Fall Education Edition – WSF Out in the World!

Letter from the Executive Director

As we move into fall and the beginning of school, our education and emerging leaders programs are taking off! With the support of our staff – Kristen who manages our K-12 Education Program, Abby who directs our Youth/Emerging Leaders Program, and Richmond Appleton who is coordinating our high school program, YEA! Minnesota, we are expanding our reach among youth and educators across the Minnesota and the Midwest this fall – join us at one of these many events and please spread the word about our resources!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Education and Emerging Leaders Program Highlights

Still An Opportunity to Experience the Summer Institute!

Onsite and webinar participants from all over the United States and Canada joined us for this year’s institute. See where participants came from on the map below!

View Summer Institute 2010 in a larger map

Experience the Institute via our extensive archives of video and audio taken throughout the day. The page is still being updated, so continue to check back! Climate Lessons blog will feature educator reflections on the day over the next few weeks.

Will Steger Foundation Lesson Plans Featured In National Electronic Field Trip

National Parks FoundationOn October 13, 2010 the National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trip series will broadcast from North Cascades National Park to teach 4th to 8th grade students around the country about climate change. Two shows will air on that date at 10am ET and 1pm ET. You can find more information on the show, interactive games for youth, and classroom-ready lesson plans, developed by the Will Steger Foundation, at www.northcascadeseft.org. If you’re an educator, register now.

Education Minnesota Professional Conference – October 21-22

Will Steger will be a featured speaker at the Education Minnesota Professional Conference Oct. 21. He will talk about his 45 years of experience in wilderness exploration and education, as well as the use of online education to focus attention on environmental issues. In addition, Kristen Poppleton, WSF K-12 Education Program Manager will be doing a session for educators on WSF resources with an emphasis on our new project funded by Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Engaging Students in Environmental Stewardship through Adventure Learning.

First Annual Green Schools National Conference and Youth Summit

Green SchoolsThis inaugural conference will be held on October 24-26, 2010 in Minneapolis, MN.  The theme of this conference is “Growing Green Schools Across America.” This event will provide a unique forum and opportunity for the national K-12 education community to meet, network, learn and share ideas around greening our nation’s schools. Will Steger will be the keynote speaker, along with David Sobel and Philippe Cousteau! Kristen will also be presenting on October 25. She will be introducing participants to the tools necessary to effectively communicate the topic of climate change in their classrooms.

In conjunction with the Green Schools National Conference, Will Steger Foundation is co-sponsoring the Green Schools Youth Summit on Oct. 25th at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, featuring keynote speakers Will Steger and Philippe Cousteau. High school youth from across the state and region are encouraged to attend this free event along with an adult mentor if possible. Students will learn about climate change and the role they play as consumers and change-makers, attend skills trainings on effective teambuilding, campaign planning, and fundraising, and come away with a concrete proposal for a student-led action project in their school community. Learn more and register now at www.greenschoolsyouth.org. Registration for students is FREE and educators registering a student will receive a discount.

ACE and WSF unite to offer FREE climate outreach in the Twin Cities Metro Area, October 27-28!

ACEThe Alliance for Climate Education and WSF are offering a unique joint-presentation for any high school in the Twin Cities metro area on October 27-28. ACE delivers exciting, science-based multimedia presentations on climate education using storytelling, animation, music and video. The presentation will be followed with an introduction to WSF’s climate education resources and YEA! Minnesota, a student led network of high school environmental clubs working together across the Twin Cities metro area to support climate and sustainability initiatives. Contact Kristen to apply: kristen@willstegerfoundation.org.

Will Steger Foundation Featured on EPA Region 5 Poster

logo_epaDuring the winter of 2010, EPA Region 5 held its first Climate Change Art Challenge for middle school students.  Over 400 6th-8th grade students submitted a drawing or painting that responded to the question “What is Climate Change?” The environmental education program is in the process of developing an educator resource (a 33×22 inch poster) that showcases the works of winners. The back of the poster includes components that when will help students better answer the question, “What is Climate Change?” A Will Steger Foundation lesson on the Albedo Effect from the Global Warming 101 Lesson Plans for Grades 6-12 will be one of the lesson plans included. Once the poster is printed later this fall, people will be able to get copies for free by visiting the EPA website.

Communicating Climate Change in the Classroom

Kristen PoppletonOnline course through Hamline University taught by WSF Staff, Kristen Poppleton

October 27-November 24

An effective environmental educator helps develop a citizenry that is able and willing to help solve current environmental problems, such as climate change. Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate the topic of climate change in your classroom. Explore theories and pedagogy in environmental education and resources for communicating the complexity of climate change to students. Target audience: pre-service and in-service educators grade 4-12.

Click Here to Register today!

