March 17th, 2014

“Inspire, Inform, Act” resources

The Center for Investigative Reporting

It’s great when students want to personally get involved and make a difference in the environment or other important issues, but sometimes they need a little guidance to get started. We suggest the “Inspire, Inform, Act” method adapted from Speak Truth To Power and Rock Your World.

It all starts with inspiration – help ignite that spark in your students! Next, they’ll need to do some research so they are informed on the issue they are passionate about. Then it’s time to support them to feel empowered take action. Use the resources on this page to support your student’s effort to make a positive impact on the environment locally or globally.

These resources were designed to support teachers and students interested in participating in the toxic trial student project from PBS NewsHour Extra, The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Guardian. They may also be used as stand-alone resources for educators who want to empower their students to become environmental advocates. For more information on the contest please visit our lesson plan page.


Photography | CIWEM environmental photographer of the year 2013 from the Guardian

Polluted Landscape, 2012

Photograph by Lu Guang/CIWEM/the Guardian

We all share a responsibility to take care of our planet and each other. Surrounded by waste and pollution, the world’s most helpless suffer the consequences that arise from a lack of environmental and social consciousness.

Other resources to inspire


Article | Center for Investigative Reporting and the Guardian Toxic Trial

Use this groundbreaking report to learn about the ongoing consequences of the toxic waste crisis across our country.

Article | Toxic waste 

air-force-pollution_45_600x450 Photograph by Richard Olsenius

Use this article from National Geographic to learn about toxic waste basics and what’s being done to improve the situation.

Video | Facts about fracking

Let SciShow guide you through the basics of fracking.

Other resources to inform:


Environmental activism | Speak Truth To Power

Wangari Maathai fought in her home country of Kenya to restore the environment by founding the Green Belt Movement. Watch the video above to see how planting trees can start a revolution.

Tips on developing a campaign | Rock Your World

Use the resources from Rock Your World to create everything from political campaigns to PSA announcements.

Other resources for taking action:

Create an after school group | New Global Citizens

Find teachers and other students who might want to work together on a project

Writing campaign | Take action by contacting the U.S. government

Write a letter to your congressman or congresswoman or senator asking them about their positions on the environment or share your views with them. Get started by finding out who your senator and congressperson is and get their email.

 Household products | Investigate how safe the products in your house are

Here’s another idea: either at home or at school, identify all products in the room that contain toxic substances, then suggest and promote nontoxic alternatives. You could even take photos of the products that contain toxic substances and put it up on Instagram so people know not to buy it. Create a webpage or post a list of all the products with toxic substances and then create some type of visual or text of alternatives.

Act locally | Environmental Protection Agency

Getting involved can make a difference in your community! Use this resource to find ways to improve the environment right in your home town.

Special thanks to the folks at Speak Truth To Power for their help on this project.

Submit Your Student Voice

NewsHour Extra will not use contact information for any purpose other than our own records. We do not share information with any other organization.

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