Due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Illinois Green’s Auxiliary Board moved their Sustainability Day Camp programming online. The following resources were put together to correspond with the theme “Nature and Technology,” the theme for the Sidney Epstein Chicago Youth Center’s 2020 summer program. These resources will expose youth to science concepts and sustainable solutions around the theme and will help students bring sustainable solutions to their homes and communities.

Interactive Games

Go Goals (Age Range: 10-13 year old)

Do you know about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Come learn them in a fun and engaging board game. The SDGs are global targets designed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The purpose of this game is to help you understand the SDGs, how they impact our lives and what we can do every day to help achieve the goals by 2030. The game is for 4-6 players and all materials are free to download and print out.

Link to the Go Goals Game: https://go-goals.org/downloadable-material/

Source: United Nations

Factile (Age Range: 6-9 year old)

Did you know we can do more with our garbage? Watch this video from Bill Nye the Science Guy about garbage and how we can separate the landfill stream from recycling and composting, learn about biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste and its effect on nature and then play this Jeopardy-style quiz game to review what you learnt in the video. Select the category and level of question and get points for each correct answer. 

Link to Bill Nye’s Garbage Video: https://www.schooltube.com/media/Bill+Nye+Garbage/1_5kgmey4b

Link to the Factile Game: https://www.playfactile.com/kbmr0pzu1m

Source: Bill Nye the Science Guy

Aquaponic Game (Age Range: 10-13 year old)

Did you know that you can grow 8 times more food than traditional farming and agriculture by using just 1/6th of the water and by using waste from fish? The system for farming fish and plants together in a closed loop cycle is called Aquaponics. Fish produce waste that turn into great fertilizer for plants. As the plants suck up these nutrients, they purify the water, which is good for the fish. Let’s learn more by diving into the linked resources and presentation. Then watch the video about the game to play along with the Auxiliary Board.

Resources about Aquaponics: Aquaponics Video and Information

Video about Aquaponics Game: Join the Auxiliary Board to build your own aquaponics system!

Link to the Aquaponics Game: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/31596222/

Sources: Plant Chicago

Other Online Resources

I-SPY (Age Range: 6-9 year old)

I-Spy something with my little eye… There are over a hundred things to find in this picture! From mushrooms to sunsets to ladybugs, can you find them all? And how fast can you find them?

Link to the I-SPY Resourcehttps://www.papertraildesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/I-Spy-nature.jpeg

Source: Paper Trail Design

EPA Coloring Book (Age Range: 6-9 year old)

Want to learn about what you can do to protect our environment? Check out this amazing activity book where you will get an opportunity to learn the basics of water, air, ecosystem, waste reduction and environment and how they can contribute to the greater cause. You will get to learn these concepts using different activities like drawing and coloring the pictures, learning facts, completing quizzes and solving crossword puzzles.

Link to Coloring Book: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/epa_general_coloring_book_final.pdf

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

How to Recycle (Age Range: 10-13 year old)

Everyday hundreds of thousands of pounds of waste are sent to the landfill, ultimately harming our environment. Understanding how to properly implement the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) strategies into your community can help eliminate what is sent to the landfill. Check out this online game to learn the ins and outs of what it means to recycle properly and how to bring about change into our community.

Link to the Recycling Game: https://www3.epa.gov/recyclecity/challenge/index.html

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Virtual Field Trip (Age Range: 6-9 year old)

Missing out on our field trips where we get to walk through nature, explore the outside world, and learn something new? Take an exciting virtual tour with the Nature Conservancy, through a series created by the organization’s 500 scientists to help you learn the science behind how nature works. You can learn about the coral reefs and how reefs are being damaged by human activity and climate change. You can dive into renewable energy and learn how we can get the energy we need without harming nature. There is plenty more, come have a look!

Link to the Virtual Field Trips: https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement/nature-lab/virtual-field-trips/

Source: The Nature Conservancy

Composting (Age Range: 4-8 year old)

Want to make some small changes to help the environment but not sure where to start? Composting is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and learn some important life lessons. This Peppa pig video introduces you to biodegradable waste and how food scraps can be composted into a rich fertilizer to grow new plants.

Link to Peppa Pig Video Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PElbErayZg

Source: Peppa Pig and Peppa Pig Official YouTube

Word Search (Age Range: 7-9 year old)

Did you know that worms can turn our food into food for plants? It is called vermicomposting! Feed worm’s food scraps and they turn those scraps into usable soil for plants and gardens. Complete this word search to learn more about vermicomposting. 

Link to the Word Search: http://www.vernetheworm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/WordSearch-Advanced.pdf

More fun facts about vermicomposting: https://kids.niehs.nih.gov/topics/reduce/vermicomposting/index.htm

Sources: Vern the Worm and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Explore Our National Parks!

2020 may not be the year for travel, but you can still explore America’s national parks with some great online resources. Did you know there are over 400 national parks in our country? Which one is your favorite? Check out these resources below to learn more about our national parks and virtually explore the great outdoors.

Link to virtual tours from the National Parks Service: https://www.nps.gov/kids/parks-through-your-screen.htm

Link to National Geographic Kids national parks activity page: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/nature/national-parks/

Thanks to our friends Steph, Joanna, and Mimi for turning us on to national parks resources, including this one: https://www.titlemax.com/discovery-center/the-ultimate-road-trip/most-popular-national-parks/