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Kids learn about climate change with Legos

News Photo by Mike Beiermeister: Meag Schwartz and a young girl dig through Legos to help assemble a city that will face a climate change issue.

Alpena — Children put their creative minds to work on Wednesday, building cities made of Legos to learn about climate change.

Each city receives a specific industry. The children have to create their city around that type of industry. Each city will face a challenge that has to do with a type of climate change. Challenges can be a scarcity in fossil fuels, acidity in the ocean, sea level inching closer to shore, or extreme weather.

The kids have shown a passion for protecting the environment according to Huron Pines Americorp Program Coordinator Hannah Hazewinkel.

“They knew about fossil fuels and about the polar bears and they knew how greenhouse gases worked, ” said Hazewinkel. “They were coming up with all of these solutions to alternative energy that adults aren’t even thinking of.”

The two day camp is put on by Huron Pines AmeriCorps, the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Intiative, and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The camp is for children aged 9 through 13. Kids will put together a plan and campaign their solutions as “mini mayors.” Hazewinkel got the idea from a project she worked on in college.

“They do a lot of ‘you are now the CEO of Omega Protein’ and then [they ask] how are you facing this issue,” said Hazewinkel, who studied natural resource management in college.

For the youngsters, it’s a chance to learn more about protecting the environment and come up with the solutions of tomorrow.