Smithsonian Science Education Center Launches New Environmental Justice Guide for Youth

March 3, 2022
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The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership, has developed Environmental Justice! How can we create environments that are healthy for everyone?, a new community research guide for youth ages 11–17. Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to help young people assess and take action to create sustainable, healthy and just environments.

In this guide, young people explore the question “How can we create environments that are healthy for everyone?” Students research historical approaches to environmental justice, learn about a specific environmental issue in their area and its causes, examine how different environments can affect the health of a community, discover the themes of injustice and plan innovative solutions to environmental problems.

The guide includes new research, activities and perspectives from subject-matter experts. It also integrates inquiry-based science education with social and emotional learning and civic engagement. By examining their own perspectives and the perspectives of subject-matter experts featured in Environmental Justice!, students generate customized solutions for the conflicts in their community and contribute to a more equitable and sustainable planet.

“I want to thank the dozens of experts from across the Smithsonian and the globe who served as advisors and helped to shape this guide,” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “This community research guide encourages young people to discover, understand and act on sustainable approaches to complex socio-scientific questions and create change within their own communities. It is an important step forward in the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s effort to create and promote a transdisciplinary approach to STEM Education for Sustainable Development, in line with the Smithsonian Institution’s mission to promote life on a sustainable planet.”

The Smithsonian Science Education Center will disseminate the information to youth worldwide in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership. The guide is free.

Environmental Justice! How can we create environments that are healthy for everyone? is made possible through the support of Johnson & Johnson.

About the Smithsonian Science Education Center

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is transforming K–12 Education Through Science in collaboration with communities across the globe. The SSEC is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of its programs and its impact on K–12 science education. Visit the SSEC website and follow SSEC on Twitter and Facebook.

About the InterAcademy Partnership

Under the umbrella of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), more than 140 national, regional and global member academies work together to support the vital role of science in seeking evidence-based solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world’s scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, improve public health, promote excellence in science education and achieve other critical development goals. See and follow IAP on Twitter and YouTube.

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