Plus

Celebrate with Discovery Education and explore the history of Earth Day, an annual holiday observed on April 22nd to celebrate the beauty and fragility of Planet Earth. With this virtual viewing party, your students will explore the importance of Earth Day and the best way they can promote environmentalism in their local communities. Thousands of classrooms will simultaneously access this video and share their thoughts and reflections on the human impact on the environment and the best way to promote environmentalism in local communities. If this is your first virtual viewing party read our FAQs for additional information.


Earth Day Content Collection

Multi-modal K-12 resources, Discovery Education Content Collection

Earth Day is a celebration that inspires awareness and gratitude about the planet’s natural resources. Whether starting a school recycling program or supporting a local wildlife refuge, students will learn the importance of protecting the world around us.


Working a Turnaround Content Collection

Multi-modal K-12 resources, Discovery Education Content Collection

Change your thinking, change your behavior—and be part of the turnaround for Earth’s global environment! Conservation, the planned management of natural resources to prevent exploitation, pollution, destruction, or neglect, is a necessary part of making a healthier Earth now, as well as sustaining Earth into the future.

STEM Career Challenge:

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

STEM Career Challenges are developed to engage students in content tied to STEM career pathways often overlooked. Connecting student passions to their individual futures help capture students interest in learning. STEM Career Challenges have been developed to allow flexibility and customization for each teacher, school, and district based on your own standards and curriculums.

This month, going along with the theme of going green, we look at students exploring being a Green Building Architect. Green building architects are in demand in all parts of the country and the world. Not only does this type of building save/protect the environment, but in many instances, it saves long and short term costs for the owner of the building.

Green Building Architect STEM Career Challenge – Click here

Submit a STEM Career and Challenge important to your own local community for us to share with the Discovery Community! To submit your idea: STEM Career Submission

Extend Student Learning with Discovery Education Resources:

  • Investigate other types of buildings that can be made green. Every group takes a different type of building (like this green hospital video from Discovery Education Streaming Plus: in order to design a larger green town.
  • Develop a “Green Team” at your school and start/improve your recycling program with some guidance from Novelis – Life of a Can:
  • Start a fundraising campaign and talk to the local community about funding your plan to retrofit your school with sustainable features.


Join the DE STEM Team live on April 12th, 2017 @ 7:00pm (ET) as we highlight STEM Strategies that Work. STEM teacher leaders will share STEM strategies they utilize in their classroom that all educators can replicate to help develop a STEM culture. The DE STEM Team will also be live for “Open Office Hours” to answer questions, share ideas, and continue the conversation around STEM implementation and culture.


Join the DE STEM Team for our monthly STEM Chat! We facilitate rich conversation between our guest host and STEMthusiasts from all over!  How do I participate in a #DESTEMChat? Click here

This month we are joined by the 2017 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows as they share their experiences, ideas, and resources from a year leading the STEM conversation from Washington D.C. in offices of the US Congress, NSF, NASA, and NOAA!

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