Climate Lessons Update – September 2015


NOAA’s Climate Education Coordinator Frank Niepold joined us for the 2015 Summer Institute for Climate Change Education.

Letter to Climate Change Educators

We hope you had a wonderful summer with lots of outdoor exploration! Now that school has started again we’re excited to be back online offering resources and opportunities for you to integrate climate change into your classrooms or other educational settings. Last month, we were featured at the Back-to-School Climate Education Event hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The event brought together students, educators, and education policy leaders from across the country. The Administration also announced new commitments from Federal agencies and external collaborators to enhance climate literacy and Climate Generation is one of those collaborators in our role bringing a group of 10 Education Ambassadors to Paris, France for the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties!  Classrooms around the world will be able to follow the ambassadors as they blog and webcast back from Paris.  Check out next month’s Climate Lesson Update for opportunities to be involved.

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

Climate Generation Happenings

New Middle School Curriculum

nextgenclimatelogoWe are excited to announce that we will be releasing a new curriculum later this month. Next Generation Climate is a middle school climate change curriculum that has students investigate the cause of the global temperature change, research the major repercussions of climate change, and find out how they can monitor and minimize those repercussions. This curriculum uses the Next Generation Science Standards as a framework and is also aligned to Climate and Energy Literacy standards. Read more about the curriculum on our website. You will be able to download your own copy to pilot by October 1.

Climate Generation’s Climate Change Curricula Suite

Curriculum 3 CoversIf you are looking for climate change and energy education resources for your educational setting our entire Grades 3-12 curriculum suite was updated and got a facelift last spring. The resources come in the form of curriculum guides, as well as online modules that can be downloaded for free. Aligned with Minnesota state science, social studies and language arts standards, the Next Generation Science Standards and the climate and energy literacy principles, the curricula has been reviewed by scientists, professional educators, and organizations. All curriculum guides encourage in-depth learning, are interdisciplinary and science based and have online connections, in the form of videos, articles and interactive media. In addition to our unique suite of resources.  Check them out here.

Minnesota Stories in A Changing Climate

MNStoriesScreenShotWe are television co-producers and will be premiering our co-production, Minnesota Stories in A Changing Climate, with Twin Cities Public Television on October 6.  Join us if you are in the Twin Cities Area, watch for it to be broadcast later in October if you are in Greater Minnesota, and stay tuned for the full production and story segments posted to our website!  A discussion guide will accompany the 60 minute program and is an ideal group event for schools, churches, clubs, etc.  

Summer Institute 2015 Recap

IMG_3390We had a very successful Summer Institute in June at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. Guest speakers and experts gave the Summer Institute attendees a variety of ways to approach the issue of climate change. Topics included: the science of changing forests, energy efficiency, meeting educational standards, and engaging youth in environmental issues. If you missed it check out the recap! Information for our Summer Institute 2016 will be available in October.




The National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) announces a professional development opportunity for interpreters who focus on climate change and ocean issues. The application is now open for Study Circles Spring 2016. A NNOCCI Study Circle is a cross-disciplinary learning group made up of peers with expertise from fields of professional interpretation, climate and ocean sciences and communications and cultural sciences. Through a series of facilitated in-person meetings, webinars, conference calls and practical activities, participants build knowledge of ocean and climate science and communications and cultural sciences. Visit  or for more information and to apply. Please encourage colleagues to apply and share with your own networks. Contact for more information.

ClimateGameJamLogoClimate Game Jam

Climate Game Jam will be happening October 2-4, 2015 in multiple sites around the country. This event offers a unique opportunity for educators, students, scientists, game designers, and interested public members to develop climate game prototypes that span a range of platforms, topics, and audiences. In December, 2014, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) launched a Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change.  As commitment in support of this effort, federal and non-governmental experts are collaborating to harness the promise of educational games and interactive media to enhance understanding and awareness of climate-change impacts and solutions.

Game Jam is in need to host sites around the country. Each site can establish limits to hours and audience. They already have school sites signed up and one will run their jam during school hours on Friday, October 2, so don’t worry about any time constraints. It will be great for students to engage in learning more about climate and use their creativity to design games with the content.

More information about the responsibilities of a site (especially is you are not at a K-12 school) can be found at  A Friday night (October 2) kick-off event will feature Ken Eklund, a well-known game designer, via webcast. For more information about Game Jams, go to If you are interested in hosting a local site: Questions about this event should be directed to Peg Steffen at

Help Inform Climate Change Education

Please accept this invitation to participate in a survey on teachers’ conceptions and attitudes about climate change in the classroom from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. By conducting this research, they hope to understand the current trends in teaching regarding this topic and what educational materials teachers are using that are helpful and to identify misconceptions that students are bringing to the classroom.  Please click on the survey link below and provide your input no later than Sept. 30th, 2015. The survey will not be accessible after that time so please respond promptly. Your Anonymous Survey Link:

The confidential survey should take no longer than 15 – 20 minutes to complete and individual survey results will be kept strictly confidential. No identifying data or names are collected in this survey. Only email addresses are used to in facilitating the survey.  If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Elaine Abusharbain at 618.650.2453 or email at All aspects of this study have been approved by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Your participation is very important, as you know, in obtaining an adequate sample from which to draw conclusions and conduct appropriate analysis. In appreciation for your time, you will have the opportunity to enter into a drawing for a $50 valued Voombox speaker by Divoom, a rugged portable wireless speaker with Bluetooth technology. After you begin the survey, there are prompts to allow you to exit the survey, if you wish. Thank you in advance for your participation!

What we’re reading

With the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties coming up in December, we are keeping up the news that relates to international climate policy.  Check out our growing collection of articles and websites.

Stories from the Field

Meet our 10 Education Ambassadors that will be traveling to the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, France through Climate Generation’s Window into Paris program.

Moment of Inspiration

You can make a difference! Reducing your carbon footprint just got easier. This video uses animations and humour to teach people how they can personally help prevent global warming.

This is just one of the free educational products available in the “Climate Insights 101” series. Created by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) — a collaboration of British Columbia’s four research intensive universities.


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