HART’s free Environmental Education Program explores the connection between transportation choice and impact on the environment. The program is designed to educate students in grades K-12, as well as getting residents involved in sustainable transportation options in their community.
All lessons meet NJ Core Curriculum standards. Contact Nathan Charron, Environmental Education Coordinator, to discuss.
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Wings and Thingamajigs (K-4 grade)
This illustrated children's picture book serves as the basis for a lesson geared toward students ages 4-8. The book tells the story of a fictional community of barn owls who learn that idling their vehicles pollutes the air, but that there are alternative forms of transportation, such as carpooling and walking to reduce emissions. There is student interaction during the reading of the book, followed by coloring pages, word search and other individual activities. A follow up game, done in teams, may be played where students match characters from the story and answer questions designed to get students thinking about the themes introduced in the book.
"Don't Sit Idly By" (5-12 grade)
At many schools, vehicle idling is a challenge, as parents often wait outside the school for their children. This lesson is designed to introduce students to the issue of vehicle idling, how it impacts air quality, health and economics, and what can be done to reduce idling. Students will participate in a “Jeopardy style” game to learn about idling policies and practices. Students will then participate in an informal discussion of what they can do to help prevent idling at their school. Within this lesson there is an opportunity for schools to hold a “design-a-sign” contest in which the students design anti-idling signs of which the winner will be turned into a real sign and hung at the school.
A Farewell to Featherwagons (K-4 grade)
This book sets the tone for a lesson on transportation choices. It can be used as a precursor or follow-up to Wings and Thingamajigs. This time, the fictional community of barn owls get ready to travel to the great lake for a swim, however due to the amount of people who are all going to the lake they get stuck in traffic for a long time and find it hard to park when the get there. This book introduces students to climate change and how our transportation choices have an impact. There is student interaction during the reading of the book, followed by coloring pages, word search and other individual activities. A follow up game, done in teams, may be played where students match characters from the story and answer questions designed to get students thinking about the themes introduced in the book.
Daniel and his Electric Car (K-4 grade)
The main character of this story book, Daniel, helps his family decide on which new vehicle to purchase. Students learn about alternatives to gasoline powered vehicles and will be asked to participate during the presentation of the story by answering questions about what they would look for in a vehicle. The lesson is designed to get the students thinking about alternative fuels for vehicles.
Drive It Green (5-8 grade)
Students participate in an activity designed to get them thinking about different reasons for purchasing a motor vehicle including fuel economy, alternative fuels, economic situation, etc. In an interactive format the students will learn about what fuel economy means and its importance to the environment as well as their wallet. Students will also be introduced to the idea of alternative fuel sources to the conventional gasoline powered vehicle.
Car Buyer Challenge (9-12 grade)
Students will begin to think about issues regarding choice in the car buying process. They will be given a role to play as either buyers or sellers of conventional and alternative fuel vehicles. The lesson is designed to get the students involved in a “mock” car buying process while promoting the options available for alternative fuel technologies.
Debate & Role Play (grades 5-12)
After an informal discussion about air quality in New Jersey, students are divided into groups and assume the role of a player involved in a common air quality dispute in New Jersey. The students will then discuss the impacts that they believe they would have on air quality.
Businesses & Community Groups
Learn how you can get the best fuel efficiency out of your vehicle, save money, and help the environment just be changing a few things about the way the you drive!
Idling Gets You Nowhere: Anti-Idling
Learn about issues related to vehicle idling- its negative impacts to human and environmental health as well as the impact it can have on your wallet.