This lesson outlines who flies most frequently and the health and climate impacts of aviation.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students learn how aviation is detrimental to human health and well-being.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn how aviation causes climate change, how aviation is unjust, and how “clean flying” does not exist at scale yet.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students explore personal stories of people giving up flying and reflect on that decision.
Teacher creates groups of 3-4 students.
Students can either explore the scientific paper Aviation Noise Impacts: State of the Science or the accompanying Google Doc called Excerpts from Aviation Noise Impacts: State of the Science.
Each group will look at one section of the paper:
Each group member will be responsible for writing notes for one of the following three questions:
What did the author think I already knew?
What surprised me?
What challenged, changed, or confirmed my thinking?
This paper pulls data from 70 different papers and pools it all in one place.
This paper can be tough to understand. It might be a stretch for some of the students, but collectively they can make some meaning from it.
The goal is for students to understand the detrimental effects of aviation noise.
In groups, students explore the Stay Grounded Information Page.
Students write down noticings and wonderings with their group as they explore the data.
Groups share out with the rest of the class.
Flying is inherently unjust because few people have the means to travel by plane. Rich people can fly. Poor people can not fly. And marginalized communities pay the climate consequences first and worst.
“The commons” pays for aviation - children’s learning, sleep disturbance, health impacts, and climate and ecological breakdown. All of these are consequences from aviation.
The scientific paper on aviation noise is pretty dense. The excerpts are easier to navigate and highlight how aviation noise impacts learning, sleep, and health.
There may be some pushback if teaching this lesson to students from affluent families. Many humans have come to see flying as something that is normal, desirable, and natural.