AoC video series

"Agents of Change" Video Series

Six images of students over a background of a world map.

Did you know that by being part of The GLOBE Program, you belong to a network of students and teachers from over 125 countries? This network has an amazing impact – together, students like you have contributed to GLOBE's database containing over 230 million environmental measurements. That’s a lot of data! 

This data is used to monitor the health of the planet. By collecting data for The GLOBE Program, you’re making a difference in the world.  

Participating in GLOBE can also change you. In the stories below, students and teachers from around the world tell you how they have promoted change in their communities. Explore their GLOBE experiences and see if you, too, can become an “agent of change.”

"Agents of Change" Episodes

Episode 1


Several children in Africa watching someone explain a scientific instrument. Text reads: Agents of Change: Africa.

Why is Shamila delighted about some pieces of plastic?

Cheap, opaque white plastic. It doesn’t seem like much to get excited about. But for 14-year-old Shamila, these plastic pieces open the door to the possibility of accurate measurements – and inspire her plans for her future.

Shamila lives in rural Ortum, Kenya. As GLOBE students, she and her classmates regularly record weather data like wind direction, precipitation and barometric pressure. 

At the beginning, they lacked proper scientific instruments for gathering data. Forced to get creative with locally available resources, the class transformed wood, tape, cardboard and discarded plastic bottles into wind vanes and rain gauges. These homemade instruments were functional, but not as accurate as ones that other groups used in local weather data competitions. “It was awkward,” Shamila says.

So Shamila was thrilled when a box of inexpensive 3D-printed plastic pieces and a low cost, credit-card sized computers arrived at her school. The items could be assembled into a portable weather station. Donated by The GLOBE Program at The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, this weather station is a huge improvement over their earlier instruments. Now the class can take measurements like wind speed and barometric pressure much more accurately. It’s an achievement Shamila is proud of. 

Participating in GLOBE has inspired Shamila to dream of a scientific career. How can it change you?


  • Have you ever had to make homemade tools or instruments?
  • What can you do to reuse everyday materials to create something new?
  • How do you implement the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" motto in your everyday life?

Image on left shows several girls standing outside around a plastic container that one person is reaching for. RIght image shows a man holding a wooden compass device.

Learn about the scientific protocols used in this video

Back to episode list

Episode 2


Image of a student crouching down outside next to a complex scientific instrument. Text reads: Agents of Change: Latin America and Caribbean.

When Luis sees street trash, his mind leaps to mosquitos.

Mosquito eggs, that is. That pile of trash is a perfect breeding ground for the mosquito species that transmits the Zika virus. Luis is on a mission to learn as much as he can about this mosquito species' life cycle, with the hope of lessening the impact of Zika on his community.

Luis is only nine years old, yet he can teach you how to build a simple trap so you can study mosquitoes at home. He regularly collects wriggling mosquito larvae from stagnant water in his Rio de Janeiro neighborhood. Then, using a mini-microscope attached to his phone, he observes the larvae and uploads his data to GLOBE through the Mosquito Habitat Mapper on The GLOBE Program's app, GLOBE Observer.

He still gets excited to see his reporting location marked in the app. How did he develop such a passion? “It all started at school,” Luis says. His GLOBE teacher, Ines Mauad, taught his class not only how to build mosquito traps and collect data but also to share results with the larger GLOBE community.

“The project empowers the student,” she explains, “they feel as agents of change.”

Participating in GLOBE has nurtured a passion in Luis. How can it change you?


  • What is the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus? What other tropical diseases does it transmit to humans? 
  • Did you have a passionate interest like Luis’s, scientific or not, at a young age? 
  • Do you think important achievements are possible without a passion behind them?

A boy in lab goggles and latex gloves works at a microscope. Separate image of a phone using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper app.

Back to episode list 


Episode 3

United States

Two students and a teacher look at a computer in class. Text reads: Agents of Change: North America

Shylo and Cadence code in Apache but think beyond reservation boundaries.

“Would you rather be inside the box or outside it?" Shylo and Caydence study Nate Raynor’s drawing – a rectangle with many dots inside but only a few outside.
GLOBE teacher Raynor is a mentor to 18-year-old Shylo, and 15-year-old Caydence. Together, they study air quality within the Mescalero Apache Reservation, a small Native American community in a remote area of New Mexico. 

Shylo and Caydence worry about the impact of persistent wildfire smoke on the health of the reservation’s residents, particularly the tribal elders. Under Raynor’s guidance, the girls have been programming air sensors and installing them within the reservation. They share that data with everyone in the community so now anyone in Mescalero can know when the air quality is poor.

The girls could program these sensors in English, but they think it’s important to be coding in Mescalero Apache. “We don’t want our language to die out,” Caydence says. 

The hearts of the girls belong to the reservation. Raynor is encouraging their minds to venture beyond it – to possibly study engineering, to be those dots outside the box.

“The person outside the box has more opportunity,” he explains, “because he or she is not confined.”

