Climate Lessons Update – April 2016

Letter to Climate Change Educators

It seems like you can’t turn on a news program or see a movie without hearing something about climate change. Stories that explain the repercussions and impacts that people are facing are becoming a staple in news media. Last year has been labeled as the hottest year on record, with the biggest single-year leap in global CO₂ and a record low winter maximum for Arctic sea ice. With the increased warming, scientists are now warning that the climate will dramatically shift within decades, not centuries as previously thought. The scientists are concluding that the warming that is taking place because of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, will cause more melting of land ice and therefore lead to disintegration of large ice sheets. Sea levels have already begun to rise, and are forecasted to continue rising in the coming decades. The U.S. has recently had its first climate change refugees: the band of Biloxi-Chitimacha- Choctaw Indians of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana.

jillpeltoWe don’t want you to think that learning about climate change is all doom and gloom. There are so many hopeful stories out there too, of people acting on climate change and doing their part. Artist Jill Pelto has taken climate data and turned it into art. The graphs show data on increased forest fire activity and habitat degradation, but present it in a new format that will lead to great discussions. The youth in Minnesota were out in full force on March 14th for Youth Lobby Day at the capitol, and the U.S. will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change this year regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision to put environmental action on hold.

This press indicates the serious and growing threat of climate change, but there are definitely reasons for hope. We hope that you can use these articles in your classroom or pass them along to your colleagues.

We would like to leave you with a couple of quotes from world leaders about their positive views on climate change:

  • “Climate change isn’t just a challenge, it’s an opportunity.” Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
  • “I urge you to consider the needs of the youngest generation, because none of us has the right to assume that for our today they should give up their tomorrow.” – Britain’s Prince Charles.

Kristen Poppleton & Jenna Totz
Education Program
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

Summer_Institute_logoWe would like to invite you to the 11th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. This year our focus will be on our newest curriculum, Next Generation Climate for grades 6-8.

Our Education Program has been recognized by the White House for our effectiveness in climate change education and engaging educators and youth. We have been providing professional development for teachers for over ten years through our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, and we get consistent evaluation results that indicate teachers increase their confidence and competence to teach climate change after attending. Did we mention that you will receive a free copy of Next Generation Climate with your registration? Check out our fantastic agenda and register today!

Climate Minnesota webinar

climate-mn-logoOver the last year, Climate Generation has visited 12 communities throughout Minnesota. We have heard how climate change is impacting our economy, our tourism, our seasons, and our way of life. We have also heard stories of community members working towards solutions and connected with organizations, utilities and businesses that can offer specific, tangible solutions. Join us us in hearing what we have learned and discussing what happens next. REGISTER TODAY! The webinar will take place on April 14.

Climate Generation Strategy Survey

GC_logo_badge_rgbWe invite you to have a say in how Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy writes our 3-5 year strategy. We would love your feedback! Please fill out this 10 question survey (it should take you 5-10 minutes) by Friday April 29.

Have you used our curriculum?

curriculumHave you used Next Generation Climate, Minnesota’s Changing Climate, or any of our other curriculum guides? If so, we would love to hear from you. What did you like? How could we improve? Do you have a testimonial that you could share? We will be sending out a survey soon. Watch for it!


Climate Education Week Toolkit

earthdaynetworkThe Climate Education Week Toolkit is a free, easy-to-use, ready-to-go resource with hand-picked lesson plans, activities, and contests for your K-12 students. It meets both Next Generation Science and Common Core standards.

The Green Schools Alliance

GSA_logoCheck out two great opportunities from the Green Schools Alliance. The Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3) is a student leadership training for grades 8-11 that takes place this summer. Also this summer is a professional development opportunity for ALL school professionals, Educator Climate and Conservation Colloquium (Ec3). The mission of the Green Schools Alliance is to connect and empower schools worldwide to lead the transformation to a sustainable future.

NOAA Climate Stewards Webinar

noaa-logoThe NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project welcomes Margie Turrin & Dave Porter from Columbia University as our featured speakers on April 11th, 7:0 EST. ​Changes in sea level are measurable on local and a global scales providing an accessible way to connect climate to education – and there is data – lots of data! To make the data available and accessible we’ve developed ‘Sea Level Rise: Polar Explorer’ an interactive map based ‘app’. The app offers an interactive guided tour through the many layers of science that impact sea level rise. The app reinforces the NGSS science practice of asking questions around data. Space is limited. Reserve your spot now.

The White House Science Fair

science fairThe 2016 White House Science Fair — the 6th and final of Obama’s Administration — will take place on Wednesday, April 13. This year’s Science Fair will highlight the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators. To share YOUR story of discovery and invention, submit a picture and description of your science fair project by 5 pm ET on Tuesday, April 5 and share them on social media with the hashtag #WHScienceFair!

Climate Change and Renewable Energy Books

renewableenergyAre you looking for ways to integrate energy and climate change in your classroom? If so, check out these new books. Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth and Renewable Energy: Discover the Fuel of the Future will take your students on investigative journeys of climate and renewable energy. Aimed at engaging readers ages 9-14, the books use experiments to explore climate science and help students discover which renewable resources are the best choices for powering our world.

Improving Climate Literacy Through your Undergraduate Course

glacierRegister now for this webinar (Thursday, April 7, 2:00 pm CST) for an opportunity to hear from geoscience faculty who connect climate literacy to learning about the Earth in their courses. Cindy Shellito will talk about climate literacy principles and share examples of how to teach about them in a course. Julie Bartley and Laura Triplett are leaders of the Gustavus Adolphus College InTeGrate Implementation Program that works to weave climate science across the curriculum. They will talk about how contextualizing climate literacy principles is important in this work and the role of InTeGrate materials in supporting their efforts.

What we’re reading

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry Our leaders thought fracking would save our climate. They were wrong. Very wrong.

Stories from the Field

Read about the recent event, Divest-Invest Minnesota, where current and retired teachers learned about divestment and how they could get involved in advocating to divest the MN State Board of Investment funds from fossil fuels.

Moment of Inspiration

Worldwide, people are raising the climate sign to unite for climate action. Join the movement today by sharing your climate sign photo with the hashtag #ClimateSign! The climate sign communicates unity for climate action. When we raise the climate sign, we recognize climate change as an opportunity for global collaboration, creativity, and innovation. As the climate sign spreads, it builds a social norm of climate-conscious living, and fosters support for climate groups and progressive world leaders.

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