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Learning to Love Sustainability

The Environmental Science Institute “Hot Science Cool Talks” took place this past Friday, August 28th at UT. Copernicus Academy participated in the pre-lecture science fair and shared some groovy sustainable activities! This particular event was pretty cool because it was also in conjunction with the week’s 2 Guys On Your Head segment!

Many came by the Copernicus Academy table and learned about some simple ways to take part in sustainable practices, no matter what the age. Kids made planters from used plastic bottles and talked about the enormous amounts of plastic bottles that are thrown out every day. They also learned about how native plants are vital for the sustainability of our environment, while creating seed bombs using clay and wild flower seeds. Finally, kids made solar ovens using simple materials including small pizza boxes, aluminum foil, saran wrap, and dark paper. Kids talked about energy and how to not only save it, but actually harness it! In this case, by creating a heating device for cooking and warming food using the sun’s rays!

After the fair, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke (2 Guys on Your Head) discussed how our brain works “when it comes to understanding what is happening in the world around us”. The talk included conversations about how it takes humans years to accept changes to our lifestyle and it also takes years to shift our collective outlook on the reality of our changing environment. The message the Copernicus team took away from the talk was that, participating in sustainability is not about convincing each other that it is in our benefit, but instead it is about learning to love and become excited about integrating sustainable practices in our lives.

At Copernicus Academy, our aim is to teach kids to love it, too! Sustainability is a big part of the curriculum that kids partake in on a daily basis. We encourage the reuse and recycling of all types of materials in our STEM activities and art. We also upcycle outdated or “trash bound” things in our décor and crafts. Its is our practice to save energy and water in our daily routines, while hand washing, equipment disinfecting, and by taking advantage of natural light indoors, for example.

Our teachers encourage kids to be mindful about only using what is needed for any given activity. The aim is to teach children to love to be creative with things that others may not find a use for, to respect our resources, our school and the plants and creatures that surround us. We hope to be aligned with our families’ sustainable practices! Learning to enjoy being careful with our resources, recycling and reusing as often as we can, are goals we take to heart at Copernicus Academy!

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