It is hard not to notice the unusually warm weather that hit Minnesota in the last few weeks, following what we like to call, "the winter that never was." There has been some pretty
interesting coverage that highlight these anomalies.
The big news in the world of climate change education this week has been the National Center for Science Education's new climate change education initiative.
"Long respected for its work in defending and supporting the teaching of evolution in the public schools...NCSE launched this new initiative to defend and support the teaching of climate change."
When asked why NCSE decided to take on climate change, Executive Director Eugenie Scott responded;
"We have been receiving more and more reports of teachers being pressured against teaching climate change, much as they are pressured against teaching evolution. Right now the evidence is anecdotal but we have heard enough to suggest that it is a problem."
Read more coverage on the initiative below and make sure you check out their new webpage for tips, tools and other information!
Evolution advocate turns to climate
Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms
Climate in Classrooms
Climate Change Causes Heated Battles For Science Teachers
National Center For Science Education Launches Fight Against Climate Change Denial In Schools
New Initiative to Promote Climate Change in the Classroom
A Second Science Front: Evolution Champions Rise to Climate Science Defense
Point of Inquiry: Eugenie Scott - Defending Climate Education
It is hard to believe that November is already here! We have been busy posting the online classroom submissions and doing a few school visits with Will. Read more about the visits here. We hope to start hearing about any projects that you have worked on with your students in the next few months.
Will Steger will be speaking at two public forums in Princeton and Grand Rapids, Minnesota in December. The focus will be clean air, climate and health. More information
Congratulations to the Heritage E-STEM school for receiving a Parks Climate Challenge grant to conduct water quality testing on a local water source, identify the problems and design a plan for improvement. We hope to see more grant proposals from the Parks Climate schools soon!
As always, PLEASE feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback, but also to share what you are up to! We love seeing reports, journal entries, posters, movies and photos and will be sure to feature them in upcoming newsletters and our blog.
Featured Public Service Announcement Video from Wellstone Elementary
In the News
"Challenges to climate change education are common in the classroom, according to a poll of science educators conducted by the National Science Teachers Association. Although 60% of respondents to the on-line poll reported that they were not concerned about how climate change is taught in their school, 82% reported having faced skepticism about climate change and climate change education from students, 54% reported having faced such skepticism from parents, and 26% reported having faced such skepticism from administrators." Read more
Project Funding Opportunities
Lexus Eco Challenge: Focus on Air/Climate
Scholarships for Visitng Audubon Center for the Northwoods
Professional Development Opportunities
NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program
In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that the greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration—with millions of people displaced by shoreline erosion, coastal flooding and agricultural disruption. (Migration and Climate Change)
The impact of climate change on human populations provides us as educators with the opportunity to include discussions of environmental justice and ethics in our classroom. What constitutes right and wrong? How do our actions affect people living on the other side of the world and what is our responsibility? Bring the discussion to a local level. What populations in our own community are disproportionately impacted by climate change's impacts? Why and what can or should we do?
(Here comes the flood Janos Bogardi & Koko Warner, Nature Reports Climate Change (2009) Published online: 11 December 2008)
Recent funding from the Minnesota Historical Society has enabled us to begin organizing Will's vast archives. This project will be helpful as we develop our new curriculum focused on Minnesota's Changing Climate that integrates items from Will's archives. Over the next few months as we dive into the archives I will be sharing some of discoveries and ideas of ways they an be integrated into the classroom.
This week we pulled out a weather scrapbook that Will had beginning in 1956 when he was 10 years old. The scrapbook is in a tattered old three ring containing lined paper. Each page contains weather data and articles cut out from the newspaper and attached with now yellowed scotch tape. They give a snapshot of extreme weather events and patterns between 1954 and 1956. Did you know there was snowstorm on May 3, 1954? Did you know they used to publish cool graphs that showed the temperature ranges over the month and what the high, lows, and precipitation had been? What a great way to introduce students to graphing after following temperatures over a month.
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.