To celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, we’ve put together a virtual collection of 51 engaging activities that students, educators, and families can do to make a meaningful difference for our planet. “51 Ways to Earth Day” includes live events, videos, challenges, Virtual Field Trips, and fun family activities from Discovery Education’s robust collection of Earth Day content, and features many of our trusted partners.
Did you know the production of certain fabrics, and their dyeing process, create excess waste and pollution, harming the environment? Read this article and identify ways you can change the way you think your clothes.
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Meet Jonathon Stahl, Vice President of Ballpark Operations and Guest Experience for the Washington Nationals. Learn how the Nationals reduce waste at their stadium by providing recycling and composting bins alongside every trash can.
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Take a Virtual Field Trip to the tundra with Polar Bears International to observe real polar bears, meet polar bear scientists, and learn how climate change is threatening polar bears’ survival by melting the sea ice on which they depend. Consider how your family can balance your use of fossil fuels with renewable energy options like solar, wind, and water energy to help protect these bears.
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Meet Max Machum, an 11-year-old who started his own “No Straw Challenge” campaign in Guanacaste, Costa Rica after seeing a video of a sea turtle with a straw in its nose. Consider steps your family can take to stop plastic pollution, like carrying reusable water bottles, cooking more instead of getting take out, and purchasing items secondhand.
Did you know the average American wastes 20 pounds of food each month? Learn about food waste in the U.S. and consider steps your family can take to limit food waste, like using leftovers in creative ways to create a new recipe.
Take a trip to the Itron Innovation Center to explore how technology powers sustainable solutions to the challenges of modern life. Using what you’ve learned, work to create a blueprint of your living space that highlights ways you can conserve energy and water and help save the planet.
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How does walking instead of driving help the coral reefs? Learn how burning fossil fuels can bleach and harm coral reefs. Then, list ways your family can help coral reefs by walking instead of driving, volunteering in a local beach or reef cleanup, buying sunscreens with chemicals that don’t harm marine life, or consuming sustainable seafood.
Why is the ocean blue? Are there five separate oceans or are they all connected? Is the ocean floor flat? Watch this video to learn the answers to these questions and more! Then, find out if you live in a watershed area that leads to an ocean and explore ways that you can reduce pollutants that harm our largest bodies of water.
Produced by World Wildlife Fund every two years, the Living Planet Report is a health-check for the planet showing how the natural world is doing, what threats it faces and what this means for us humans. Read the report, learn about the 6 steps to recovery, and write down 3 ways you can work to improve the environment in your local community.
Meet Jon Lister, Senior Director of the Facility Management Team for the Boston Red Sox. Learn how the Fenway Park staff work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the stadium and divert recyclable items and food waste from landfills. Identify ways you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in your school.
Meet Emmeline D’Angelo, a Senior Quality Engineer at Siemens who addresses and solves quality issues to improve efficiency and product performance for customers. Identify something you use everyday that could be improved and list the changes you’d make.
Follow Marina, Zeek, and Fishtronaut as they learn how to compost garbage and help the environment break down natural materials. Then, start your own compost pile.
Meet Forrest Galante, a wildlife biologist and host on Animal Planet who is passionate about protecting animals. Leanr what you can do to make the world a better place for wildlife.
Discover the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Then, think about how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle to protect the planet. Pick one item each week that you will reuse instead of throwing away. How many items can you reuse in a month?
Join Luna, Clyde, and Jupiter as they learn how to recycle plastic and follow the production line in a recycling plant. Learn why recycling is so important and how to know what can be recycled. Then, make a sign for your home or classroom to remind everyone to recycle.
Take a virtual field trip with Discovery Education and Polar Bears International to harness your curiosity about polar bears. Discover more about these creatures’ anatomy, survival habits, migration, and population density in Canada as well as how COVID-19 impacts polar bear research.
Watch a music video about the different forms and sources of water on our planet, including Earth’s five oceans. Consider why it’s important to keep our water clean and make a plan to preserve clean water by using less each day.
Conduct an experiment to analyze the relationship between soil health and grass growth and talk with family members about why we should protect grasslands. Determine how you can help protect grasslands in your area or elsewhere in the U.S.
Did you know there are more than 75,000 types of soil in the U.S.? Take a Virtual Field Trip to learn how the amount of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter changes soil composition and capacity for plant growth. Then, get outside and dig up some soil to see if your soil is more like New Mexico’s, Iowa’s, or Alaska’s!
Watch two videos to learn about the impact humans are having on Earth’s oceans. Then, make a plan to help protect marine ecosystems around the world by using less plastic and producing less trash overall.
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Join Tom Thomas as he learns how and why humans can harm Earth’s resources by extracting oils, cutting down trees, and polluting the air and water. Then, make a list of ways you can help protect the environment by reducing your use of water and paper.
Learn how pollution has damaged New York Harbor’s marine life and how students and scientists are restoring the oyster population and bringing back other wildlife. Identify one way you can support native wildlife in your community.
What is ocean acidification? Learn about this growing threat that could change the very nature of where animals and plants live in the ocean. Make a plan to help protect our oceans by reducing your carbon footprint.
Who started Earth Day and how many countries celebrate it? Learn about the history of this holiday and discover how different countries inspire environmental activism. Design your own project to honor and protect our planet and inspire others to do the same.
Did you know that corn can be turned into fuel? Watch this video and learn the five steps through which corn can be turned into a fuel called ethanol.
