Bright ideas 4

An exciting highlight of the 2010 BYEE conference was the launch of the Bayer Young Environmental Leader Award to encourage environmental projects that demonstrate originality, potential impact and sustainability. Each participating country nominated an Envoy to present a project to a panel of judges, who awarded four projects with special support from Bayer.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao, Viet Nam

© Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao

© Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao

I study English literature, and work with children between the ages of 6 and 14 in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnamese children spend a lot of time studying maths so there isn’t much time for extra-curricular study, but I thought it was important to teach them about environmental issues.

That’s why I wrote Green Maths Exercises, a textbook combining environmental education with maths for young children. The exercises are based on numbers and data on environmental issues published by official institutions such as the Viet Nam Ministry of Natural Resources and the conservation organization WWF.

Here’s a sample problem: every day, 6,000 tonnes of garbage is discarded in Ho Chi Minh City. But the city only has the capacity to collect 5,000 tonnes a day. How much garbage is left in the city each day?

The feedback from children and teachers has been positive. In the next phase, children will produce the books themselves, incorporating creative writing into the process.

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This post is also available in: French, Spanish