This was our 5th year participating in the Earth Day webcast. Unfortunately, Earth Day, April 22, fell on a Sunday, so we chose to webcast on April 20th. Our school created a live stream on the internet (webcast) for 7 hours! We broke our record!
This year, each of the 7th grade science classes discussed extreme weather. We researched the definition, causes, safety precautions and more about tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning and flash floods. During the discussion, we had a chat room available for listeners to interact with the students. We had participants from NH, MA, CA, AZ, Canada, Argentina, Korea and United Arab Emirates that we could recognize in the chat. We also had many parents and community members, even my parents, listen in during the day. The chat room provided immediate feedback for the students. We answered questions and learned from the participants.
We tried a new piece out this year. A small group of students went across the street to the bank with a cell phone. We had permission from the bank to ask their patrons what they would be doing for Earth Day. It wasn't a busy time of the day but we did get some people who were happy to speak with us.
We also webcasted for other schools. North Hampton, NH's 7th graders were on remote, reporting in via cell phone. They have a tradition of cleaning up a local park. The students reported what was happening and how important Earth Day is to them. We also interviewed a school in East Los Angeles, CA. They had started a garden and an ecology club. We spoke with the students and the voluteers who had started the programs. Well done third graders of Mr. Rodiguez!
As the day, progressed, we had students come in and out of our classroom studio. [It was also our Sports Day at school.] Just before school let out, we were visited by our Superintendent, Dr. George Cushing! The students asked him about his memories of the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. We even continued after school, on the day before our April vacation! Mr. Betournay and the 8th graders discussed their progress on creating solar cars, both small scale and the actual car out back!
I love the enthusiasm and the professionalism of the students! Never underestimate what they can do if given the opportunity!