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Activities Helping Students Explore the Science of Climate and Ways to Take Action for the Health of the Planet Roberta Johnson 1, Randy Russell, Lisa.

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Presentation on theme: "Activities Helping Students Explore the Science of Climate and Ways to Take Action for the Health of the Planet Roberta Johnson 1, Randy Russell, Lisa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Activities Helping Students Explore the Science of Climate and Ways to Take Action for the Health of the Planet Roberta Johnson 1, Randy Russell, Lisa Gardiner, Sandra Henderson, and Becca Hatheway UCAR Office of Education and Outreach 1 National Earth Science Teachers Association windows2universe.org

2 Overview Climate and Global Change education on Windows to the Universe* and at NCAR – Online resources – Professional development Strategies Sample activities – Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise – Plugged into CO2 Lessons learned *Windows to the Universe moved to NESTA in April, 2010

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5 Three levels of content in two languages

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7 Online Professional Development for Educators NCAR Online Education: Climate Discovery – three 6-7 week online professional development courses for middle and high school educators – offered 2007 – ~300 teachers to date Tailored online courses for specific audiences, based on Climate Discovery Courses - ~50 teachers to date Climate and Global Change Professional Development Network (NASA GCCE) – six web seminars offered in Spring and Fall, 2010, offered in collaboration with NSTA and NESTA - ~50 – 70 teachers per web seminar For information about web seminars, go to: gccepdn_main.html

8 In-Person Workshops 2002 – 2005 – Climate and Global Change Workshops at NCAR – 2 weeks, summer, 20 participants each Workshops at NSTA area and national conferences – Since 2004, ~20 climate change workshops (1 hr) and 2 3-hr short courses – ~1000 participants Other occasional venues (US, Latin America) - ~500 teachers to date

9 Strategies - Hands-on Activities + Content combine INEXPENSIVE hands-on activities with content presentation most teachers (or at least audiences; individuals may lean more one way or another) are very interested in both "ready to use Monday" activities AND in enhancing their own content expertise

10 Strategies - Make it Easy for Teachers make it very easy for teachers to get resources (images, movies, back- ground info web pages) used/displayed in workshops for their use in classroom don't just say "do a Goggle search” workshop web pages

11 Strategies – Adjust Workshop Flavor to Opportunity! Classroom Tools to Explore the Past, Present and Future of Climate Change Tackling the Global Warming Challenge in a Rapidly Changing World Playing with Ecosystem Science: Informal Modeling Games to Expore the Delicate Balance Activities from Across the Earth System Changing Climate, Changing World Workshop Cool Science from Cold Places: Classroom Activities to Explore the Impacts of Climate Change in the Polar Regions Microworlds! Online Tools Exploring Earth's Atmosphere, Water Cycle, and Greenhouse Gases Climate and Global Change: A Toolkit for Teaching About Our Ever- changing World

12 Climate Change PD Realities Politicization has made climate change professional development particularly challenging – Be prepared for “plants” – Fine line between science and advocacy – do not “preach” – Bring out opportunities and success stories – climate change science can be DEPRESSING

13 What’s happened to the Thermal Expansion Demo? What happens to sea level as ocean waters warm?

14 Classroom Demonstration or Activity: Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Materials: Conical flask Rubber stopper- 2 holes Glass or plastic tube Thermometer Lamp Watt bulb Water with food coloring

15 Plugged in to CO2 Students investigate various appliances and electronics, discovering how much energy each uses and how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is released to produce that energy. Calculate these! Work with your neighbors!

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18 P.S. 1 kilogram (or ~2 pounds) of CO2 gas would fill up an average refrigerator. Discussion questions: Did the appliances that use the most energy according to the kill-a-watt meter produce the most CO2 over a year? How can we reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere while still using these appliances?

19 CO2: How Much Do You Spew? Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year. Directions: Each group has the a different family/individual described on their card. All these people live in different situations and use energy in different ways. Read the information about the family’s energy use. Use the worksheet to calculate their CO2 emissions. Then, let’s discuss!

20 Lessons Learned PD should include content and experience with hands-on activities Interdisciplinary content relevant to wide spectrum of curriculum Local as well as global perspectives – make it relevant Teachers want access to real data for classroom use Engagement in online community is helpful to continue to PD experience and avoid isolation Stress opportunities for action and positive contributions, to avoid “gloom and doom” Keep ideology and politics out of the classroom – stress the science Climate change science particularly useful for teaching unifying concepts and processes, higher order thinking skills

21 Be in touch to find out more! NESTA Executive Director - Dr. Roberta Johnson NESTA website - Windows to the Universe website –


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