Earth Optimism Youth Action

Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability. Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Commons, aims to share stories of success that can inspire, be replicated, and scale with communities across the country.

Inspiring solutions are coming from young leaders in Affiliate communities nationwide. These fresh, innovative, and yet realistic solutions to the environmental issues we face is truly an inspiration. Click here for a map of projects in progress. Enjoy exploring this amazing work being created by youth!

Young Leaders Making News

Find inspiration from Affiliate colleagues!

Students in Alaska are working with the Anchorage Museum on their city’s Climate Action Plan. Does your city have one?

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History held a socially-distant drive-in screening of student videos. Make student work visible to community stakeholders!

Students in Bend, Oregon are working with the High Desert Museum on a mural about environmental justice. Does your city have spaces for painting?

Thanks to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, students in Cody, Wyoming consult officials at the Bureau of Land Management to conserve the sage grouse habitat. Help students make connections!

Students in Arkansas study the pollinator gardens at the Mid America Science Museum to learn how to build their own at their school. What resources can you share with students?

The International Museum of Art and Science held a Facebook Live screening of student films. Great way to celebrate student work!

Smithsonian Affiliate Partners

Since late 2019, the Smithsonian has been collaborating with staff at Affiliates across the country to mentor and empower their teen change makers, and to cultivate the next generation of environmental activists and leaders. Share your own Earth Optimism success stories by following @EarthOptimism and use the hashtag #EarthOptimism.

Earth Optimism logo

It is most gratifying to know that there is a cohort of young, intelligent, and driven individuals willing to pursue the path of conservation. Cheers to our future stewards.

Watch students’ award-winning, 2-minute videos addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including apps to help their peers recycle plastic more effectively, addressing homelessness through community gardens, brain break days at school, and more.

@eytf2020 Lowell, Massachusetts’ Environmental Youth Task Force uses their Instagram platform to share action ideas and hope.
@pollinators_asmsa documents the efforts of students in Hot Springs, Arkansas to combat invasive species by cultivating indigenous pollinator gardens at their school.
@bbcw_advisers, the Youth Advisory Board of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming shares their activity, including local Earth Optimism events.

Designed and led by youth, monthly conversations in 2020 brought students from Affiliate communities nationwide together to discuss issues of common concern to all.

Word cloud with assorted environmental key words

The issues students want to learn more about and discuss with their peers.