The Will Steger Foundation was proud to launch the 4th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education & Conference Center, August 19th, 2009. A total of 85 participants joined us in person and via webinar for a day of dynamic programming on climate change education and solutions.
2009 Program in Review
Building on a successful history of educational programming, the 4th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education featured a cadre of climate experts, including keynote speaker Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and founder of 350.org. Not only did Bill join us for a morning presentation at the Institute, he also spoke alongside Will Steger to an audience of 500 at a community forum in Edina, MN the previous evening.
We made a few significant changes to the Summer Institute this year, running a one-day program instead of our tradition three-day format, holding the event at the University of Minnesota's Center for Continuing Education in St Paul, and offering a full day of programming via webinar for a remote audience.
Our new Citizen Climate Curriculum, investigating global climate solutions for grades 9-12, framed the themes and program for the day. Each Summer Institute participant received a free copy of the curriculum and participated in a hands-on activity featured as one of the lesson plans. The curriculum was designed to directly compliment the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December, and provide educators with the necessary knowledge and tools to follow the Will Steger Foundation's Expedition Copenhagen online though the Will Steger Foundation website.
The Institute also featured six noteworthy climate experts on global climate solutions presenting on cap and trade, carbon cycle, equity in negotiations and climate technologies throughout the afternoon:
- Barbara Freese, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Presentation Download (1.12MB ZIP file )
- John Farrell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Peter Reich, University of Minnesota
- Presentation Download (43.63MB ZIP file )
- Shalini Gupta, Bush Fellow, Institute for Agriculture Trade and Policy
- Rolf Nordstrom, Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development
- Presentation Download (2.89MB ZIP file )
As we continue to grow and expand our education program and materials, we strive to find new and exciting ways to engage our audience on tradition and non-traditional educators. We are pleased with the changes we made to our Summer Institute program this year and hope to increase participation in the future, in particular growing our online audience via webinar. We will continue to bring the best and brightest minds on climate change education and solutions to engage with our audience, and look forward to recruiting exciting and dynamic speakers for next year's program. We are committed to equipping and empowering educators with the knowledge and tools necessary to bring climate change education into the mainstream classroom and in doing so, engage a new generation of leadership on this critical issue.
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School of Environmental Studies, Apple Valley, MN
In 2006, the Will Steger Foundation held its first annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, a five-day professional development seminar, attended by approximately 40 educators at the School of Environmental Studies.
The concept for the Institute came to life during through a series of brainstorming sessions with veteran teachers at the School of Environmental Studies (SES) in Apple Valley, MN during the spring of 2006. We had been searching for a way to create global warming curriculum for our website that would be convenient for teachers and experiential in nature. Out of these discussions came the idea to engage teachers in learning about global warming through writing activities for the website.
Goals for the 2006 Summer Institute
To provide base knowledge on global warming and it's implications
To provide an introduction to Inuit culture and the impact of global warming on the traditional way of life
To provide a model(s) of best practices in curriculum writing
To produce a cross-disciplinary activities catalog on global warming for grades 6-12
To generate excitement for the 2007 expedition to Baffin Island
Keynote speakers include meteorologist Paul Douglas, Liesl Chapman from the Education Department at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and Inuit guide and expedition co-leader Theo Ikummaq. The Summer Institute provided WSF with an opportunity to cooperate with educators in writing supplemental activities for the website. Teachers were able to get the knowledge they needed to teach global warming and its implications and to follow the Baffin Island Expedition in their classrooms. In contributing at least one global warming activity to the Will Steger Foundation activities to supplement the original Global Warming 101 Lesson Plans for grades 6-12, they supported not only WSF but themselves through the experience of creating this new material.
- Lesson One: Our Unique Atmosphere
- Lesson Two: Emissions of Heat-Trapping Gasses
- Lesson Three: Communities of Living Things
- Lesson Four: Implications of Warming the Arctic
- Lesson Five: Regional Effects of Global Warming
- Lesson Six: What Now?
Use the preview below to look inside the Activities (a sample only):Get your copy of the Will Steger Foundation Educator Resource Binder
Action Resources and a collection of hands-on activities linked to the Grades 3-12 Lesson Plans.
View exciting educational video footage, audio footage, and written journal entries from Will Steger and partner expeditions to the Polar Regions, documenting the impact of global warming on the Arctic environment. Expeditions are linked to lesson plans for grades 3-12 and activities via the Educator Resources index.
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Pew Center on Global climate Change
- Real Climate - a forum for climate scientists
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- US Government research on climate change
- Climate vs. Weather
- NRDC climate education center
- Former Asst. Secretary of Energy, Joseph Romm interprets climate science and policy
- Former NYT journalist, Andrew Revkin
- Climate Change Education - Portal Web Site Dedicated to: Global Warming Education, Climate Change Education Science, Solutions.
- Grist - How to talk to climate skeptic
- Pew - Realities vs. misconceptions about the science of climate change
- Union of Concerned Scientists - Global Warming Contrarians
The following resources can be used to supplement the existing Will Steger Foundation Curriculum. Resources include links to external sites that contain helpful related information and activities, and clips from the Will Steger Foundation video and audio archives that can be connected with specific lesson plan topics.
Visit our online
Minnesota's Changing Climate Classroom
Featured Education Videos
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.