Climate Lesson Updates: September 2012

Hello Educators and Education Partners!
It is hard to believe September is almost over.  We hope you have had a fantastic month back and the school rhythm has begun to MNMapresizesettle in.  We were sad to bid farewell to Ann Benson, our fantastic Education Assistant, at the end of August.  Ann was a great asset to our program and hard to replace, but we have been busy interviewing candidates for the position the last few weeks.  Stay tuned for a new face in the next month!

The online classroom has been busily filling up with observations and photos of the changes going on in our backyards around the state.  Ask your students to stop in and see what others are seeing and make a comment or two on their posts.

Please visit our summary of the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education 2012.  We have some great videos of key presentations and power points to download from all of the presentators.

As the school year kicks off there are a number of great opportunities.  Please feel free to share with us any updates from your classroom or educational setting.  We would love to include them in future updates.

Professional Development

Join the Climate and Energy Not So Serious Book Club!  The next book will be Earth: The Operator’s Manual by Richard Alley. This is a non-fiction book for a lay audience and would be accessible to high school readers and some middle school readers.  The book club evolved out of some informal virtual discussions between a number of us involved in climate and energy education around the country and is sponsored through ICEE:  Inspiring Climate Change Education Excellence in Boulder, Colorado. To learn more about the book club join the ICEE forum or email Susan Buh(  The next book club meeting is Friday September 28 at 2:30 PT, 3:30 MT, 4:30 CT, 5:30 ET.  All meetings are held online and are free.  Past book club summaries can be read here.

Looking for a few extra Graduate Credits?  Sign up for, Overcoming Climate Change Misconceptions in the Classroom, a 2 credit Hamline University course taught online and Will Steger Foundation Director of Education, Kristen Poppleton.  The course starts October 31, 2012.

Register Now for Teaching Outside the Box: An Introduction to Integrating Environmental and Outdoor Education in Grades K-12, Saturday, September 29: Sandstone – Audubon Center for the North Woods.  More information.

Classroom Resources and Opportunities

Hey Teachers! Bring Tolby into your Classroom.  Tolby is the kid friendly energy efficient mascot of the Minnesota Energy Challenge, an energy efficiency education program. The Minnesota Energy Challenge offers many free resources to bring Tolby to your classroom, such as a presentation from Emma, the Energy Challenge coordinator, informational handouts, plug meters, pencils and temporary tattoos. Tolby shows students how saving energy is important and fun at the same time. Through Tolby, students learn various ways they can save energy at school and at home. This program also teaches the basics of where electricity comes from and how its use affects the environment.

Using Tolby as a guide we teach kids about the importance of saving energy in an entertaining style. Presentations are interactive, energetic and include a visit from the Tolby mascot! He also has his own “For Kids” page on the MN Energy Challenge site where there are family focused energy saving actions,  and links to kid centered energy websites. Tolby even has his own Blog that students can follow.

Emma can help to bring Tolby into your classroom. If you would like ideas, support or a presentation contact Emma at or 612-335-5852

News of Note

Ongoing Coverage of the Drought

Climate Change in Minnesota and Trees

Watch A New Climate State: Arctic Sea Ice 2012



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