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Cool It! Climate Leadership Training

The Cool It! Climate Leadership Training program develops and empowers young sustainability champions in schools in British Columbia. 

Cool It! is an interactive environmental workshop and contest for students in grades 4 to 7 and for high school students. In each workshop, our Environmental Educators use videos, games, quizzes, and discussion to build on students’ knowledge of climate change.  

Following the workshop, students take home the four-week Cool It! Challenge that encourages families to make easy but important changes to their energy consumption. Through this activity, students and their families are challenged to initiate life-long behaviour changes in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

After four weeks, the contests are collected and the results are converted into measurable greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. Students and classes have the opportunity to win prizes and receive acknowledgement for their achievements at City Council meetings in their community.

Cool It’s Fall 2020 program review

The Cool It! Climate Leadership Challenge successfully delivered 82 virtual workshops in classrooms across the province during the Fall 2020 semester. 42 of which were delivered in elementary classrooms in the City of Vancouver, the City of Delta, the District of Central Saanich, and the District of Squamish. The remaining 40 workshops were delivered in high school classrooms in the City of Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and the Capital Regional District.

Our programming this Fall reached over 1,500 students whose collective actions contributed to the reduction of over 150 tonnes of GHG emissions.

The Cool It! Team now turns its focus to the Winter and Spring 2021 semesters where we expect to deliver another ~100 workshops in elementary and high school classrooms across the province.

We would like to say a big thank you to all our wonderful Environmental Educators delivering Cool It! program this year despite the many challenges caused by COVID-19. I would also like to thank the sponsors of our Fall 2020 programming for their generous support: The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the City of Delta, the District of Central Saanich, the District of Squamish, and First Things First Okanagan.

Cool It 2020/2021

In 2019/2020 the Cool It program has received sponsorship from these wonderful supporters who are dedicated to climate education and supporting their communities to take action:

If you are in these areas we would love to work with your school!

Teachers - Interested in booking a workshop for your class or learning more about the program? Contact us at cool-it@bcsea.org

2020/21 school year wrap up

In response to Covid-19 BCSEA ran much of the Cool It! Climate Leadership Training Program virtually over the last school year. Our team developed climate education workshops that were delivered via videoconferencing to classes, and students still had the opportunity to learn about their carbon emissions and ways that they could reduce their carbon footprints along with their family members with a take home challenge. Over the 2020/21 school year we worked with 154 classes, and students completed over 18,000 actions at home, which we estimate will result in reductions of 800 tCO2e from being released!

We are also in the final stages of the development and piloting of the Cool It! @ High School program, thanks to funding by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the North Family Foundation. Over the three year pilot program we ran 133 workshops with 808 students in the greater Vancouver area, with students across all disciplines learning about our climate future and projections, life cycles of objects at home and how our choices contribute to climate change, and how to take climate action at home and in the community. We also digitised our climate challenge and now have an engaging online 4-week challenge and carbon calculator to support the Cool It! programs. Using this challenge, students completed almost 10,000 actions to reduce their greenhouse gases!!

We estimate that during the pilot program students and their families could save 742 tCO2e from being released if they keep up with their actions for a year!

The Cool It! @ High School program is ready to be rolled out across BC, dependent on funding, and we would love to hear from teachers and sponsors interested in this program!


Cool It over the years

Since 2007, BCSEA has:

Here is what some of the teachers are saying about the Cool It! program:

“My students really enjoyed this challenge and I heard only positive comments from parents.  I have participated in many of the former Climate Change Showdown challenges in the past and it is always a highlight of the year.  A very worthwhile program.”

“As a school we had National sweater day and asked teachers to turn down the heat for one day in their classrooms. We learned about landfills and how food waste contributes to greenhouse gases. As  individuals in the class we should be trying harder to use the compost and reduce food waste. I also developed an art activity to connect to their actions.”

“Great program and Kelly is so resourceful and a delight to work with. I really hope you continue!”

“Thank-you for the opportunity and please keep me on your email list for next year”

“Thank you to Manon for her support and help in the classroom. I enjoyed the Cool It! Program. I hope I can participate in the program again.”

“Manon was a wonderful host as she also speaks French and I have a French Immersion class so she made sure she incorporated some French in her presentation. I would also like to say that Manon is a highly educated instructor in this field. There wasn't a question she wasn't able to answer as she is very well informed, and she gave my students lots of new information in the subject area. I would love to welcome Manon in my classroom again. Thank you.”

Great program! Students loved it.”

“I found this to be a very well organized and supported unit. I would love to participate with my grade 6's next year!”

“Manon is terrific which is why I requested her. After 4 years of being out of the classroom I am stunned by how sheltered students are about real world, life and climate change... hence the value of having BCSEA to enrich their learning experiences. Thank you”

“My students had fun! “

“My students really enjoyed participating in the challenge and learning a lot through the process.”

Want to support BCSEA’s Cool It! Climate Leadership Training program?

Potential sponsors - interested in developing young sustainability champions in your community?  Click here for more information.

Teachers and Parents - looking for ways to inspire your students/children to become sustainability champions throughout the Cool It! program and beyond? Check out our resource page

Kids - check out our resource page with links to lots of cool information on how to reduce your carbon footprint!


Please consider sponsoring Cool It!: email cool-it@bcsea.org to chat about sponsorship opportunities. 

Climate Change Leaders - training just completed!
A huge thank you to the 2019/20 Cool It! program sponsors and partners!