Climate Lesson Update – January 2015

Letter to Climate Change Educators

‘Climate education and literacy are a critical part of this STEM skill set and are particularly important for building a 21st-century workforce, where tomorrow’s community leaders, city planners, and entrepreneurs have the information, knowledge, and training to make sound decisions and grow businesses in the context of a changing climate.’

White House OSTP
This quote was taken from the Call to Action letter from The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy written by Laura Petes. This letter is asking for help in advancing STEM education as well as enhancing climate education and literacy. Every student deserves to have the best education available and that includes climate and energy literacy. We at the Will Steger Foundation are doing everything that we can to help ensure that there are great tools for educators to use. Please email or or give us a call if you have any questions about our curriculum suite or professional development opportunities.

Kristen Poppleton & Jenna Totz

Education Program
Will Steger Foundation

WSF Happenings

Civic Engagement! Environmental Lobby Day

Lobby day picStudent Opportunity to Learn about Civic Engagement! Environmental Lobby Day, co-hosted by the Will Steger Foundation, will be held on Monday February 2nd. We will be lobbying legislators at the Minnesota State Capitol on increasing the Renewable Energy Standard to obtaining 40% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This lobby day is an empowering experience in advocacy and civic engagement for high school students with little to no experience with lobbying, training is provided. This is a great opportunity for teachers to bring a class on a field trip, or send smaller groups of students, like an Earth Club. For more information contact Natalie Cook,

10th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

Summer InstituteJoin us June 15-17, 2015 for a chance to hear from experts in climate science, climate change education, and climate solutions. You will also engage in hands-on activities and learn how our curriculum supports language arts, social students, and science standards (including Next Generation Science Standards). Register and learn more here.

Watch National Climate Assessment and Climate Change Education Webinar

webinarWatch the archive of our webcast broadcast in cooperation with NASA Langley focused on the Midwest region of the the National Climate Assessment (NCA).

Resources from the Climate Change Community

Want to learn about the Energy Literacy Principles and Concepts?
Energy LiteracyThe Energy Literacy Initiative is excited about its new video series highlighting each of the 7 Essential Principles of Energy. The Department of Energy, the Center for Geoscience and Society at the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), developed four videos (with three more scheduled for Summer 2015) to help educators bring key energy principles to the classroom.

Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
Great LakesThis 4-week course will feature a new season each week through short lectures and activities covering Great Lakes weather, observed changes in the climate, and societal impacts of climate change. Along with sharing our passion for weather and climate, we’ll convey information from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Weather-Ready Nation initiative as well as findings from the recent National Climate Assessment and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).

Learn how the mid-latitude location of the Great Lakes Region and the influence of five massive and stunning fresh-water lakes combine to create exhilarating weather systems each season. Winters are cold and snowy; spring brings thunderstorms, heavy rains and tornadoes; summers are hot and humid and the transition to autumn paves the way for especially windy storms like the one that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. On top of all this, climate change is adding to the complexity. Numerous observations demonstrate that the climate of the Great Lakes Region is changing. Average temperatures are getting warmer and extreme heat events are occurring more frequently. Total precipitation is increasing and heavy precipitation events are becoming more common. Winters are getting shorter and duration of lake ice cover is decreasing. We’ll share the data with you before focusing on people and communities adjusting to these changes. And to slow the rate of future climate change, we’ll share actions you can take that benefit you and everyone who loves the weather and climate of the Great Lakes Region.

22657003956042.QmX7JCP4WIHxBIRIvfvJ height640The Climate Impacts on the Great Lakes course provides an overview of the latest research about how a changing climate will affect different aspects of our daily lives. The course is divided into seven categories-ecosystems, public health, infrastructure, water, climate, public policy, and education with multiple presentations within each category by experts from around the Great Lakes region and the country.

Download resources from The National Phenology Network

PhenologyThe National Phenology Network has great resources for educators to use. You can download customized datasets from the National Phenology Database. Phenology data are already supporting science and helping natural resource managers and public officials make decisions about how to prepare for and cope with the rapid changes occurring across the nation.

Using this website you can: get a snapshot of the data in the National Phenology Database, explore the data collected via Nature’s Notebook with the interactive visualization tool, and download the data collected via Nature’s Notebook.You might also want to explore some preliminary findings and peer-reviewed results from the USA-NPN data.

Moment of Inspiration

Climate Heroes: Stories of Change

Actor and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Ian Somerhalder narrates an inspiring new documentary that takes the viewer on a trip around the world to see people taking action on climate change. The documentary weaves together nine inspiring stories, showing that action on climate change is creating jobs, improving lives and turning dreams of a better future into reality. This video would be a great way to discuss climate change solutions with your students.




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