Welcome to the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge!

We can measure our personal carbon footprints by calculating how much greenhouse gas our activities produce.

Every time we turn on a light, travel by car, eat a meal, switch on a TV, or use anything that requires energy, we produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

The challenge involves understanding the causes of climate change and then envisioning and embodying effective solutions so that we, as a planet, can avoid the worst potential consequences.

The next ISCFC session will be in September 2017. Click the Teacher participation steps link below for more information on the upcoming and future sessions; specific dates will be posted by July 2017.
Are you ready to take the Challenge?

Follow these steps:

1. Participate:
Teacher participation steps  (click here to expand/collapse)

Teachers:  do you want to have your high school/secondary school classroom take the challenge?

There are three main steps in the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge (ISCFC):

  1. Students calculate their carbon footprint
  2. Teachers submit their class data for posting, and review other class data posted on our world map
  3. Students log on to our online conversation site and participate in ISCFC discussions with students around the globe
Check back soon for a listing here of important dates for the upcoming session — September 2017

You may modify any part of the following procedure to suit your class needs, but these are the steps that we suggest you follow:

  1. Prepare for the upcoming ISCFC session — September 2017 (or a future session)
    click here to view/hide details of this step
  2. Students calculate personal footprint & you submit your class data
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    • We suggest having your students fill out this Calculator Prep Worksheet in advance — it will make the process faster and more accurate .
    • Students go to the Challenge site and calculate their footprints.
      May 12, 2015: Now updated with new calculator options (e.g., LED lights)!
    • Here is a useful pictorial key to the features of the calculator (you might consider projecting this for your students in advance or during their calculator session).
    • Teachers and students may wish to download this source document with all of the sources and assumptions available in a single pdf file for all questions in the calculator.
      Note that all sources/assumptions are also available on demand during the calculations when you press the documentation button (with the 'jumble of numbers' icon).
    • You may wish to have your students fill out this class assignment as they undertake their calculations to encourage reflection on the activity.
      If you wish to modify this assigmnment, here is a version saved in Word .doc format
    • You collect your students’ data — their total footprints as well as in the four categories: transport, home, food, purchases. Fill in the Excel spreadsheet that you downloaded in Step A: the spreadsheet automatically calculates means and standard deviations for your class data.
      Please notice that there is a second part of the spreadsheet where you should enter your school information.
    • Email your completed spreadsheet to media & content coordinator Jason Hodin (seastar[at]stanford.edu), and we will post your data on the Compare page map.
  3. Students discuss footprint results & possible solutions
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    • Invite your students onto our new communication platform to expand the discussion to their peers worldwide!
      Note that registration on the new forum requires email confirmation. We therefore strongly suggest that you have your students register well in advance of your classroom plans to have them join the conversations!
    • Share the detailed, step-by-step guide for how to use our new discussion forum with your students!
    • Teachers should visit the Teacher Planning discussion page and introduce yourself to the other September 2017 ISCFC teachers, share resources and ideas, and suggest additional discussion topics.
      The conversation topic pages for the September 2017 session are now open for teacher examination.
  4. Make the most out of the ISCFC by visiting our Resources page for links, lesson plans, documentation, and more!
Student participation steps  (click here to expand/collapse)
Students:  do you want to have your high school/secondary school classroom take the challenge?
  1. Tell your teacher about this project
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    • Give your teacher the link to the ISCFC project web site.
    • If your school is already involved, proceed to Step 2…
  2. Complete the carbon footprint calculator
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    • Use the Calculate link at the top of this page.
    • Prepare in advance for the questions in the survey (e.g., numbers of light bulbs, fuel economy of home vehicle, etc.) by filling out our Calculator Prep Worksheet (updated May 12, 2015 — now updated with new calculator options: e.g., LED lights)!
    • If suggested by your teacher, use our class assignment as you proceed through the calculator to reflect on what you discover.
    • (optional) download this pictorial key (updated May 2015) to the features of our calculator. ...or click here to download the guide to using our new mobile calculator (May 2015)!
    • (optional) download this source document with all of the sources and assumptions available in a single pdf file for all questions in the calculator.
    • Be sure to email or print your results at the end!
    • ...and we recommend that you register (free) and save your results. That way, you can complete the survey at multiple sittings, and save your answers for future adjustments.
  3. Prepare for the discussion with your peers worldwide
    click here to view/hide details of this step
  4. Discuss!
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    • Review the detailed guide for using our new discussion forum site.
    • The current session of conversations are officially open, but you can join anytime.
    • Follow the instructions, examining and registering at the new discussion site.
    • You will find links on the right side of that page to all of the official ISCFC student discussion topic pages under the Student Discussions title.
    • Refer to the General Announcements page anytime for instructions and updates.
    • Have an idea for a discussion topic? Post your thoughts in the "Open Forum" discussion, and we will choose some of these to be featured as their own discussion!
  5. Additional resources
    click here to view/hide details of this step
    Eager to go further? Take a look at our Resources page for links and related resources dedicated to climate change.
Use our student-oriented footprint calculator to calculate your personal footprint, and find out what you can do to reduce your impact.
Compare students’ footprints worldwide.
Find out how you and your class can meet students and teachers around the globe to discuss what you've learned and envision solutions to safeguard OUR planet's future!
  • The next ISCFC session is September 2017; click the Teacher participation steps link above for the exact dates (coming soon) and detailed information on the session.
  • Check out the amazing student conversations from previous sessions, and click on the Teacher participation steps section, under “Participate” above, for more information on how to involve your class(es) in future sessions.
  • As of May 5, 2015, our updated calculator is now online! The new version includes the most recent international footprint data, new question choices and a fully functional mobile version (for phones and tablets)!
  • Enjoy, and please let us know (seastar[at]stanford.edu) if you encounter any problems with the calculator or any other I2SEA resources.
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