Youth Power for Clean Power!

Are you a student or young adult concerned about the climate crisis and looking to get involved with the transition to a clean, fossil-fuel-free economy? Whether you are a college student, a recent graduate, or a K-12 student, we have resources for you! If you’re 13 or older, click here to subscribe to our newsletters and stay in the loop about Clean Power initiatives relevant to you. If you’re under 18, we recommend double-checking with a parent or guardian before sharing your info. Also check our new Clean Power Success Story, “Fighting Climate Change at Any Age… a Look Into Youth Activism“! 

Resources for K-8 Students

Even if you are not old enough to vote, own a home, or even drive, you can still help to keep our planet cool! The best place to start is by learning about clean energy and climate change – we have plenty of resources for you to explore.

Young Voices for the Planet is a collection of films about young people and projects they have done to help the Earth. They also have a list of other organizations and movements kids can get involved in.

  • Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center: Hosts a variety of programs for children (mainly ages 8-12)  such as “The Power of Wind” and “S.T.E.A.M. Workshop Solar”
  • The Sustainability Exhibit at the Sciencenter in Ithaca includes many interactive activities, like learning about wind and solar energy.

Resources for High School and College Students

There are many ways you can get involved with the clean energy movement and contribute to reducing fossil fuel use in New York. A great way to get started is to get educated! Check out our previous teach-ins, and resources on different sectors.  Another way to learn is to connect with youth climate organizations, attend their meetings and events, and follow them on social media. Clean energy jobs, internships, and other opportunities are growing and exist for younger students, as well as college and graduate students. 

  • Youth Climate Movement Teach-in: Learn from young climate activists about their projects and how you can support their efforts.
  • Request a Green the Grid Presentation for your school or community. A member of the NYCP team will present background information on climate change, NY’s climate laws, and provide resources for your group to get more involved with the climate movement.
  • Check out our Working for Change: Green Jobs to Fight Climate Change presentation designed for Middle and High School students to learn more about green careers. Students who have seen our presentation can find all the resources we discussed linked in the presentation!

Groups to Join:

  • The Student Climate Coalition originally began as a project of NYCP and has grown into a large organization of students across the state with partners beyond NY. They have hosted a variety of events from an Earth Day Climate Summit, presentations from different speakers and organizations, and community-building activities such as virtual game nights, as well as sharing information and tips on their social media platforms. Learn more about their perspective here.
  • New York Youth Climate Leaders is another great organization of young people in NY state. They organize and participate in lobbying actions, rallys, and other efforts to promote divestment efforts, the passage of climate legislation and its funding.
  • Sunrise Movement NYC: A local branch of the nationwide movement of young people focusing on a Green New Deal, expanding green jobs, and endorsing political candidates promoting climate legislation. They host a variety of events, including protests (often through art), and work on building partnerships with other organizations.
  • Fridays For Future: Organizes strikes and rallies across the world to influence government officials to implement climate policy
  • Western NY Youth Climate Council: A group of young people working in Western NY to influence policy and educate others on the climate movement, such as youth teach-ins.

Actions You Can Take Today:

