Let's Talk Sustainability

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 17 

Students began the day reviewing clips from Planet Green's Battleground Earth Pass It On campaign where they ask celebrities for tips on being environmentally conscious. The clips led to an interesting discussion on the environmental impacts of some of the tips given and whether they in fact have a positive impact on the environment. One in particular that was highly contested was singer Mario's suggestion to use ATM's instead of visiting the bank teller in order to reduce paper usage. Students argued that since ATM's are always plugged in it contributes to damaging the environment due to wasted electricity. Afterward students came up with a list of their own tips they would share.


(click to enlarge image)

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 16 

Our day began with a guest speaker, Alexander Jutkowitz, market research and strategy consultant, who helped our students brainstorm ways that they can make their talk shows more dynamic and interesting. Students shared their talk show ideas and format with Alex, and he offered practical suggestions for audience engagement, compelling visuals, and engaging storytelling. Students kept these ideas in mind as they continued designing their talk shows for most of the day.

Afterwards, students revisited the Human Barometer questions they developed for their topic a few days ago. After a discussion about what it takes to be an effective facilitator both in real life and Second Life, each group took turns leading everyone else into SL to play Human Barometer at Global Kids Island.

LTS - human barometer

Participants wrote about some of the challenges they are having as group to complete the script and be ready for the talk show.

Nicholas writes about it in his blog:

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 15 

ken%20miller.jpg Students spent a lot of time developing their talk shows by following the action plans they created earlier. Groups have made significant progress in developing their scripts, coming up with interview questions, and looking for multimedia elements to incorporate in their shows.

Jason writes about how his group is progressing:
The group project is now in full bloom. We are now focusing on our true masterpiece which will be about global warming and ways to prevent it. To me I feel like we are progressing faster then we thought even though we still have a lot to go to be finished with our final ending - a show on a grand stage in second life-. We are at least 15% done with this whole project and hopefully we'll be done with it by August 11th 2011. This is just a Small obstacle to walk over and finish with a bang.


Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 14 


Students started off the day with an icebreaker that asked them to imagine that they had just inherited a prime piece of real estate: a large plot of underdeveloped land near a river. They had to work in groups to develop shops, homes, businesses, and other living necessities on the riverbank, in the most sustainable ways they could think of.

Students came up with great ideas that were inspired by many of the things they've learned in the program so far, such as: solar-powered rooftops, use of the river as a source of hydroelectric power, green spaces, farmer's markets, windmills, energy-saving appliances, etc.

Later in the day, students took a trip to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. They learned about how the subway system was made, walked through old train cars and compared them with the ones today, and discussed how the MTA has tried to incorporate more sustainable and environmentally-friendly elements over the years.

A couple of interesting facts that surprised most of us:

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 13 

It is already Week 4 of Let's Talk Sustainability! Students created action plans in their groups that detailed the actions/steps they need to complete for each task of their talk show. Their action plans included the resources and time they need to complete each task, as well as which group member is responsible for each task. Afterwards, an outline of each talk show was drafted, including the timing for each segment.

Before lunch, students played a Human Barometer game about sustainability (where they are asked to agree/disagree to statements) that generated a lot of good discussion. In particular, the statement: "Restaurants such as McDonald’s should be held legally responsible if their customers get sick from eating their food regularly" led to a very heated debate.

In the afternoon, each group created their own Human Barometer questions based on their topics, which will eventually be played on Global Kids Island in Second Life. Then they continued to work on their talk shows by doing research to identify experts and institutions they want to reach out to as guests for their show.

Let's Talk Sustainability Day 12 

Today, participants continued working in groups, developing their project guide by listing elements of a talk show. They wrote the elements an audience see and the behind the scenes parts needed to produce a show such as sound check, stage management, lighting and directing. They also discussed some of the design elements that will be part of their show stage. After that discussion, they actually had a talk by a the producer of the Virtually Speaking show in Second Life who gave them advise on how to prepare for the show: read about the guest speaker, train the guests in the use of Second Life, and have as much information about the topic and the guest speaker as possible.
Dancing at the square

They continued preparing for their talk show by interviewing people about their topic with flip cameras, later watching what they filmed and providing feedback to each other.

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 11 

postcard.jpgToday, students continued their research, with the focus on narrowing down their topic. The global warming group decided to focus on solutions to slowing down the process of global warming. The food justice group decided to focus on factory farming. The waste and recycling group decided to focus on electronic waste. Afterwards, students played a food justice game that focused on access to healthy and affordable foods, by asking them to role-play and pretend to go shopping for different groceries. Students felt that the game was very realistic about the real-life choices that families have to make when they shop for food.

One student Hugo wrote:
The experience from playing food justice was fun but it was base of reality. the poorer people could not afford the meals or grocery the first class people was buying and eating, because they are poor and don't got enough money so they don,t have any choice of what to buy. they first class people have the chance to buy more organic food and so.


Let's Talk Sustainability Day 10  

Global Kids youth leaders participating in the Let's Talk Sustainability program spent the day cleaning the Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. The service was part of the the Stoked to Serve program. Stoked to Serve "strives to connect youth to their communities through service projects. The incentive-based program rewards youth for giving back to their communities."

LTS at Fort Green Park

At the end of the day, there were 44 bags of leaves collected by all the volunteers, each bag weighing from 5 to 25 pounds. Participants were hard at work and diligent raking the leaves in the park. It was a productive and great way for them to be connected to the local community and to provide service by beautifying the park.

LTS cleaning the park

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 9 

secondlife-postcard.jpg Day 9 of Let's Talk Sustainability started with students doing research on the three topics they have chosen for their talk show. While the three main topics are global warming, food production, and waste and recycling, students have to narrow down each topic even further through their research. We also had a discussion about how different online sources yield different types of information.

Afterwards, students went to High Line Park (the first time for all of them) where they discussed the green design elements of the park and then paired up to interview at least two strangers while they were there. Students had to ask people why they were at the park, what they like about it, and what environmental issue(s) they care about and why. People said things like, "rising sea levels", "fracking", "global warming", and "pollution."

Let's Talk Sustainability - Day 8 

During day 8 of Let's Talk Sustainability Global Kids youth leaders began to work on a project guide to define the topic for the talk show they will produce in the fall. They wrote the reasons why the topic was important to them personally, and created a mindmap to start the process of further developing the chosen topic. Topics selected include Food Production, Waste and Recycling, and Global Warming. Later in the day they watched the documentary An Inconvenient Truth and discussed some of the things that most impact them in the movie.

This is the mindmap created by one of the groups:


In the afternoon, students went to see the set of "Virtually Speaking" where they started to think about their own design and practiced how to frame shots in close up, medium and long shots. The day ended by having them make a mockup of the set for their talk show. Some of them had great ideas, such as having chairs made of recycling materials for the audience or a table with a display of an oxygen and CO2 atom.