These kids want the world to chill out!
Students at a Coney Island elementary school demonstrated a keen comprehension of global warming and discussed ways to stave off environmental disaster at a gymnasium-wide climate change expo on Friday.
The science project gave kids an opportunity to learn about the planet — and inspired them to help save it, according to one pint-sized planeteer.
“[This project] gives me the courage to help this planet.” said Justin Brathwaite, a third grader at PS 90 Edna Cohen School.
At the expo, the budding environmentalists manned booths that stretched up and down the W. 12th Street school’s gym, where they spoke passionately about climate issues such as the risks polar bears face, how to clean up beaches, and fun ways to recycle.
Almost every booth included an interactive or artistic element, like a board game made from used materials or cardboard cut-out polar bears, and many students presented their projects using technological tools, like iPads, computer games, and presentation software. Two stations even featured robots that students had programmed themselves.
“It’s like a puzzle,” third grader Alex Marin said about programming his robot, named Nao, which he instructed to dance and talk about climate change. “When I first saw [Nao] I was like, ‘How am I supposed to control this for the expo!’”
An hour and a half into the exhibition, parents, educators, and students visiting from other schools gathered in the middle of the gymnasium to hear the students sing. Accompanied by the music teacher who strummed along on a guitar, a group of older elementary schoolers sang three songs about saving the planet, including “This Pretty Planet” by Tom Chapin.
“This pretty planet, spinning through space,” students cooed in a two-part round. “Your garden, your harbor, your holy place.”