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Earth Optimism Teen Conversations

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Science +6 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Adults

The Earth Day Network describes the first Earth Day as a momentous event: On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy and sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. https://www.earthday.org/history/.

In 2020, at the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, many argue that there is still much work to be done. This collection of objects and resources challenges teens nationwide to ask and discuss the questions: What will the legacy of Earth Day and the conversation movement be 50 years from now?  How will we get there?

Included in this collection are themes, prompts, and resources to help guide your conversations. Discussion prompts are included within each section title square.

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

50 Years of Earth Day

NMAH Education

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

33c Earth Day single

National Postal Museum

Earth Day '80 April 22

National Museum of American History

Earth Day -25th year Riverside Indian School

National Museum of American History

Earth Day Is Every Day South West Organizing Project

National Museum of American History

Change the World!

National Museum of American History

Earth Day '91 New York City

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Earth Day '95

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Earth Day 2003

National Museum of American History

Earth Day

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gifford Pinchot

National Portrait Gallery

Camera-ready comic art drawing for Mark Trail

National Museum of American History

5c National Park Service single

National Postal Museum

Yellowstone National Park

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Yosemite National Park

National Museum of American History

I Dig Conservation Sacramento Tree Foundation Smud

National Museum of American History

American Land Conservancy

National Museum of American History

Coastal Conservancy

National Museum of American History

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962

National Museum of American History

Rachel Louise Carson

National Portrait Gallery

Student Protest T-Shirt

National Museum of American History

Anti-Vietnam March. San Francisco, CA. 1967

National Museum of American History

War Is Not Healthy

National Museum of American History

April 22, 1970

NMAH Education

poster

National Museum of American History

Earth Day Parade / Save Our Parks

National Museum of American History

Global Stewardship

National Museum of American History

"Freedom to Breathe" Environmental Poster

National Museum of American History

"Safe Energy" Button

National Museum of American History

Alternative Energy Now

National Museum of American History

Save The Dinosaurs Conserve Energy Chevron

National Museum of American History

PG&E Conserve Energy Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Poster, "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute"

National Museum of American History

For A Forester Every Day Is Earth Day

National Museum of American History

Department of Energy Tree Wheel Diagram

National Museum of American History

Food Matters on Earth Day

Smithsonian Magazine

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Earth Day

National Zoo

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Political Impact

NMAH Education

"The Dirty Dozen" Poster

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Climate Change

National Museum of American History

Pm Helps Prevent Air Pollution

National Museum of American History

Pollution is not a real problem

National Museum of American History

"Greenpeace" Button

National Museum of American History

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

"The threat from climate change..."

National Museum of American History

T-shirt “I Made an Impact”

National Museum of American History

Additional Resources

NMAH Education

Earth Day and you

National Museum of American History