Minnesota’s Changing Climate Updates

Minnesota's Changing ClimateCheck out our new teaser lesson plan that debuted at this year’s Summer Institute in anticipation of our Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund project, Engaging Students in Environmental Stewardship Through Adventure Learning. The lesson introduces the use of journals as observation tools, and gives examples including a few from Will Steger’s archives. Also included on the page are video excerpts of Will discussing the project, his experiences using journals and chronicling his adventures, and his observations of weather and nature throughout his life.

Stay tuned for an email in the next few weeks detailing how your classroom can get involved with this exciting project connecting students with Minnesota’s natural environment, raising awareness about the effects of climate change and engaging them in stewardship projects!

Featured Lesson Plan, Global Warming 101 Grades 3-6

Lesson 4: Climate Change in the Media

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, the keynote speaker for this year’s Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, helped illuminate how a group of relatively few have been behind much of the momentum encouraging a discrediting of climate science. Her talk inspired a commitment to good research, always knowing your source and their motivations.

Our Global Warming 101 Grades 3-6 Lesson Plans include five interdisciplinary standards-based lesson plans on global warming with a focus on persuasive communication and language arts. Lesson 4, Climate Change in the Media, introduces students to persuasive communication techniques and challenges them to read critically and design their own communication piece.


[important color=green title=Online Resources]After an August recess the Climate Lessons Blog is back and being posted to weekly. Don’t forget to check back frequently for educator resources and inspiration for teaching climate change to your students! Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/willstegerfoundation) or Twitter (@willstegerfound) to be notified of when the blog is updated.

Our Educator Resource Binder has been revised! Download the newest version from our website today.



[important color=green title=Adventure Learning Opportunity]Minnesota Naturalist Association
November 12-14
Kristen will be presenting on Engaging Students in Environmental Stewardship Through Adventure Learning.

YEA! MN Launches Campaign for a Green Generation

Youth Environmental Activists Minnesota (YEA! MN) will kick off its 4th year at the Green Schools Youth Summit. Student chairs will take a leadership role in recruitment and facilitation and provide an introduction to YEA! MN during the morning session. YEA! MN will track student led action projects created at the Youth Summit and engage schools across Minnesota in education and leadership opportunities over the course of the school year, including four large meetings in the Twin Cities Metro focused on global warming basics, climate policy, energy efficiency, and  global connections. Visit www.yeamn.org for dates and locations or contact our YEA! MN Coordinator at richmond@willstegerfoundation.org


2010 Climate Champions Selected!

British CouncilWill Steger Foundation is partnering with the British Council to engage youth across the Midwest in the internationally successful Climate Generation program. We are proud to announce the selection of the 2010 Climate Champions, including twelve dynamic high school and college-age students and young alumni from five states across the Upper Midwest. Climate Champions were chosen based on demonstrated leadership on climate change solutions and will take in a year-long program fostering peer engagement at the high school level. Learn about our partnership with the British Council more at www.willstegerfoundation.org

In The News

An environmental group pushing clean energy, with the help of Will Steger, released a report Wednesday connecting 2010’s bumper crop of extreme weather events to global warming from greenhouse gases. Click Here for more InTheNews_kare_thumb170b
The Polar Times features an article on the village of Igloolik, on Baffin Island. The community of about 700 people has been a destination point on several of Steger’s expeditions. The article includes images from the Will Steger Foundation’s 2007 Baffin island Expedition, taken by team member, Abby Fenton. Click Here for more InTheNews_polartimes_thumb170
“Fight against global warming can strike a blow for the economy, too”. Will Steger submits an Op-Ed article and is featured on the Minnesota Public Radio website. Click Here for more InTheNews_mpr_thumb170
Will Steger will be a featured speaker at the Education Minnesota Professional Conference Oct. 21. Click Here for more InTheNews_EdMN_thumb170

[important color=blue title=Minnesota State Fair]StateFairGroupThe Will Steger Foundation had a popular display at the Minnesota State Fair, as part of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s solar energy program. We showcased the use of portable solar panels used on recent Arctic expeditions that power the teams technology that produce our education program. Fair-goers were greeted by Will’s voice coming from the tent as they listened to satellite audio dispatches recorded on various expeditions.



101010-logo-no-tagline-colorSign up for 350.org’s 10/10/10 Global Work Day! On Sunday, October 10th, hundreds of communities across the U.S. and the world will adopt the theme of “Get to Work,” enacting local climate and clean energy solutions. They will serve as examples for our elected officials to follow their lead and “get to work” by moving forward on strong climate and clean energy policies at home and abroad. Find out more about project ideas for October 10th (10/10) at www.1Sky.org or www.350.org

Photo of the Month


Photo of the month: A sample page from the new Minnesota’s Changing Climate Curriculum (cartoon illustration by David Gillette)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Published in:
Topic tags: