In school we learn about the water cycle, ecosystems, weather, climate change, and many other aspects of our global environment. We learn about plants, animals, and all kinds of critters that inhabit the Earth with us. However, rarely do our students get the chance to really learn about how humans ourselves are affecting the planet; changing it in ever increasing ways. With over 7 billion people on the planet and a projection to hit 10 billion by 2050, humans may be one of the most important factors in affecting our global environment.

Unfortunately, most teachers don’t have a good opportunity to engage their students in learning much about this critical piece of environmental education. Many schools don’t have the resources or knowledge on how humans actually are impacting our environment. Luckily, this is where extra-curricular competitions like the World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest (W7B) step in and fill the academic-gap.

The World of 7 Billion contest provides both teachers and students with resources to help get started learning about these topics. Competitions like W7B are helping teachers incorporate critical lessons into their classrooms and beyond. W7B alone provides elementary, middle, and high school lesson plans covering everything from carbon emissions to ocean acidification to fertility rates and life expectancy in developing nations. But it’s more than just lesson plans, competitions also provide real money to students and teachers. The World of 7 Billion includes awards up to $1,000 for the best video submissions in each category, and provides over 70 awards in total each year!

How are we changing animal habitats? How are we changing environment to meet our energy needs? How are we changing our own ability to provide environmental, social, and economic security to our ever increasing population? These are three questions that this year’s contest is challenging students to learn about and present their own exciting videos detailing how population change is having an impact.

W7B is just one of an expanding array of environmentally themed competitions that are playing a bigger and bigger role in helping engage students in environmental education topics that are getting less and less time in the formal classroom. If you want to make sure your students are getting a healthy dose of environmental, social impact, and global change education don’t miss out on all of these opportunities. You can find a full list of environmentally related competitions in our ICS database here. But be sure not to miss the World of 7 Billion that is open for submissions now through February 28th, 2019.