First Youth Summit


About the Youth Summit

Our interest in hosting a Youth Summit is to inform ourselves and others about global warming; to create opportunities to foster student activism; and to build a coalition of youth who will continue to work together in the fight against global warming. The Youth Summit, open to students in grades 7-12, promises an exciting day of global warming-related activities. We will start the day with a welcome from Mayor Thomas Menino and a keynote address by MIT Professor Kerry Emanuel and then break into smaller groups for morning content sessions. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Underground Railway Theater will perform segments of their “Eco Cabaret” after lunch. Afternoon breakout sessions will follow. All who register will be entered into a raffle for great prizes, such as iPods, gift certificates, etc. Space at the Youth Summit overall is limited to 325 participants, so register early! There is also limited space in the breakout sessions, so be sure to sign up soon for the breakouts you prefer.

Breakout Sessions

Morning Breakout Sessions (11:00 – 12:00):  The morning breakouts will be content-driven sessions led by experts knowledgeable in the given topic and will include interactive discussion.  Come with your questions, experiences, and thoughts on the topic!  Youth groups already working for change in a given area are welcome to give a brief presentation about their current work in the appropriate session (provided time permits and prior arrangement has been made with the event planning committee.)  Groups who wish to present should contact the Youth Summit planning committee at

“Sources of Energy: Pros and Cons” – This session will take an informed look at the real pros and cons of existing sources of energy as well as proposed alternatives like solar, wind, clean coal.  Participants will also explore current thinking about bio-fuels, and conservation.

“My Life, My House: Sustainability in Your Everyday” – Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Find out in this look at everyday life.  From the building you live in, to the food you eat and the daily activities you undertake, we’ll explore the connections between the way we live and global warming.

“Calls to Action: What is Being Done & What You Can Do” – In this session, students will learn about current legislation and programs aimed at impacting global warming at the level of their communities, city, state, and federal government.  Students will work together exploring ideas about how to get involved in working for change in their own lives, homes, communities, schools and beyond!

“The Science of It All: How Global Warming Works” – Interested in the actual science of global warming? Students will get an inside view as to how global warming really works, as well as learn about the science behind some of the proposed solutions.  Come learn how to speak knowledgably about global warming.  Ground your arguments about the effects of global warming in science!

Afternoon Breakout Sessions (2:00 – 3:30): The afternoon breakout sessions offer hands-on opportunities to create meaningful products that target the issue of global warming. Take what you’ve made back to your school and use it when you start a new global warming group!  Following the afternoon breakout sessions, participants have the option of showcasing their product when we wrap up the day (4:00 – 5:00) Showcased products will be judged by applause-o-meter in the auditorium.  Prizes awarded for best in each category! 

“Film a Global Warming PSA (Public Service Announcement)” – Groups of six students, along with a member of Urban Improv, will be given a DV camera, a prop, and 1½ hours to film a 2-minute PSA to spread the message about global warming.  

“Web Design” – After brief instruction in the fundamentals web design, participants will create their own web page about global warming.

“Using Print Media” – Learn the basics of graphic design and layout.  Put what you learn to work by creating your own global warming newsletter, poster, or pamphlet. Students hoping to begin or advance environmental clubs at their own schools could use this session to create a model newsletter for the club!

“Content Writing for Effect” – This workshop will identify an audience for a newsletter about global warming, write story ideas in headline form, and learn how to write leads for one or more of these stories.

“Speak Out” – Whether speaking to a senator or your peers, learn skills you need to present yourself in an effective & compelling way!

“Global Warming Science Modeling” – For the more science-minded student, MIT graduate students will be on hand to help create graphs and models showing the effects of global warming on the world around us. Calculate your carbon foot print, find out what parts of Boston would be underwater if sea level rose 20 feet, and more!

“Global Warming Film Screenings” – (No sign up necessary) Global warming films will be screened (excerpts) in the auditorium during afternoon breakouts.  Among the films being screened are “Kilowatt Ours,” “The Great Warming,” “Who Killed the Electric Car,” “The Heat Is On,” “Addicted to Oil,” and Al Gore’s award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth.”

During the afternoon at the Youth Summit, there will be several interactive
educational activities that will inspire students and others to take action
against global warming!  Students will take away things from the summit
that they will be able to bring back to their school and neighborhood after
the day has ended - websites, movies, and even preparation for making their own Climate Action Network at their school. Cool Prizes will be awarded for the group of students with the best 2 minute movie concerning global warming and climate change. More information will be added soon about criteria, so people can start filming!

Free food!! We have numerous donators that will generously provide breakfast, lunch, and and possibly an afternoon snack. These donators might include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, BJ’s, Roche Bros., and Stop and Shop.

Guest Speakers and Workshop Leaders
In addition to Mayor Menino and Professor Kerry Emanuel,  there will be many excellent speakers and presenters.  Included on the list are Linda Lopez,  Natural Resources Defense Council;  Sandy Farrier (IST) and Laurie Bryce (MIT Human Resources); Patricia Weinmann, Asst. Coord., Technology & Culture Forum @ MIT and Director of New England Conservatory's Opera Workshop;  Nancy DuVergne Smith, Communications Director, Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development, MIT; Janna Cohen-Rosenthal of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, Paul Shoemaker, the Program Supervisor for the Environmental Health Office, at the Boston Public Health Commission and members of MIT's Energy Club.


We’re planning a Youth Summit for schools in the Greater Boston Area working to take action against Global Warming. It’s going to be a fun – filled day of discussion, guest speakers, food, interactive booths and activities, and contests with great prizes!

the committee

please register only if you’re sure you can make it

Youth Summit Schedule

8:30 - 9:30 AM Registration & Breakfast

9:45 Welcome by Mayor Thomas Menino and the BLS Step Team

10:00 - 10:45  Professor Kerry Emanuel, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, MIT

11:05 - 12:05  - Morning Breakout Sessions:

Sources of Energy: Pros and Cons

My Life, My House: Sustainability in Your Everyday

Calls to Action: What Is Being Done & What You Can Do

The Science of It All: How Global Warming Works

12:15 – 1:15 -Lunch – Lobby

1:30 – 2:00 – Entertainment- Underground Railway Theater, Selections from Eco Cabaret

2:00 – 3:30   - Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Film a Global Warming PSA

Web Design

Using Print Media

Content Writing for Effect

Speak Out!

Global Warming Science Modeling

Global Warming Film Screenings (no sign up necessary)

3:45 – 5:00Showcase, Raffle Prizes, Prizes for afternoon breakout products  (best website, best newsletter, best PSA etc.) Including Paul Shoemaker, the Program Supervisor for the Environmental Health Office, at the Boston Public Health Commission who will speak from 4:00 - 4:15

map of MIT

in building 34

The Youth Summit is Over