Climate Lessons (115)
Climate Lessons provides tools, resources and reflections on climate change education for educators and communicators of climate change. This blog is posted to weekly with an educator audience in mind.
I took part in the first "Not So Serious Climate and Energy Book Club," last Friday. The book club evolved out of some informal virtual discussions between a number of us involved inclimate and energy education around the country and is sponsored through ICEE: Inspiring Climate Change Education Excellence in Boulder, Colorado. The number one goal of the group is to have fun and get together (virtually) with other readers. Many of the books we have discussed reading are in the dystopian young adult genre- think Hunger Games, but we are also looking for stories with a more hopeful focus. Suggestions are welcome in the comments area below!
Our first book for discussion was, The Carbon Diaries 2015. As the title indicates, the story takes place 3 years from now in the UK. The main character is an angsty, teen girl who is a member of a punk rock band, has an annoying older sister and parents with marital issues. Sounds typical, except that a major "storm" as raised the alarm about the impacts of climate change and the UK has instituted carbon and later water rationing. The book gives a lot of opportuntity for discussion and reflection about what the future might hold and also offers an interesting way for students to connect with some of these issues in a fictional format.
We are happy to announce that Minnesota's Changing Climate received the Environmental Education Award at the 2012 Environmental Initiative Awards! Thanks to all of our partners who made this work possible!
As the school year is winding down and you are looking back on all you have accomplished this year, please share your thoughts on Minnesota's Changing Climate with us by taking our brief survey. This is your last chance to share feedback before the new edition is finalized. Thank you so much to those who have already shared their thoughts!
The first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards became available last week and we were happy to see the inclusion of climate change as a core idea. Read more.
Duluth News Tribune published Kristen Poppleton's response to Congressman Chip Cravaack's amendment to cut funding for the National Science Foundation's Climate Change Education Program.
Thanks for all your great work!
Kristen and Ann
Last week the first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards became available on-line. The new standards lean heavily on the Framework for K-12 Science Education, released a few months ago by the National Academies Press. The standards were written for a number of reasons including, the fact that the last science standards were released in 1996 and understanding around learning and science has changed substantially since then. There was also a recognition that the last national standards included too many disconnected topics, not treated in enough depth. Instead the Next Generation Standards pull out a smaller number of core ideas structured in four strands; Earth Space, Physical Science, Life Science and Engineering
The core ideas were chosen because they:
- have broad importance across multiple science or engineering disciplines or are a key organizing concept of a single discipline
- provide a key tool for understanding to investigating more complex ideas and solving problems
- relate to the interests and life experiences of students or can be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technical knowledge
- is teachable and learnable over multiple grades at increasing levels of depth and sophistication
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and many thanks to all of you for doing the great work that you do! We loved this observation describing the Spring posted to the online classroom today from Nikolaus at Great River School.
He titled it, There Is Life Among Us.
We were very disappointed to learn today from Patrick Fitzgerald at NWF, that Congressman Chip Cravaack of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, has offered an amendment to eliminate funding to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Climate Change Education Program. This will affect great science-based climate change education projects here in Minnesota that includes the Como Zoo & Conservatory and SERC at Carleton College, an important partner in the Climate Literacy Network. In the Great Lakes Region NSF has been funding a Great Lakes Network, focused on bringing together educators, scientists and others focused on climate change education to encourage collaboration and decrease duplication of efforts. Funding from the National Science Foundation for climate change education is integral to the work we do: developing science based climate change education resources and programs and maintaining a nationwide network dedicated specifically to climate change education.
In the past I have blogged on the importance of the "translator" or communicator of climate change, especially when it comes to some of the more complex science. These two articles caught my eye today.
The article: Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive Mesozoic climate warmth? published in Current Biology by David M. Wilkinson, Euan G. Nisbet, and Graeme D. Ruxton
Excuse me: Gassy dinosaurs helped warm Earth written by Seth Borenstein and posted to the Minnesota Public Radio News page.
Which one are you more inclined to read?
Just last night PBS NewsHour featured about a ten minute segment entitled, Teachers Endure Balancing Act Over Climate Change Curriculum. Overall it is an impressive vignette of what some educators face when they decide to teach about climate change in their classroom, but also what makes for good climate change education. Cheryl Manning, the featured teacher, points out the importance of starting with asking questions and identifying the misconceptions that may persist among students. She also discusses the importance of understanding the difference between a theory in everyday life and a scientific theory, based on evidence and much testing.
You can watch the video of the news segment here or
Watch Teachers Endure Balancing Act Over Climate Change Curriculum on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
and if you are free at 5PM Eastern (4PM for us in Minnesota) TODAY, May 3, take time to join a live chat with Cheryl, as well as Susan Buhr from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder and Pavane Gorrepati, a high school senior, who founded her school's environmental club, met with President Obama, written a children's book about the environment and researched climate change in China.This discussion is timely and ties in well with our upcoming forum on August 6, featuring Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. More on her visit can be found: http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/component/k2/item/1493-join-us
Happy Spring! As many of you plan action projects this spring, share your plans with us! As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
New City School submitted this creative PSA for the Parks Climate Challenge:
Last week, the first White House Summit on Environmental Education was held. Read Richard Louv's reflections on this event and the importance of environmental literacy.
Exciting news! The Minnesota's Changing Climate Project- which includes all of the great work you have been doing, has beennominated for a Minnesota Environmental Initiative Award. Winners will announced at an event on May 24. More info.
We have confirmed that Eugenie Scott,the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education(NCSE), will be speaking on Climate Science in Schools: the Next Evolution, at our free public forum held the evening of August 6th at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium, with Will Steger. Moderated by Steve Kelley.
For the past 30 years NCSE has primarily focused on defending the teaching of evolution in the classroom. In 2012, in response to complaints from teachers that they were coming under fire for teaching global warming and other climate change concepts, NCSE decided to support the teaching of climate change in addition to evolution. The work of NCSE is clearly important, especially after yesterday's passage of a bill in Tennessee that allows teachers to teach that the science and issue of climate change has "two sides." More info.
It is hard not to notice the unusually warm weather that hit Minnesota in the last few weeks, following what we like to call, "the winter that never was." There has been some pretty
interesting coverage that highlight these anomalies.
ClimateChangeLIVE Education Resources Highlights-Part 2 Webinar
Dec 11 - 07:30pm - 09:00pm
Climate and Energy Literacy Webinar: Eyewitness to Climate Change
Jan 15 - 06:30pm - 08:00pm
Professional Development Programs for Climate Change Education Webinar
Jan 29 - 07:30pm - 09:00pm
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