San Jose State University faculty create ‘Green Ninja’ superhero to teach students to be eco-friendly on Earth Day

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — A group at San Jose State University has created a fun new way for kids to learn about protecting the environment and taking positive action for conservation.

On Earth Day, SJSU is looking for a superhero to lead the way. Green Ninja started as a research program and has evolved into a video series and a circriculum taught in over 20 local and global college districts.

Each video contains a lesson like saving energy, recycling, and even food choices.

“I realized we couldn’t solve this problem alone through the lens of science,” said Eugene Cordero, professor of climatology at San Jose State University. “So it’s the artists here in San Jose State who created this storyline and this character and this superhero and we’re creating movies and educational experiences for kids to help them learn about the environment, but more importantly, what to do about it.”

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Each year, we take a day to celebrate the beauty of our land and reflect on ways to protect it.

But, conservation work happens every day for Eugene Cordero, professor of meteorology and climate science at SJSU.

Professor Cordero is known as “Dr. Burrito” because of his love for food and the way he uses it to teach conservation. He recommends eating chicken burritos instead of beef because it’s more environmentally friendly to raise chickens than cows.

Professor Cordero uses his educational tools to make a difference.

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“Research we’ve done here in San Jose State has shown that education is just as important as solar panels and electric vehicles,” Professor Cordero said. “Supporting educational programs and supporting our own young people and what they are learning is very impactful.”

The Green Ninja series is the only environmentally focused science program in the country.

The collaboration between educators, animators and scientists highlights a bigger message that is important on Earth Day: Every little step makes a difference.

“What’s shown is that a small group of people can work together to really create change and that’s the goal,” Professor Cordero said. “But it’s because of the efforts of education and the efforts of research that we’ve done here by going into schools and helping teachers bring that to their students.”

We only have one Earth and the Green Ninja is fighting to make changes to protect it.

You can learn more about the Green Ninja by visiting the website here.

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