Earth Month in Genius Words: Learn About Greta Thunberg and Climate Change with this Real-World Activity

May 5, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Our planet is the only one known to support life, and it’s up to us to support it back! This month, explore Earth and the Geniuses who’ve made it a better place. We’ve put together special game updates, real-life genius stories, and real-world activities for kids at home to help you.

Share this week’s interactive, printable Earth Month content with your child by clicking the button below, and scroll down for a preview!

Game Update

In Osmo Words, find your way through an epic dance party at the Earth Museum, spelling nature words as you go. Only available this month!

Genius Spotlight: Greta Thunberg

Earth has pulled off a lot so far—like supporting life, land, and sea for billions of years! But data shows that the planet’s temperature has been rising. Ice caps are melting, the weather is growing extreme, and Earth’s future is not guaranteed. No one has brought more attention to the dangers of climate change in recent years than Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.

When she was 15, Greta started sitting outside a Swedish government building with a sign that said, “School Strike for Climate.” Greta did not think the Swedish government was doing enough to help fix climate change, so she spent her days bringing attention to it.

Not only did it get attention, it sparked a global movement! A year later, millions joined Greta in a Global Climate Strike, demanding governments around the world do more to combat climate change. Finally, Greta had hope, because even though she started the climate strike movement, she knew she could not fix the problem alone. Real progress (and a better future for Earth!) requires people to work together.

Real-World Activity: Carbon Dioxide Balloon

Have your child this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable has instructions with photos!

One reason for climate change is that more carbon dioxide (CO2) is being produced than the planet can naturally absorb, creating a warming effect. Humans and animals exhale CO2, but it’s created in larger quantities by cars and burning fossil fuels. To see the difference, try this:

  1. Count how many seconds it takes to inflate a balloon with your breath. Let the balloon go.
  2. Now, grab an empty bottle, baking soda, and vinegar.
  3. Pour 4oz vinegar into the bottle and 2 tbsp baking soda into the deflated balloon.
  4. Carefully attach the balloon to the bottle lid without letting any baking soda fall in.
  5. Once the balloon is snugly attached, hold it up so the baking soda falls down.
  6. Count how many seconds it takes to inflate.

See how much more quickly CO2 was produced the second time?

This is why Greta was calling on government officials to decrease carbon emissions. They have control over the excess carbon dioxide that’s contributing to global temperature increases.