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The Polar Bear Challenge: Local Impact on a Global Issue

Abstract

"The Polar Bear Challenge is 21-day statewide event hosted by Utah's Hogle Zoo. It is designed around the concept that polar bears and people want the same thing - a healthy planet. The Zoo is home to a female polar bear that is an ambassador for her species and a tangible way to teach the public about climate change. The Polar Bear Challenge provides teachers and students with a means to lower their carbon footprint by making small changes in their daily lives and lowering their impact on the planet's natural resources. The Zoo challenges each class to make the changes for at least 21 days (the time it takes to start a new habit). Classrooms that make the greatest differences receive prizes from the Zoo and every participating class bene ts polar bear conservation efforts and makes a positive impact on slowing down climate change. Pre- and post-survey results over the past five years have shown an increase in student understanding of climate change science and how their actions can make a difference."

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