Using Project Neutral in schools and classrooms

One of the most difficult things about teaching climate change is drawing a connection between the large-scale human contributions to our changing climate and our daily lives. When we teach climate change from a global perspective, it can be vast and intimidating. We want students to realize that climate change is something they can tackle individually, as a community and as a generation.

Students using tablet together
Example Dashboard

Using Project Neutral, students will discover their household carbon footprint and see how they compare to a Group Dashboard with the aggregate results of their class or school. These data bring the climate crisis down to an approachable, human level and act as a powerful prompt to begin reconsidering daily life and what low carbon alternatives already exist that can be adopted.

These student resources provide an in-depth educational experience, a roadmap for taking action, and the opportunity to develop larger campaigns that will build a student's leadership and advocacy within their home and their community.

We offer a fully resourced, interactive class experience which:

Only takes 20-30 minutes of prep time to deliver.
Is equally effective in-person or virtually.
Is provided free to schools and educators, forever!

Steps to using PN in the classrooms

  1. Sign up your classroom or school to get your own unique Group Code (Please allow 2-4 business days for our staff to create groups for you.)
  2. Review the Lesson Plan and, if desired, adapt it to your class
  3. Complete the in-class exercise
  4. Have students complete the take home exercise (ideally with family members)
  5. Lead a debrief and insight-sharing discussion
  6. (Optional) Use one of the expansion activities to build upon the experience

Materials Required

  • Students require an internet connected device (preferably a computer or tablet)
  • Teachers will benefit from having an internet connected presentation option (laptop & projector, smartboard or virtual classroom environment)
  • A unique Project Neutral Group Code
  • Classroom Worksheets
  • Letter to Parents

Recommended Class Time

90 minutes over two classes for basic lesson plan activities

Desk with laptop and post-it notes

Signup your class or school

You can use Project Neutral:

  • for individual (or multiple) classrooms if you want to integrate it into a course, or
  • for a whole school if you want to run school-wide campaign

Sign up a class

Create a group dashboard for an individual classroom if you want to integrate it into a course.

Sign up a class

Create a group dashboard for all the students in your school.

Sign up a school

Curriculum Connections

Grade 9 Geography - Academic

Unit: C. Managing Canada’s Resources and Industries & E. Liveable Communities

Overall expectation C1 & E1

Specific expectation C1.4 & E1.3

Grade 9 Geography - Applied

Unit: C. Managing Canada’s Resources and Industries & E. Liveable Communities

Overall expectation C1 & E1

Specific expectation C1.3, C1.4 & E1.1

Grade 10 Science - Academic

Unit: D. Earth and Space Science: Climate Change

Overall expectation D1, D3

Specific expectation D1.1, D3.4, D3.7

Grade 10 Science - Applied

Unit: D. Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Dynamic Climate

Overall expectation D1, D3

Specific expectation D1.1, D3.5, D3.6

Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice - Workplace Preparation

Unit: B. Foundations

Overall expectation B3

Specific expectation B3.2

Exploring Family Studies

Unit: D. Exercising Responsibility

Overall expectation D2, D3

Specific expectation D2.4, D3.1

Lesson Plan & Resources

In-class Presentation & Exercise

This slide deck details the major concepts associated with measuring a carbon footprint and will guide a class or group of students through the use of the Project Neutral calculator.

Feel free to use this material as is or adapt it for your specific environment.

Download options

Student Worksheet

This worksheet will be used by students during both the initial in-class exercise and the deep-dive modules that are assigned as homework. The worksheet prompts students to think about their motivations for addressing climate change, to think critically about where household carbon emissions come from and to explore possible actions they could take to reduce them.

Download options

Letter to Parents

While not mandatory, completing the deep-dive modules with parents or guardians is a valuable experience for students. This letter outlines Project Neutral to parents, explains the importance of calculating a household carbon footprint and outlines how they can assist their student in better estimating their household impact.

Download options

Classroom Discussion Guide

This guide outlines some discussion questions and ways of integrating the data available on your group dashboard to get students thinking critically. We also provide some tips on negotiating an issue which, for many students, is a scary and distressing topic. The goal is to leave this experience better informed, aware of opportunities to make change and more confident in our ability to reverse global warming.

Download options

Expansion Activites

Community Climate Outreach Campaign

Community Climate Engagement Guide

This guide outlines how a group of students can use Project Neutral to run a climate engagement campaign in their community. Helping their neighbours measure their carbon footprints is an ideal early climate intervention. We will provide support for community participants to share their anonymized data which will give students a comprehensive dataset to use in delivering a series of expansion projects.

Download options

Climate Communications Tip Sheet

Discussing climate change can be a bit intimidating but we at Project Neutral have gotten a lot of experience and suggestions on how to approach it for the greatest chance of success. In particular, we have some helpful guidelines for students who might be helping community members measure their footprint, how to approach common responses and difficult situations and how to enjoy the entire process.

Download options

Expansion Assignments

Once the community campaign is complete students will be provided with an anonomyzed community dataset and will have a lot of experiences to share. These projects are designed to help understand the data, the impact of the campaign and to create resources which students can share back to the community.

Our Supporters

CIRA Community Investment Program

These school resources are made available thanks to the generosity of the CIRA Community Investment Program. This is one of the many projects they support to build a better online Canada.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation sponsored the development of our Community Climate Outreach Campaign materials. Now students can bring carbon measurements to their communities and share the results of their campaigns.