Earth Day 2024: Addressing Environmental Awareness in Science Education

Celebrating Earth Day 2024 with Developing Experts

As Earth Day 2024 approaches on April 22nd, teachers around the world are gearing up to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This year, the theme ‘Planet vs. Plastics’ highlights the urgent need to address plastic pollution and its impact on our planet’s health. So, this week and next, integrate Earth Day themes into your science lessons to encourage environmental consciousness and empower your pupils to protect the planet that provides a home for us all. 

The importance of environmental education in science 

Understanding what is going on in the environment - both locally and globally - is integral to a science curriculum, as it not only deepens pupils’ knowledge and skills but also instils a sense of responsibility towards the planet. Through this blog post, we’ll delve into the question: what are the most effective methods for developing critical thinking skills and empathy among your students regarding the natural world, and how can you integrate these techniques into your lessons?

Resources for teaching sustainability and environmental conservation 

  1. Explore plastic pollution: Discuss the impact of plastic pollution on ecosystems, wildlife and human health. Start by exploring how’s goal for 2024 onwards is to achieve a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040. To do this, it aims to: 

You could consider dividing your class into 4 groups and ask them to focus specifically on one of the above areas. How could they be achieved quickly and efficiently? 

  1. Waste reduction challenges: With all classes, organise classroom activities focused on waste reduction and recycling. Encourage your pupils to brainstorm creative solutions to minimise plastic waste in your school or community. Is there any area locally where plastic pollution is a noticeable problem? 
  2. Biodiversity investigations: Take your pupils outdoors for a nature walk to observe local flora and fauna. Remind them that plants are living things and are equally affected by pollution and damage to ecosystems. 
  3. Teaching using Developing Experts’ science units: DE has a variety of units on offer that cover the theme of environmental sustainability, such as Year 4 Living things and their habitats - conservationYear 6 Looking after our environment and our COP26 assembly content

By integrating Earth Day themes into science lessons and providing access to resources and discussion that promote sustainability and environmental conservation, we can inspire the next generation to become proactive stewards of the Earth.