Teachers - Steps you can take

Objectives
Students will:
  • investigate and report on sources of emissions
  • report several actions people can take to reduce emissions
  • explore possible careers in providing alternative fuels and energy


Materials
computers with Internet access
printers
poster board, construction paper, etc
PowerPoint


Background

Today, the United States pumps more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country in the world. Each of us contributes about 22 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, whereas the world average per capita is about 6 tons.

The good news is that there are many ways you can help reduce pollution and improve the environment. Recycling, using less energy or renewable energy sources, using public transportation, or using a more fuel efficient vehicle are easy steps to take that would significantly reduce the amount of emissions in this country.

There are many career paths within the field of renewable energies, and many do not involve the scientific research itself, but the construction of the infrastructure, business, marketing, etc. to bring renewables into mainstream use.

Procedure
Part 1
Create an informational flyer (poster, web page, etc.) about pollution emission and why it is a problem for the environment. The flyer may focus on any aspect of the problem, but all flyers in some way must address the following points:
  • Major sources of pollution emission.
  • Why are emissions a concern and what are the associated health risks.
  • Steps citizens can take to decrease amount of emissions generated.
  • Explain how alternative fuels or technologies can improve air quality.

The following web sites are helpful resources to complete the activity:
Emissions by state What You Can Do - EPA Climate Change - EPA
State of the Air report - American Lung Association Individual - EPA Global Warming - Actions - EPA
AIRNow - EPA Transportation and Fuels - EPA
Clean Energy - EPA


Part 2
1. Use the Green Energy Career Guide to investigate possible careers in renewables. You might be amazed at the diversity of choices available.

2. Select one possible career and investigate and prepare information to complete the "Career Card" on the Student Worksheet.

For example:
Tidal Energy
Marine Ecologist


What is a marine ecologist?
A Marine Ecologist specializes in the study of ecological interactions and principles in different marine habitats. This includes the study of plants invertebrates and the interactions between organisms.

Ecologists enjoy working outside, and must be prepared to work in varied conditions. Field work is often a large portion of the work. Ecologists often work as researchers for universities, industry, or independent research centers. People who work in research are expected to publish papers and write research proposals. It is very helpful to have good communication skills in order to communicate science to the general public or funding agencies.

How could I become a marine ecologist?
A person interested in marine ecology would attend a university that offers a marine science major and specialize in marine ecology either late in their undergraduate study, or during their graduate studies.

Courses will include many, many biology and chemistry classes, physics, and calculus.

Be prepared for many years of school, most careers in this field require a graduate school degree.

How much money can a marine ecologist expect to earn?
Depending on the research and organization (for or not for profit) an average salary is $46,000.00 per year. The more education and qualifications accrued, the higher the salary.


Green Building
Construction


What is a construction worker?
The construction industry is divided into three major segments:
1) Construction of buildings contractors, or general contractors, build residential, industrial, commercial, and other buildings.
2) Heavy and civil engineering construction contractors
build sewers, roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, and other projects.
3) Specialty trade contractors
perform specialized activities related to construction such as carpentry, painting, plumbing, and electrical work.

Workers in this industry need physical stamina because the work frequently requires prolonged standing, bending, stooping, and working in cramped quarters. They also may be required to lift and carry heavy objects. Exposure to weather is common because much of the work is done outside or in partially enclosed structures. Construction workers often work with potentially dangerous tools and equipment amidst a clutter of building materials; some work on temporary scaffolding or at great heights and in bad weather.

How could I become involved in the construction industry?
Persons can enter the construction industry through a variety of educational and training backgrounds. Those entering construction out of high school usually start as laborers, helpers, or apprentices. While, some laborers and helpers can learn their job in a few days, the skills required for many of the trades worker jobs take years to learn and are usually learned through some combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. In a few cases, skills can be learned entirely through informal on-the-job training, but the more education received, generally the more skilled workers become. Skilled workers such as carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers, and other construction trade specialists most often get their formal instruction by attending a local technical or trade school or through an apprenticeship, or other employer-provided training program. In addition, they learn their craft by working with more experienced workers. Most construction trades workers’ jobs require proficiency in reading and mathematics.

Those who receive degrees in construction science often start as field engineers, schedulers, or cost estimators.

How much money can a person in construction expect to earn?
Job
Range
Laborer
$12.00 - $15.00 an hour
HVAC installation
$15.00 - $18.00 an hour
Carpenter
$17.00 - $20.00 an hour
Plumber
$20.00 - $23.00 an hour
Supervisors/Managers
$25.00 - $28.00 an hour


3. Assemble career cards into a large poster for display in the classroom or an electronic presentation.