Climate Lesson Update – April 2014

Letter to Climate Change Educators

Earth Day 2014When the first Earth Day happened, April 22nd, 1970, it was the beginning of something important and new in our society. We honored Mother Earth outright by celebrating clean, green living and highlighting sustainable acts. This year, Earth Day (or Earth Week, or even Earth Life as one person declared to me personally, “Happy Earth Life!”) showed no sign of tapering off after over 40 years of tradition. It was marked, as always, with steps toward a green economy, such as the Earth Day Rally for the Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign, massive city-wide cleanup efforts, and the announcement of the 2014 National Green Ribbon Award Winners for green schools in Minnesota and around the country (Watch the video below in our Moment of Inspiration). We hope you are finding yourself outside and able to welcome spring with environmental education for yourself and others. Happy Earth Life!

John Smith & Kristen Poppleton
Education Program
Will Steger Foundation

In This Issue
Letter to Climate Change Educators
WSF Happenings
Stories from the Field
Moment of Inspiration

What we’re reading 
Climate Change Needs the Politics of the Impossible” (The Daily Beast, 04/06/14)

 “Teaching about Climate Change with the New York Times” (NYTimes, 04/02/14)

Stories from the Field
Energy Conservation Challenge Leads to Student Empowerment” Jothsna Harris writes about the wild successes of The Battle of the Buildings energy conservation competition that she coordinated this year.

WSF Happenings

Summer InstituteOnly 3 weeks left to get the Early-Bird Discount on registration to the 2014 Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education! The agenda is available, and we’re excited about the guests and keynote speakers. Learn more and register today!

Give your students extra-credit for submitting a home-made video to Youth Voices of Change – and really they’ll be doing service for and learning about climate change solutions! One month left until the submission deadline (May 27th). Entries must be 30 seconds to 2 minutes long and showcase an action project or raise awareness. All finalists have a chance to win great prizes including high-tech gear and up $350 Grand Prize for their action project. Learn more and submit a video today!



Monarch Larva Monitoring Project1. Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Citizen Science Training, May 31st. Learn more …

2. National Wildlife Federation Emerging Leader Fellowship Program for youth and young adults. Learn more …

Polar Educators International3. Polar Educators International launches Master Class. Learn more …

4. Popular climate change TV series “Years of Living Dangerously” has educator tools. Learn more …

Next Generation Science Standards and Environmental Education5. Next Generation Science Stardards and Environmental Education webinar recording available now. Learn more …

6. Climate Commons fusion map of US climate, weather and stories. Learn more …

Minnesota Association for Environmental Education7. Minnesota’s Environmental Education Conference, June 20-22nd. Learn more …

8. MN Phenology Network Gathering, May 16-18. Learn more …

Polar Trec9. Polartrec is pairing teachers with polar researchers. Learn more …

10. “Polar Bears in a Changing Climate” online mini course, May 5-30. Learn more …

Moment of Inspiration

Congratulations to Minnesota’s Winners of the National Green Ribbon Award: Five Hawks Elementary (Prior Lake), Chisago Lakes Middle School (Lindstrom) and Waconia Independent School District 110. Watch Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announce the award and discuss the role of and need for environmental education and green schools in this Earth Day video: 

Video streaming by Ustream


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