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My Wonderful World
August 2010 Newsletter
August is a crazy month. It’s steamy in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere as families, teachers, and students scramble to wrap up vacations and prepare to go back to school—or have already embarked on a new academic year. Amidst the chaos, now is the time to set broad goals and think about all the components that go into achieving a well-rounded global education. Service and activism, both local and global, are excellent ways to get students engaged in learning inside and outside of the classroom. This month we present a range of stories and opportunities to inspire youth to take action!

—Sarah Jane Caban, My Wonderful World Editor
Plan a Service-learning Project
Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Youth Serve America (YSA) is one of the leading organizations working to expand youth participation in service projects through grants and awards to teachers and students; training resources; and public-mobilization campaigns such as Global Youth Service Day, celebrated each April. This fall My Wonderful World challenges students, teachers, parents, and community leaders to work together to plan a service-learning project. Not sure where to start? Check out YSA's list of 100 Ways You Can Change the World for ideas. Teachers can visit GoToServiceLearning for service-learning lesson plans.

You can even win prizes for your service-learning efforts! Here’s one idea for a project/contest supported by National Geographic:

P&G Future Friendly Find Your Footprint Contest
Come up with an idea for how your school could save water, reduce waste, or save energy and enter for a chance to win a grand prize of
five Promethean technology-enabled learning environments, plus $1,000 of National Geographic products and 30 subscriptions to National Geographic Kids.

Learn more about your environmental footprint and how you can make a difference at the contest website.
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Editor's Pick
Drop That Knowledge
While journalism and education fight for their futures, inside a downtown newsroom in Oakland, California, young producers are redefining reporting, learning, and civic action. The new book, Drop That Knowledge, goes behind the scenes at Youth Radio to reveal how these new stories are created and the difference they make. Dial into the MWW blog for tips from the author on how educators can use this resource in their classrooms.
National Youth Science Day
On October 6, 2010, hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day during the third annual 4-H National Youth Science Day. In this year's experiment, 4-H2O, youth will learn about climate change and water quality issues. Youth will discover how increased amounts of carbon dioxide can affect aquatic animals, plants, and other living organisms in lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans.

This year’s National Science Experiment will help youth relate their scientific experiences back to their lives by measuring their own carbon footprint and estimating energy savings. Young people will see how their activities are part of a major nationwide discussion via several communication mechanisms, including Facebook, Twitter, and the 4-H.org website.

Learn more about the many year-long science programs at 4-H and this year’s National Youth Science Day experiment, 4-H2O, a key Geography Awareness Week partner project.
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Our Year. Our Voice.
"Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels"
—United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution proclaiming 2010–2011 as the International Year of Youth. The festivities coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year, which took place in 1985. This year's theme is Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The celebration kicked off August 12, 2010, in time for the annual International Youth Day event. The World Youth Conference will gather people from all around the world in Leon, Mexico, from August 23–27, 2010, to identify and discuss action priorities on youth issues.

Get involved in the International Year of Youth (IYY)! Visit the IYY website, where you can learn how to host an event and register it on an international calendar. You can also download the official logo, brochure, and participation guides; subscribe to a monthly e-newsletter; post videos and photos; and join the IYY community on Facebook;.
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One Kid’s Quest for Activism and Self-discovery in Iceland
Alec Loorz is a 15-year-old eco-hero who started an innovative campaign called Kids vs. Global Warming. Last month, Alec embarked on a trip to Iceland with National Geographic’s Student Expeditions program. Check out these excerpts from his first blog post:

"By the time the majority of people begin to feel the worst effects of climate change and begin to suffer...it will be too late. We can't wait for that to happen…

…So, I'm making it a personal quest to go to places affected by climate change, find people and creatures and land and water that are already personally affected, and bring these stories back to those of us who have the power to help…

…I'll be joining a dozen other high school students to study climate change, filmmaking, and photography in Iceland. We'll be trekking on glaciers and lava flows, taking a tour of a modern geothermal power plant, and talking to local residents about the effects of climate change in their communities…"

Read more about Alec’s inspiring, life-changing adventure in Iceland on the National Geographic Kids Green Scene blog.
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Hot This Month
Wildest Dream Educator Resources
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest is now playing in theaters across the country. National Geographic Education has developed a suite of standards-based lessons to accompany the large-format film (think IMAX®) featuring video clips, maps, and photography for students in grades 4–12. Engage your students in learning how science, geography, history, and technology are part of climbing the tallest mountain in the world—today and yesterday!
 
Register for the 2011 National Geographic Bee
The National Geographic Bee is a school competition for students in grades 4–8. Excite your students about the world around them and reward those who excel in their knowledge of geography.

Schools that register by October 15, 2010, will pay a $90 fee and will receive their contest materials in early November. Schools that register after October 15 will pay a $110 fee. Click here for complete information.
 
Youth Olympic Games
"More than ever before, regardless of the country we belong to, we have to work together as fellow human beings in confronting common global challenges like change, nuclear proliferation and sustainable development. Our hope must always be with the young."

—Singapore Minister George Yeo speaking about the first Youth Olympic Games, which are underway in the nation-state.
Hands-on Explorer Challenge
Don't forget to remind your kids that they can enter for a chance to win a spot on the 2011 NG Kids Hands-On Explorer Expedition to the Cayman Islands! Enter by December 1, 2010. For details and contest rules, click here.
 
What's your water footprint? Find out and see if you can reduce your use with this new interactive calculator.
 
International Photo Contest for Kids
Grab your camera and snap some photos for this year's National Geographic Kids photo contest. Find out how to enter, learn about prizes, and enter your best photos in this worldwide competition.
 
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