Minnesota’s Changing Climate Updates, January 19

MNMapresizeWinter greetings!  The cold has finally arrived and hopefully with snow right on its heels.  For those of you interested in keeping up on student observations of the Metro area, Great River School has been doing a phenomenal job of getting outside and letting us know what they see!  Also many thanks to Proctor for hosting Will, Nicole and myself a few weeks ago.  It was so much fun to hear what you have learned and get outside to see your journalling plots and observations.  Keep up the good work!

Keep your eyes open for next summer’s first institute blast.  We are hoping to have some return teachers that are part of a teacher panel or just want to participate again.  If you enjoyed last summer, PLEASE share with your colleagues and encourage them to attend.  We are able to offer mileage and accommodations for those traveling outside the metro again and will have some great sessions.  The dates this year are August 7 and 8 and the location, the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley.

There has been an exciting development in climate change education this week, as the National Center for Science Education has taken up the fight against climate change denial and support of teachers teaching climate change.  Some of you are probably aware of NCSE’s many years of work on making sure evolution was included in science education.  More on this on the Climate Lessons blog.

Cool Website of the Week- Check out this great interactive on how science works. 

Viral Climate Video of the Week

What does this mild winter mean for Midwest Forests?  Read More Now
Check out the latest issue of the Young Scientist’s Journal focused on Climate Change. 

Opportunities:
Apply for national recognition as a Green Ribbon School!  Applications due February 22, 2012  
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education to recognize green schools with the newly launched Green Ribbon Schools program. To be considered for the program, a school will have achieved or made considerable progress toward the three pillars established in the program: 1) energy efficient buildings; 2) healthy students and school environment; and 3) environmental literacy of all graduates.  The combined achievement in these three areas will be the basis for the Green Ribbon Schools award.  More information & a link to the application are found on the MDE website

Stop by the Department of Education to hear from high school students talk about why Learning Outdoors is “Way Cool”  Monday, January 23, 12 – 1 p.m.
Last semester several Minnesota high school students from Mahtomedi and Roseville were busy learning the usual subject matter – history, literature, science, phy. ed., math. Hear why their academic experience was so exceptional.  These fortunate students will be at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to share their experiences at Conserve School (www.conserveschool.org) in Northeastern Wisconsin. Learn why for many of them it was their greatest experience with academics and was also life-changing.
Visitors are welcome, but please notify Jeff Ledermann, jeff.ledermann@state.mn.us, if you would like to attend.

YEA!MN is teaming up with MPIRG to plan a youth-centered lobby day at the Capitol Building in St. Paul for middle school and high students!  
Lobbying will focus on promoting the Recycling Refund Act which incentivizes and encourages Minnesotans to recycle and reduce litter, and on a bill that would commit Minnesota to a new solar standard of 10% solar energy by the year 2030.  
All are invited to join us as we participate in and learn about an important aspect of our political process.  Participants will have the opportunity to be trained on lobbying and on the particular issues they are interested in lobbying for, meet other youth activists who are working toward a more environmentally sustainable Minnesota, and lobby in the capitol building in front of a legislator.
Here is the information regarding the event:
What: MPIRG/YEA!MN Lobby Day
When: Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 9:00am-2:00pm
Where: The Minnesota Capitol Building, 5 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Saint Paul, MN 55155 (the specific room in which we will first meet is TBD)
*Free lunch will be provided*
Please ask your students to register if they’d like to attend.

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