A Simple Question follows a 4th grade class, partnered with ranchers, scientists, and government agencies, on their remarkable journey to answer one simple question: what can we do to save endangered species?

In 1992, Laurette Rogers’ 4th grade class asked what they could do save endangered species. It was a simple question that would change their lives. Partnering with ranchers, scientists, and government agencies, this remarkable project has led to the restoration of 21 miles of riparian habitat for the endangered California freshwater shrimp. In the process, it has catalyzed significant educational innovations by connecting kids with their local watershed – and classrooms with community. The STRAW program serves as testimony to the importance of empowering children to better their world, which in turn transforms us all.

Produced, Written & Directed by Kevin White & David Donnenfield
Narration by Peter Coyote
Edited by Greg O’Toole

“STARRED REVIEW. Top 25 Videos for Students…..” A welcome addition to school and public libraries, this well produced, tightly edited program is just the thing for spurring similar hands–on activities and for encouraging kids to get involved.”

“A model of one of the most successful school-initiated conservation programs. This multi-award winning video would be excellent for classes who are thinking of or are starting major projects with fairly long timelines. It is also excellent viewing for school administrators as it deals with some of the administrative logistics of the project.”
– Green Teacher Magazine

Highly recommended. A must for all teachers who are thinking about organizing a project with students and the community. This documentary is a true testament to the fact that every person, young or old, and with the help of others, can work in a positive and constructive manner to become good stewards of the environment in an effort to create a better tomorrow.”
—Educational Media Reviews Online

Inspiring. Recommended for students and adults seeking ways actively to make a difference in their local environments.”
- Library Journal

“This story shows that dreams can have long term success, and life can take unexpected paths. The facts that students can work hard, can get adults to listen and cooperate, and can have a great and lasting impact on their world are emphasized, and could be used to spark new ideas and action in other schools and communities. This DVD can be used in any classroom to encourage students to ask questions, and teachers to take action.”
– NSTA Recommends (National Science Teachers Association)

Recommended. A well-crafted and inspiring example of young people developing both eco-awareness and leadership skills. DVD extras include extended conversations with ecologists and authors.”
—Video Librarian

“The most compelling example that I’ve seen of students being productively involved in ecological restoration. I use the film as an integral part of presentations I do now to engage students in hopeful environmentalism.”
—Dr. David Sobel, Director, Teacher Certification Programs, Education Department, Antioch New England Graduate School

“‘A Simple Question’ portrays a hope grounded in the ability of the natural world to re-grow itself when people – in this instance, school children – make it the object of their care and attention.  My hope is that this film will inspire more educators across the U.S. and world to take similar actions within their own watersheds.”
— Greg Smith, Ed.D., Professor of Teacher Education, Lewis and Clark College

Nomination, Northern California Emmy Awards
Spirit of Activism Award, Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Best Educational Documentary, Mammoth Mountain Film Festival
Best Educational Value in the Classroom, andConservation Hero of the Festival, Laurette Rogers, International Wildlife Film Festival
Best Short Film, Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, New Zealand