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Inspiring Students to Invent Tomorrow

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“Students have a difficult time understanding how to ‘do’ science. This film captures the essence of what it means to be a scientist, how to make a difference in your world, and how to follow your passions . . . giving us all hope that we can be one united planet striving to solve our environmental crisis.”   - Laura Tucker, author and STEM educator

Laura Nix’s film Inventing Tomorrow shares the stories of teenage innovators from across the globe finding groundbreaking solutions to some of the world’s most vexing environmental threats to water, air, and soil. These students conducted original scientific research to present at the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Los Angeles. The students come from Indonesia, United States, India and Mexico, and they tackle complex environmental issues they are facing right in their own backyards. The documentary immerses the audience in a global view of our planetary environmental crisis, through the eyes of the generation affected by it the most.

The stories of these young, hopeful student scientists comes at an important time. In the spring of 2019, students around the world took to the streets to demand effective governmental action on the climate crisis. The leadership and energy demonstrated by many young people garnered attention from governments around the world. In response to the students, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a September, 2019 summit to address the climate emergency saying, “My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.” \

Students are also demanding comprehensive, non-partisan, evidence-based education in their classrooms. Though 85 percent of U.S. parents want to see climate change taught in their schools, 55 percent of teachers don’t cover it in class or talk about it with their students. 

Researcher Maria Ojala also found that teaching about environmental threats and climate change in a way that emphasizes meaning-focused coping, a strategy of acknowledging and re-framing negative emotions, could transform the experience of teaching into a more constructive and solution-based direction.

 “I used Inventing Tomorrow to instill in my students an idea of what can be done and how the future is moving. This is a very small school in an impoverished community comprised mostly of low income students of color. The students were most impressed by the fact that, as teenagers, they would be able to invent something that was both useful and necessary.  They saw the passion in the inventors.”   - Catherine Tabor, El Paso, TX
My students are indigenous Native American sophomores. They are bilingual individuals and the students come from many nations and pueblos around New Mexico. They were captivated by the film Inventing Tomorrow, in part because they are of the same age as the young scientists and in particular, the film featured students spoke different languages. My students really tune in when they hear a different language spoken other than English.  - Maria Meyer, Santa Fe, NM

Thanks to a partnership with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, a physical DVD with both the 87 & 55 minute version of INVENTING TOMORROW is available at no charge for educators and non-profit organizations based within the United States and Canada. Please email info@gooddocs.net

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/co...

https://www.youthclimatestrikeus.org/platform

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/22...

https://www.colorado.edu/cumuseum/sites/default/files/attached-files/ojala7.pdf

Jennifer Sarche Blueshift Education

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