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Kansas Kaleidoscope - April/May 2009

Real People. Real Stories. For kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, April/May 2009 Going Green in Greensburg

One Kansas town is rebuilding after a 2007 tornado almost wiped it off the map. Greensburg has chosen to become a green community. What does this mean for Greensburg residents? What does it mean for Kansas? This issue of Kaleidoscope answers these questions and more about living green.

For Parents and Teachers:

This green issue of Kaleidoscope will help students meet the following standards. Fourth grade science Standard 6, Benchmark 2, student understands the impact of human activity on resources and environment; fourth grade geography Benchmark 5, Indicator 1, student examines natural resource challenges and ways people have developed solutions as they use renewable and nonrenewable resources; fifth grade science Standard 6, Benchmark 2, student demonstrates an awareness of changes in the environment.

We would also like to invite you to the History & Environmental Fair to celebrate Earth Day. This event will be held Thursday, April 23, 2009, at the Kansas Historical Society, Topeka. Elementary students learn how natural resources have shaped our lives in Kansas. Included are exhibitor booths, hands-on activities, and guided tours of the nature trail. Admission is free. Call 785-272-8681, ext. 431, to register. Don’t forget to check out the online worksheets for this issue at kshs.org/publicat/kaleidoscope.

3 Cheers for the 3 Rs

For thousands of years nature has provided people with food, shelter, fuel, energy, and medicine. People began to realize, however, that some natural resources are not renewable, such as coal and oil.

Countdown to Statehood

Settlers came to Kansas Territory in the 1850s to form new towns and new lives. Joseph Trego came in 1857 to help settle the town of Sugar Mound in Linn County. Like many early settlers, Trego missed his wife and daughters who remained in Illinois. He wrote this letter to his wife on December 11, 1857.


The night of May 4, 2007, forever changed the lives of Greensburg residents. It was a normal Friday night for most of the 1,400 people who lived in this small Kansas town.

Greensburg Goes Green

The tragic story of Greensburg’s destruction brought much attention to this rural community. Yet, the decision to rebuild as a green town has captured even more interest.

A Green Dream

A major project in Greensburg will soon show off everything green. About a dozen homes will become “living laboratories.” These houses will use special building techniques, energy saving features, and green products.

Bad Wind Good Wind

Wind is the very thing that destroyed Greensburg. However, the town is looking to this natural resource to provide power for its future. Greensburg’s planned wind farm will use up to four wind turbines to supply enough energy for the town.

Greensburg GreenTeamThe Green Club

As the adults of Greensburg began to think green, so did the youth in town. A group of Greensburg High School students came together a few months after the tornado.

Spotlight Still Shining

Since May 2007 the world’s spotlight has shown on the little town of Greensburg. Television crews, volunteers, and donations flooded into town just hours after the tornado plowed through.

Green Lights in Greensburg

In early 2009 Greensburg became the first U.S. city to use LED street lights. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs save energy and focus the light downward where it is needed the most. These street lights are 40 percent more efficient than the old ones.

A Big Thank You!

In this final issue of Kansas Kaleidoscope we send a heartfelt thanks to all of our loyal readers. We hope that you have enjoyed exploring fun topics such as the Olympics and basketball, and more serious subjects like equal rights and the Greensburg tornado. Through each issue we hope you learned what growing up in Kansas has meant, from your ancestors to you.

Although we are sad to say goodbye to Kaleidoscope, we look forward to creating new and unique projects for Kansas students. Don’t forget to visit our website at kshs.org for more stories about Kansas!

Earth DayKids can help improve the environment. This is what I’ll do . . .

In This Issue:

  • 3 Cheers for the 3 Rs
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Living Green Word Search
  • Gone With the Wind
  • History Lab
  • Greensburg Goes Green
  • A Green Dream
  • Bad Wind Good Wind
  • The Green Club
  • Visit History
  • Spotlight Still Shining
  • Green Lights in Greensburg
  • Answers

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