Makerspace Monday: Celebrate Earth Day!

Children’s book creators are still doing what they do best: making things that help others. Francesca Cavallo created an 11-page picture book, Dr. Li and the Crown-Wearing Virus, that you can download for free here in English, Italian, Spanish, or German. (More translations are in the works.) It’s the story of Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who sounded the alarm on coronavirus. Cavallo told CNN she wanted to shine a light on Li’s story because he is “a symbol of the importance of listening to scientists.”

Fifty years ago this week, another person shared the same message about listening to scientists. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, organized it as a nationwide “teach-in” about environmental issues. On April 22, 1970, more than 2,000 colleges and universities, 10,000 public schools, and 20 million citizens participatedand this week, Earth Day turns 50! Here are some makerspace activities to help you celebrate Earth Day as you “shelter in place” at home.   

Be an Earth Day Engineer

Develop solutions to combat the negative impacts of plastics on our environment with Engineering for Good, a three-week, project-based learning unit.

Compose a Song    

Write your own song for Earth Day (and perform it on TikTok like Johnni Riddlin did).

Design an Earth Day Poster

Make an Earth Day poster to display in your window with free design siteCanva.

Go Birding  

Download the Audubon Bird Guide App (to help you identify over 800 species of North American birds) and look for birds on your next “social distancing” walk in the neighborhood.

Play a Simulation Game

Can you keep the crops on your farm alive? Visit the California Academy of Sciences website to play “Cornucopia“(a farm simulation game) and find out!

Write an Ode  

Listen to the read-aloud You are Home: An Ode to the National Parks, by Evan Turk, and write your own ode to the Earth.

You Are Here!

Find your location on Earth using the National Weather Service map. Type in your zip code and discover the latitude and longitude of your neighborhood. See a topographical map and, of course, your seven-day weather forecast. Then make a map of your neighborhood on a computer or phone with Google MyMaps. Add photos or symbols of your favorite local landmarks using Kaley Ann’s directions.

Anastasia Suen reads, edits, and writes books for all ages from her makerspace at home in Northern California.  

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