THE PROBLEM

How do we best equip the next generation of environmental leaders?

Addressing our climate crisis is going to require strong leadership and complex, innovative solutions from the next generation; however, many young people never have the opportunity to practice these skills in relation to environmental studies, if at all. Teachers and students alike crave opportunities to incorporate more real-world problem-solving into the classroom, but that often isn’t the curriculum norm.

OUR SOLUTION

Use film to inspire students to investigate and take action

In partnership with Charleston County School District in South Carolina, we piloted the Unstoppable Schools Project: a semester-long, project-based learning initiative. Using Chasing Coral as a launchpad, students formed teams to investigate a local environmental issue of their choosing and initiate plans to take action. Students needed to exercise autonomy, awareness and complexity through these investigations, arming them with new leadership skills. By taking action and exhibiting their work within the community, their research and innovative initiatives had meaningful impact beyond the classroom.

Photos (top to bottom): Athens Montessori School, Exposure Labs

EXPLORE THE CAMPAIGN

Visit the Unstoppable Schools website

ORGANIZING TOOLS

The Unstoppable Schools Project is a comprehensive curriculum that inspires students to investigate human relationships to the environment in their community.

CAMPAIGN OUTCOMES

District-wide implementation

3,000+ students across 7 high schools in Charleston, S.C. experienced Chasing Coral as part of the Unstoppable Schools Project

400+
student scientists

Hundreds of students investigated local environmental challenges, took action, and publicly exhibited their work

40 student-led projects

Projects examined issues ranging from microplastic concentrations in nearby waterways to socio-economic obstacles of solar energy

COMMUNITY REACTIONS

“A student called me over and said, ‘What can we do?’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s the question you need to ask.”

Melissa DavisEducator at St. John’s High School

“The kids begin asking questions: What happens if all the corals die? What happens if there aren’t coral reefs? They get it. They understand it.”

Phil DustanFeatured Scientist in Chasing Coral

“Even after we graduate, the information gained from this project will help us continue to be a voice for reform in our society.”

StudentWando High School

“I can definitely tell that students are better able to bring the content of the class to their lives because they see that science is something that is happening around them all the time.”

Zakariya-Shaith MusallamEducator at Daniel Jenkins Academy

NEW CLIMATE CHAMPIONS

On their quests, students engaged dozens of local elected officials, utility company representatives, small-business owners and long-time residents, taking their impact beyond the classroom.