Participating in GLOBE has encouraged Shylo and Caydence to think “outside the box.” How can it change you?


  • Is there an environmental issue affecting people in your community? If so, is there any way you could help?
  • How does the courage to think differently (or outside the box) help a scientist?

Two students watch a teacher explain a scientific instrument in class. A separate image shows a close-up of the inside of that instrument.

Learn about the scientific protocols used in this video

Back to episode list


Episode 4


The girls in hijabs study a small plant outside. One girl is holding the plant and another one is taking notes. Text reads: Agents of Change: Near East and North Africa

Rahaf, Anfal and Azza learn firsthand the lessons of the wadi.

“They say it’s blessed.” Anfal is talking about the clear, flowing water. It’s the artery of life that supports her community.

Fifteen-year-olds Rahaf, Anfal and Azza live in an arid, mountainous region of Oman near a wadi, or streambed, that fills with water during monsoon season. The wadi provides precious water to the local farms that feed area residents. Still, the region suffers from low water levels and high soil salinity. These problems hurt the farms’ crop production. 

Could crops grown hydroponically, with a nutrient solution made from a common local plant, circumvent these problems? Rahaf, Anfal and Azza studied the wadi with their GLOBE teacher. Then they designed an experiment. They began to grow plants without soil, treating some with artificial nutrient solutions and others with a nutrient solution made from reeds growing abundantly in the wadi. After a month of careful monitoring and measuring, the girls got exciting results. Even better, they learned through hands-on science. Anfal explains that this experiential learnings, “leads to a better understanding” than just learning through books.  

Participating in GLOBE has honed the girls’ abilities to think scientifically – to observe, compare and analyze changes over time. These skills are vital to protect the environment and local communities from harm.

Participating in GLOBE has taught these girls important skills. How can it change you?


  • Why do you think observation is such an important scientific skill?
  • How is testing a hypothesis like problem-solving?

Two students examine a plant outside. In a separate image, close-up view of the plant being placed in a holder.

Learn about the scientific protocols used in this video

Back to episode list


Episode 5


Four students watch a teacher explain a scientific instrument outside. Text reads: Agents of Change: Asia and Pacific.

Banisha can't wait to share what she took home from the expedition.

If you had to solve a big environmental problem, how would you begin? You first need to know how the environment is changing and to what degree. This requires a lot of data and many collaborators to help you collect, compare and share those measurements. 

But not just any data will do. For example, if you gathered data using one method and another observer used a different one, you two are not measuring the exact same thing! So you cannot meaningfully compare both of those data sets. 

To prevent this issue, GLOBE has developed protocols, or standardized procedures for collecting accurate scientific measurements. Without GLOBE protocols, the millions of data points in GLOBE’s databases would be far less useful.

Recently, students and teachers from across Asia gathered for the Lake Pokhara Expedition in Nepal to learn more about GLOBE’s hydrosphere protocols. While the reasons for their interest in Earth’s water varied, everyone was excited to take these protocol trainings and lessons learned from them back home.

“We did some observations we haven’t done before,” Banisha from Nepal said. “We are going to share our experience.”

Participating in GLOBE has shown Banisha the importance of sharing knowledge. How can it change you?


  • How does sharing what you’ve learned help other people?
  • How does sharing what you’ve learned help you?
  • What have you learned about water quality and its importance?

Image of students on a boat doing an experiment. Separate image of a student and teacher looking at a phone and chart.

Learn about the scientific protocols used in this video

Back to episode list


Episode 6


A teacher crouches outside with two students near a railing. Text reads: Agents of Change: Europe and Eurasia.

Teachers like Zrinko want to get you excited about The GLOBE Program.

For 1995, it was an ambitious idea. If you connected databases to the Internet and provided protocols for taking measurements, you could get students around the world to record, share and analyze environmental data. 

Scientists studying Earth’s systems would find that data incredibly useful. Students, guided by teachers, would get hands-on opportunities to grow their scientific understanding of the planet. Best of all, a collaborative global community would form – one whose members could tackle environmental challenges in the future.

It was that idea that led to the creation of The GLOBE Program.

In present-day Croatia, Zrinko Bahorić, once a GLOBE student, is now a GLOBE teacher. “I am still thrilled and satisfied by the success of my students,” he says. 

The program’s Country Coordinator for Croatia, Diana Garašić, is another big fan of GLOBE. “There is a feeling of friendship among GLOBE teachers and GLOBE schools,” she explains. “I think [GLOBE] really contributes to being citizens of the world.”


Participating in GLOBE has shown Diana and Zrinko the power of mentorship and collaboration. How can it change you?


  • Have you ever known a teacher, coach or other adult that really had an impact on you?
  • Does the thought of working with students from different countries interest you? Why?

Several students examine plants in a forest while a teacher watches. In a separate image, several data papers on a table, with hands nearby.

Back to episode list


For more information on the "GLOBE Agents of Change" video series, contact the GLOBE Implementation Office.