  • Explore NRDC’s current petitions, resources for letter writing, and other personal actions you can take
  • 350 Brooklyn has a list of actions you can take today to contribute to the clean energy movement
  • Talk to your school about applying for NYSERDA’s Clean Green Schools Initiative, a program to help K-12 public schools in areas of high need become more sustainable and energy efficient and develop clean energy education.
  • The Climate Action Now app makes it exceptionally easy to take meaningful climate action on your phone in just seconds or minutes. Most actions you take earn points, and when you’ve earned enough points, they;ll plant a tree on your behalf.
  • Climate Action Museum Leadership Program: Workshops for 9th-12th graders to learn how to get more involved with the climate movement
  • Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP): Paid opportunities for youth aged 14-24 living in NYC in all fields, including environment and energy
  • Kingston Clean Jobs Training: A paid 8-week program with hands-on training at green worksites run by Communities for Local Power
  • Youth Climate Program through the Wild Center: Summits and retreats for young people to come together and take action on climate change.
  • NYSERDA Internship Program: Part-time and full-time positions in engineering, marketing, technical sales, design, research, manufacturing, data analytics, energy modeling, construction management, and more.
  • Our Climate: Helps students become educated leaders and runs a paid Fellowship Program where students organize their peers, engage the media, collaborate with partner organizations and coalition members, and meet with elected officials to advance science-based and equitable climate policies in key states around the country.
  • Youth Empowerment & Sustainability Summit at The Ashokan Center: A three-day retreat for teams of students and teachers to investigate climate solutions, learn leadership schools, connect with peers, and meet with experts.
  • The Wild Center Youth Climate Program: A variety of ways for high school students to get involved including Youth Summits, Youth Climate Summer Retreats, and Climate Action Planning Resources.
  • Bard College’s C2C Fellowship Program: The C2C Fellows Network, offered through the Graduate Programs in Sustainability at Bard College in New York, is an international program for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring to leadership work in sustainable politics, NGO’s and business.

Resources for College Students and Beyond 

Many of the resources in the category above are relevant to college students, as well as high schoolers. However, many jobs and programs are limited to those with college experience, so we have included this section to focus on those opportunities. This section also includes resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency for homes, especially for renters. 

  • EmPower NY: A program for free upgrades to improve energy efficiency and save money for income-eligible candidates, including renters.
  • NY Solar for All: New York State is funding solar farms to benefit homeowners and renters who may not be able to access solar. A wide range of New Yorkers are eligible to receive and can apply through NY-Sun.
  • Community Solar: Through Community Solar, homeowners and renters receive energy produced at offsite solar farms and get a credit on their utility bills. This program is great for renters as you do not install panels on your own home and the commitment is shorter term.

Educator Resources

The Climate Education Initiative provides lesson plans and activities gathered by SUNY Fredonia. Some are in the form of lesson plans or classroom modules. Others have useful videos, data sets, or activities for kids both in and out of the classroom.

Kids Against Climate Change is a site created by kids (and a teacher) for kids (and teachers) with educational information about climate change and ways for adults and kits to take action.

The Climate Art for Congress Educator Toolkit guides students through The Climate Museum’s project to have children learn about climate change and send letters and artwork to legislators.

Climate Generation has prepared climate curriculum resources for grades 3-12 available for download for free (with optional donation). 

NYSERDA’s Clean Green Schools Initiative provides information and applications for funding to make schools and districts in areas of high need more energy efficient. Funding can be for assistance with the planning and construction of a wide variety of decarbonization projects and even clean energy education development. 

#MakeClimateaClass and #ThreeHourTeachIn provide resources and guidance for hosting an in-class or campus-wide teach-in to educate students on climate change. Bard College provides guides to help teachers get these programs started at their schools.

#Teach10Hours4Climate is an initiative encouraging teachers to teach 10 hours of climate and justice education in one school year

Plate to Planet is an elementary school curriculum (specifically designed for grades 3-5) to teach kids about sustainable food production by utilizing scientific concepts, real-world innovations, and hands-on labs.

Climate Museums in New York

Changing Climate: Our Future, Our Choice at the Museum of the Earth: Both online and in-person exhibits featuring the science of climate change, impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, and solutions.

Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center: Exhibits on the relationship between humans, nature, and energy including “The Nature of Energy” through exhibits on natural energy sources, biomimicry, energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy technologies, embodied energy, and the impact of extreme weather on power networks

The Wild Center Climate Solutions Exhibit: Explore their climate exhibit with areas on Caring for Our One Home, Rebuilding Our Food System, Transforming Our Energy Ecosystem, and Taking Action on Climate Change

What Causes Climate and Climate Change | AMNH: Exhibit within the Hall of Planet Earth of the American Museum of Natural History that features interactive aspects with data from NOAA and NASA

Sciencenter: Hands-on sustainability exhibits on renewable energy and aquaponics

Science On a Sphere at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center: Interactive exhibits on astronomy, renewable energy, population growth, the oceans, and real-time and historic weather data

How’d We Do?

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