“But Trump Loves Coal!”: Strategies for Teaching Mountaintop Removal in a Rural Appalachian High School

Sustainability education in a necessary component in ensuring ecosystem and community health of our planet, especially within vulnerable mountain communities. Teaching about environmental and social justice issues during a highly contentious and short-sighted political atmosphere presents special challenges to this important task. This paper documents one strategy for inspiring and educating adolescents in a rural public high school about the negative impacts of an energy system that is reliant upon fossil fuels. Participants will learn about creative pedagogical techniques and consider the interesting conundrum of teaching environmental awareness and system thinking in unique political times.