June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.457.1 - 13.457.9
Earth Day Teach-In: A Model for Industry, Community, and Education Collaboration
Earth Day is a driving force for environmental awareness around the world. It can also be an effective event for educating the local community and the 21st century engineer since technologists will play a vital future role in civic engagement, green economic development, and global awareness related to energy, global warming and conservation. This paper presents a cross disciplinary team presentation from faculty in Engineering Technology, Business, and Aviation collaborating together to explain the first campus Earth Day Teach-In at K-State Salina. This paper includes a focus on current environmental issues that apply to Earth Day and an explanation on how Earth Day can be organized to educate the community and the 21st century engineer. Attendees will leave with ideas on how they can organize an industrial, educational, and community collaborative Earth Day Teach-In.
Developed nations are now enjoying the highest standard of living than any other time in human history. Technology in large part has contributed to these societies’ safe structures with climate controlled atmospheres incorporating every appliance imaginable to include worldwide communication links. Convenient electric energy supplied through regional and national electrical grid networks is taken for granted. Commuting to workplace and shopping malls with environmentally controlled vehicles powered with cheap oil is common place. Further, technology helped design and build aircraft coupled with a support system that allows inexpensive travel to anywhere in the world with significant savings in that other precious limited resource called time. Emerging economies (nations) with huge population bases are now well on their way to emulate developed nations’ consumption patterns.
Current Environmental Issues
There is a price to pay beyond the energy costs for this way of life. The environment in which all living things are interconnected is being adversely affected. Many aspects of technology have played major roles associated with the discovery, extraction, and the consumption of energy as well as bringing efficiencies throughout the process. The problem now being recognized is that the cheap fossil fuel era of the past cannot be sustained into the future. McDonough & Braungart (2002) stated, “The design of products and manufacturing systems growing out of the Industrial Revolution reflected the sprit of the day- and yielded a host of unintended yet tragic consequences”. Burning fossil fuels increase levels of pollutants and greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and water vapor). The molecules of green house gasses resonate with reflected infrared radiation from the earth and prevent most of this radiated heat from escaping into outer space. Burning of coal adds mercury, sulfur oxides, and fly ash, among others to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels have been increasing exponentially since the mid 1800’s when humans started burning fossil fuels in earnest. Internal combustion engines burning fossil fuels, powered the industrial revolution. Burning fossil fuels add carbon dioxide to the
Barnard, K., & Stephens, G., & Dandu, R. (2008, June), Earth Day Teach In: A Model For Industry, Community, And Education Collaboration Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3835
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