Today I taught kindergarten

Today I taught 22 kindergartners about the thawing arctic. These children are mostly 6-years-old. Symbolically, the route that ArcticRow rowed was frozen until 6 years ago. A clear example of global warming. These kindergartners just completed a lesson on the Arctic.

My companies’ non-profit arm, the VMware Foundation, provided lunch bags to demonstrate the lesson of reuse+recycle. When you’re six years old, lunch bags double as hats.

Jasmine Sheldon (teacher at left above) and I improvised activities on the thawing Arctic.

  • We used inflatable globes to visualize the arctic ocean
  • We drew an outline of the 30-foot Arctic Rowboat in chalk on the ground
  • We sat in the chalk-shaped rowboat and mimicked rowing faster to escape polar bears and dodge ice bergs
  • We asked them to use reusable lunch bags instead of single-use bags–a tangible action

Here are pictures to give a sense for my experience.

“We rowed an ocean that was frozen 6 years ago.”

“The Arctic Ocean is here.”


“What Arctic animals will be hurt if the ice melts?”


Here, Ella Zimman helps me hand-out VMware Foundation re-usable lunch bags. Her father recruited me into VMware.

“Our rowboat was shaped like this.”

“What does rowing look like?”


“If the ice melts, where will the seals go?”

A shout-out to the people at The VMware Foundation (Nicola, Jesse and Betsy). They are super nice, support VMware employees that volunteer in the community and they donated the reusable VMware Foundation lunch bags. Thank you!

Published by Neal Mueller