Educating ALL: The Importance of Everyone Taking Care of This EARTH We Share

Paula E. Faulkner, North Carolina A & T State University

Scientists believe Earth and its moon formed around the same time as the rest of the solar system. They also think that was about 4.5 billion years ago. Earth is the fifth-largest planet in the solar system. Its diameter is about 8,000 miles. And Earth is the third-closest planet to the sun. Its average distance from the sun is about 93 million miles (NASA, 2017). I believe it is very important to begin one's learning at an early age about the Earth facts. Which includes learning activities such as videos, and photos as such its shape, and eventually how everyone's survival is dependent on Earth.

When students progress through K-12, their questions and interest often increase. Some become more interested than others. These are the students who become involved in ways to preserve Earth. During my days as a Middle school teacher, in Science class, students learned about the Solar System, and that the Earth is not flat. It was very important to keep lessons engaging and interactive to encourage student learning. Due to the diversity i.e. gender, ethnicity, learning levels, etc., in classrooms, it was ideal for All learning the importance taking care of Earth. One major way to gain the interest of students and many parents in learning about Earth was during preparation of End-of-Grade testing.

At the post-secondary level, my students' interest becomes more specific. Many students may be required to complete basic Earth (Science) courses, but as they progress, their interest becomes "self-driven" and they desire to major in more scientific courses.

Currently, I instruct an Environmental Education course over the last five years, where a majority of my students (various majors) are interested Sustainability. Many topics such as Human Population, Distribution of Food (Food Deserts) and Climate Change are the most popular. Assignments that allow my students to learn more about Earth preservation occurs when they are required to search for and attend a public meeting/forum on an Environmental topic. By attending the event, they are exposed to "real life" environmental issues being discussed by experts in the field and public attendees with a vested interest. Additionally, when students conduct research and are required to present their findings in a public forums or during professional conferences, the public is then educated on Earth/Environmental Science. For example, when college students volunteer at local schools to educate students on gardening, understanding why disposing of pesticides properly is important, pollution, and how to recycle and why, it is ideal for reaching diverse groups on the importance of taking care of the Earth we all share.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (2017, October). What is Earth?
Retrieved from:

Downloadable version of this essay

Educating ALL: The Importance of Everyone Taking Care of This EARTH We Share (Acrobat (PDF) 413kB Sep9 19)