Friday, November 11, 2011

Via Climate Progress: Alliance for Climate Education: A Million Students and the Power of Awesome

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our lifetime.

At the Alliance for Climate Education, we use the power of awesome—awesome storytelling, awesome visuals, awesome presenters, awesome carbon-cutting projects—to inspire youth to take action on climate change while building habits for a lifetime and creating the will to change. Doom and gloom scenarios don’t inspire everyone, especially the younger generation.  Accordingly, ACE strives to inject fun and excitement around everything we do, to make beating climate change, gulp, awesome.

This week, we’re celebrating reaching 1,000,000 high school students nationwide with our award-winning assembly on climate science and solutions. It’s an awesome accompishment for an organization that has been around less than 3 years.  Best of all, our assembly works—it contributes to a 58% improvement in climate science understanding, according to 2010 survey with Chicago Public Schools, and 97% of teachers rate the ACE experience better than other high school assembly programs.

Take a look at our short assembly trailer to see how the power of awesome has helped ACE become the national leader in climate science education.

Moreover, the power of awesome has helped us hit some impressive milestones:
  • 150,000 DOTs, or pledges from students to Do One Thing to reduce their personal carbon footprint.
  • 35,000 students working on carbon-cutting projects in their schools. Hundreds of rave reviews from teachers, parents, administrators and students.
  • 1,200 climate leaders trained to better implement projects at their schools. Let’s drill down on those awesome leaders.

ACE leaders Daniela Lapidous and Shreya Indukuri discuss their smart meter project with Secretary Chu and Secretary Vilsack.
Don’t believe that high school students can make a difference today? Tell that to Shreya Indukuri and Daniela Lapidous, two students from San Jose, California, who saw the ACE Assembly, started a green club, applied for a grant and installed smart meters at school. After turning off energy anomalies, like air conditioning on in the gym over the weekend they saved their school $23,000, and went on to form an organization to help other schools do the same. They’ve spoken about their project at the White House, the Clinton Global Initiative and Powershift, to name a few prominent venues, and are poised to launch careers dedicated to stopping climate change.
Now, that’s awesome.
By reaching millions of students nationwide, ACE is filling an essential place in an aging environmental movement of grooming thousands of awesome leaders like Daniela and Shreya today.
Through that Power of Awesome we are seeding the generational shift we need to turn the tide on climate change and build the will to act.
— Pic Walker is the executive director of the Alliance for Climate Education

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