Minnesota’s Changing Climate Updates, February 23

The big news in the Climate Change Education world the last few weeks has been the controversy surrounding leaked Heartland Institute documents.  The documents show, among otherMNMapresize things, their plan to develop a curriculum for teaching about climate change in K-12 schools. Dr. David Wojick, who is not a climate scientist and received his PhD in epistemology, will develop a set of modules on topics he deems to be “controversial” when in fact there is no controversy.  Curriculum modules include the role of humans causing climate change (science concludes humans are a major driver of climate change so yes, it is us!); how climate models work (science proves their models are reliable) and if CO2 is an air pollutant (which it is).  Two days ago Dr. Peter Gleick admitted to leaking the Heartland documents.  His admission has instigated a variety of responses on whether Dr. Gleick should be considered a hero or condemned for his actions.  Read more on this in the Climate Lessons Blog.

As the winter that never was comes to an end, we wanted to encourage you to begin posting or continue posting to the online classroom.  Big changes are already in progress as some of the early signs of spring begin!  Robins have been sighted already, quaking aspens are starting to break bud and flower and pussy willows are starting to emerge!

Also, if you are in the Parks Climate Challenge, we want to encourage you to get those mini grant requests in.  It is not too late!  Finally, Will and Ann had a fantastic visit to Hawley last week.  Read more about it here.

Opportunities

Registration for the seventh annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education has been steady and we want to once again encourage all of you to:

  • share this opportunity with your colleagues
  • consider attending again
  • consider doing a presentation of your own

Contact Ann Benson, ann@willstegerfoundation.org, if you are interested in presenting or register today.

Join the CLEAN Pathway project for a two hour interactive webinar on Tuesday, February 28th:  “Teaching About Climate Literacy Essential Principle #5: Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling”, with content focused on environmental observations and modeling. Our presenters, both from the multinational ANDRILL collaboration, will address environmental observations and modeling from the perspective of their own research in Antarctica.  Participants will also explore and discuss how resources from the CLEAN collection can be used with students to help them understand how historical data and modeling tools help us understand the climate system.Time – 4-6 pm Pacific | 5-7 pm Mountain | 6-8 pm Central | 7-9 pm Eastern. This event is free of charge but space is limited and registration is required. For details about this event and to register, go to http://www.cleanet.org/clean/community/webinars/IW5.html  Questions? Contact Marian Grogan at (marian_grogan@terc.edu).

The National Inquirer is looking for volunteers to help improve the Natural Inquirer journals. They want to know how the Natural Inquirers are used in the classroom and would like to come observe educators using the Natural Inquirer in the classroom.
Please contact Michelle at mcandrews@fs.fed.us or Jessica jessica@naturalinquirer.org if you are interested in volunteering to help improve the Natural Inquirer.

Presentation by David Sobel – Place-based Education:Making School More Like a Farmer’s Market
Monday, March 19, 7:00-9:00 pm. at Friends School of Minnesota
This event is free and open to the public.
More information

Recruiting Creative High School Teachers for an Inter-disciplinary Energy Module:  Deadline:  Mar 2, 2012
We are recruiting high school teachers of science, engineering and/or economics, to pilot test a multi-disciplinary module, dealing with the global energy challenge.  This culminating project will help your students integrate and apply their core skills, and help them see the connections with the other fields.  The module will immerse students in understanding renewable and fossil fuel energy sources, projecting global needs over the next decades, and exploring sustainable solutions to meeting these needs, from local, regional and global perspectives.  Teachers will need to commit to the full two-month module. Teachers will give feedback on the activities during and after the module, and allow our research and evaluation staff to observe classroom activities and conduct student evaluations. Pilot test dates:  Apr-May, 2013
Stipend: $500 + full set of support materials + inter-disciplinary training
To apply, contact:  Dan_Barstow@terc.edu, 978-235-3300

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