Learn about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and how technology helps us better understand humans’ impact on the planet. Design an idea for an app to bring communities together and share data to help protect our environment.
Have you ever wondered how climate change affects polar bears in the Artic? Using this activity from World Wildlife Fund, learn about climate and how the negative effects of climate change are felt all around the world.
Learn why it’s important to conserve fresh water and what people can do to limit their water use. Consider how your life would change if you had to live on just 2 liters of water a day. Then, make a plan to cut down on how much water you use each day. Can you take shorter showers and turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth?
Did you know that billions of nonrecyclable plastic straws litter our streets and wash into the ocean? Watch this video to meet Max and learn about his “No Straw Challenge.” Then, come up with your own way to challenge your family or community to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
Learn what climate change is and how human activity is contributing to global warming, which affects weather patterns and threatens animal and human communities. Then, commit to doing one idea shared in the video to reduce your carbon footprint.
Grab a partner and play Tic Tac Toe as you learn how to recycle and reuse materials like glass, paper, and plastic.
Join Discovery Education and Boeing on a virtual field trip to investigate the themes of air, land, water, and waste. Learn what you can do to improve the environment as well as how a large company like Boeing is doing its part, too.
Hear from a series of changemakers, both younger and older, who have taken initiative to help mitigate the effects of our planet’s exponential warming. Identify three ways that you can take action in your local environment.
Meet Louisa Atkinson (1834-1872), an Australian botanist whose many discoveries and illustrations made her a groundbreaking force during the early days of Australia. Next, go on a nature walk and either take pictures or sketch images of three plants you see along the way. Consider how art and photography can connect to sustainability efforts.
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Learn how the head groundskeeper of the Baltimore Orioles uses science and technology to care for the ball field and make game-day decisions. Find and share with others a way to make lawn care in your community more sustainable.
Meet a polymer scientist and follow along as he explains how he uses different films to make photovoltaic cells produce more electricity. Research ways that your community is capturing solar energy in an effort to utilize sustainable energy sources.
Climate change threatens coral reefs by increasing surface water temperatures and acidification of our oceans. Learn how scientists are growing diverse corals in nurseries to repopulate reefs and list at least three ways that you are dependent on coral reefs.
Do you know why mangrove forests are called the “unsung superheroes of a coastal environment”? Learn how mangrove forests protect shorelines, keep reefs healthy, and provide habitats for birds, fish, oysters, crabs, and other marine life.
Explore the effects of global climate change, increases in natural disasters and extreme weather events, and the depletion of natural resources. Then, collect data from family and friends about which environmental or sustainability issues are of highest priority to them.
Learn how human activities have led to changes in animal populations and ecosystems and about the negative and permanent impact of deforestation. Then, work with a friend or family member to “Table Top Text” about what you’ve learned and come up with one way social media could be used to help protect the planet.
Learn about the ecological importance of species that pollinate flowers, such as birds and insects. Then, design a unique habitat that would attract these pollinators based on their specific needs.
Hear the story of the image of Earth captured by astronauts Bill Anders, Frank Boreman, and Jim Lovell on the Apollo 8 mission in 1968. Consider how the beauty, awe, and grandeur of Earth against the blackness of space has changed perspectives about the importance of environmental sustainability.
See why dying forests are one of the starkest indicators of climate change in the world. Think about how marsh encroachment and ghost forests can be directly attributed to rising sea levels.
The patent for the paper straw was created in 1888. After WWII, the straw went from paper to plastic. Today, the plastic straw is being replaced by more sustainable materials as a small step to help the environment. Watch the video to learn why the straw is the center for this new movement and then use materials from your home or community to create a prototpe of a sustainable straw.
Watch as the Director of Ballpark Operations and Sustainability describes Major League Baseball’s efforts to promote sustainability. Research how your favorite baseball team or other sports team is finding ways to reduce its environmental impact.
Watch this video to learn how climate change impacts some communities differently and why the “climate gap” is getting wider. Then, come up with a way you can volunteer in your community to make the planet safer for everyone.
Learn how plants can help buildings save on energy costs, reduce pollution, and increase energy flow by being planted on roofs. Then, research and implement one way you can use plants and trees to reduce your home’s energy costs and your impact on the environment.
Watch Discovery Channel’s “Racing Extinction” to investigate how artists and activists are using creativity, technology, and advocacy to bring attention to endangered species facing possible extinction. Then, choose a creative platform or approach to raise awareness about an endangered species in your region.
Are you looking for a way to change the world and use creativity to share your message? Learn all about the exciting career of a nature photographer and then take this STEM Career Challenge to take pictures that tell a story.
Learn about scientific experiments on the International Space Station. How do scientists use imagery from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to detect patterns on earth over a period of time?
Meet the team at the Palo Verde Generating Station to learn how nuclear technologies are helping to develop more environmentally favorable electrical power. Make a list of some of the careers that interest you related to technology, data analytics, operations, and sustainability in nuclear power.
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Meet discovery+’s Chasing Ocean Giants host Patrick Dykstra and learn what inspired him to become an ocean explorer, adventurer and filmmaker, and what we can all do to make the world a better place for wildlife.
Don’t miss this live Twitter chat with a Major League Baseball player! Join the team @DiscoveryEd to hear from him and pitch in to the conversation.
Catch a Q&A session with Dr. Josh Willis, oceanographer and lead scientist for the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) initiative.