Last year the beginning of a three year celebration/initiative aimed at raising awareness about the relationship between climate, human actions and the livability of the planet Earth was launched. While this is the second year of the program, the U.N. has named 2008 as the official “International Year of Planet Earth.” During this year media campaigns will be launched, science reports will be released and outreach programs will be offered.
For teachers this is the perfect opportunity to focus your students on exploring science issues related to sustainable development. Topics that are related to sustainable development include: renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, ecosystems, bio-diversity, soil fertility, deforestation, desertification, climate, global warming, pollution, population and ecology. You can use all of these sub-topics to develop lesson plans that will link in with news releases from the U.N. during the next year.
The promotion of the International Year of Planet Earth is a great cue for teachers to use for focusing science fair projects. Because scientists and the U.S. government are going to spend a lot of time and money on studying global warming, sustainable living strategies and other related topics, students with related science projects will probably do better at state and national science fairs. Also, there will be a lot of new information on related topics that students will be able to use to develop their projects.
Generating science fair project ideas sometimes requires that you to think outside the box. However, super science fair projects can be inspired by news items as well. This year energy science projects are going to be very hot, as are projects related to the International Year of Planet Earth.