People around the globe must learn about the effects our actions have on the planet in order to be able to act in a way that prevents its destruction
A critical component in the fight against climate change is education—and education is the driving force behind a revolutionary new platform created by Hot Planet Cool Athletes, a not-for-profit, charitable organization committed to "educating and inspiring the next generation of climate leaders."
The group works In support of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, and uses the influence of world-class athlete ambassadors to increase climate awareness and action. Their educational platform equips schools across Canada with "in-person and virtual presentations from Canada’s top professional athletes, a comprehensive bank of teacher resources and a series of inspiring student challenges."
As students step into their roles as the environmental changemakers of tomorrow, climate protection education is a major part of the this process.
“We know youth will be the driving force behind the innovation and social transformation needed to accelerate Canada’s response to climate change,” says Dave Erb, executive director, Hot Planet Cool Athletes. “Investing in the creation of an engaging virtual presentation, a new dynamic website and a first-of-its-kind climate educator's portal are important tools for equipping students and teachers with the resources to educate and inspire the next wave of climate champions.”
Created in partnership with leading climate researchers and educators at the University of Waterloo Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, Hot Planet Cool Athletes’ new platform includes the following three components.
1. Video presentation
Developed by Olympic Gold medallist Kelsey Serwa along with freeskier, film producer and climate activist Mike Douglas, this engaging 28-minute video provides an overview of climate change along with actionable solutions for students, accompanying discussion questions, and an option for a personalized Q&A with a professional athlete ambassador.
2. Canadian climate educators portal
This portal of climate education resources includes grade-targeted exercises, as well as tools and information to educate and engage students on climate change. It was developed in partnership with Canadian high-school teachers and the University of Waterloo’s Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change in line with the requirements for the new provincial curriculums on climate change.
3. Student climate challenges
A series of exercises encourage students to take action and become advocates for the planet, both within the classroom and their communities. Each challenge has been supported by outdoor industry partners to provide incentives for completing them. The challenges encourage students towards the following actions:
- Get political – such as contacting a local government representative
- Get creative – find innovative ways to communicate about climate change
- Get sustainable – a series of actions to reduce environmental impact and build more sustainable communities
- Get crazy – find out-of-the-box, innovative solutions to climate change
The platform is available for students and teachers across Canada. Naiai West, conservation program coordinator, Timberline Canadian Alpine Academy, shares some positive feedback:
“Protect Our Winters (POW) and Canada's Hot Planet Cool Athletes presentation was informative and engaging. It got our students excited about environmental and climate action, and keen to volunteer on local projects."
We love seeing innovative and forward-thinking ways to stimulate and propel the fight against climate change. As more students become aware of the climate crisis and how to mitigate it, the future will hopefully look a little brighter.