Pacific Palisades, CA March 2, 2011 – Yesterday, students at Procter R Hug High School in Reno, NV were treated to an installment of Hot Planet/Cool Athletes, the in-school high school assembly where professional snow sport athletes talk about the real-life effects of climate change on their lives and careers with high school students.
Pro snowboarder Ralph Backstrom, who is competing tomorrow at The North Face Masters of Snowboarding Championships in Kirkwood, CA, traveled to Hug High School in Reno to present his thoughts on climate change in front of 180 students. Not their average science class, the assembly kicked off with jaw dropping footage of Backstrom snowboarding steep lines in sensitive mountain areas like Antarctica, Alaska, and in Hug High School’s backyard, Lake Tahoe. An educator with Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), the nation’s leading high school climate education organization, gave students a clear overview of the current climate crisis, what is at stake and what teens are doing around the world to make a difference in their schools and communities. The presentation was colored by Backstrom’s insightful anecdotes that uniquely conveyed the impact of climate change through his eyes – a pro athlete who makes a living in the snow.
The Hot Planet/Cool Athletes program is a collaboration between snow sports nonprofit Protect Our Winters (POW) and ACE which blends ACE’s acclaimed multimedia presentation on climate science and solutions with personal stories from pro snow sport athletes about climate change and its effects on our mountains. Since its launch in January 2011, Hot Planet/Cool Athletes has reached over 3000 students in high schools in Colorado, Utah, California and Nevada.
Of his Hot Planet/Cool Athletes debut, Backstrom said, “I’m super stoked to be back in high school, hanging out with students who have the power and potential to do something about climate change.”
“We’re really excited about the momentum of Hot Planet/Cool Athletes,” said Chris Steinkamp, POW’s Executive Director.“It’s an unparalleled platform for riders to express their concerns and truly influence the next generation, and it gives the students a new kind of climate change presentation, delivered by one of their favorite pros.”
About Protect Our Winters: Protect Our Winters is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and local mountain communities. With over 30,000 supporters worldwide, POW re-invests contributions in educational initiatives, activism and supporting community-based initiatives that have tangible results. For more information, visit protectourwinters.org
About Alliance For Climate Education: Alliance for Climate Education is a national nonprofit dedicated to educating America’s high school students about climate science and solutions. We educate students through free in-person multimedia assemblies presenting climate science that sticks; we inspire students to lower their emissions and raise their voices; and we activate students to take on carbon-reducing projects in their schools and communities. ACE has reached more than 700,000 high school students at more than 1,200 schools nationwide since 2009. To learn more, visit acespace.org.
Executive Director, Protect Our Winters
Head of Marketing, ACE