Climate Action

The Learning Climate: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Turn and Face the… Facts about Climate Change)

This summer has been a hot time for climate change discussion. From the presentation of Pope Francis’ encyclical to the latest debates in the political agenda and floor of the Senate, climate change is apparent and a valuable component of an educational foundation. A group of bipartisan mayors from over 250 cities are calling for the “swift implementation” of climate education in schools nationwide. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the issues of climate change recently as well, saying we must not be naive to the forces of nature—climate change is a valuable topic that we must become more familiar with rather than negate the reality. (The 2015 National Security Strategy and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap back up Kerry’s view of climate change as an urgent and growing threat to national security.) That being said, it’s imperative that we begin to inform the younger generations as well since this topic will only become more and more of a concern as the Earth ages. “Climate change is real and our kids deserve to learn real science in our schools. That’s why we’re taking a stand,” said Stanton, Chair of the Environment Committee for the US Conference of Mayors. The younger we inform children of the causes of global warming and how to reduce such ramifications, the better future generations will be at understanding the direness of this concept. Within the past week, climate change education was brought to the Senate; while there was some hesitancy to create an official amendment, many senators felt it would be extremely beneficial if we had the resources to educate primary and secondary students on climate change.  NCSE’s executive director Ann Reid said, “It would be marvelous for educational materials to be more widely used in our schools, because those materials of course reflect the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for recent climate change.” What better time to introduce the Earth Day’s interactive iTextbook than now? The Story of Climate Change, which will be released during the first week of August,provides students with a well-rounded and stimulating foundation in climate change issues and solutions. Students can toggle through the carbon cycle, take a virtual tour of the coral reefs, and even use an interactive map to find bikeshare programs near their school. Each of the iTextbook’s six chapters includes informative videos, fun interactive resources, critical thinking activities, as well as review and discussion questions to reinforce unit concepts. Not only will students be exposed to a revolutionary collaboration of materials, but a teacher’s guide will also be made available on Earth Day Network’s website, including in-depth activity lesson plans, Next Generation Science Standard Alignments, student action plans, and handy resources to help educators make the most out of every chapter. Climate change is becoming more of a concern each and every day. We need to stress this at a younger level to raise more of an awareness of global warming on a larger scale. The evidence is scientifically present, and fortunately enough, Earth Day Network has created a creative and approachable toolset to make learning about climate change accessible and exciting for students around the world. We are proud to add The Story of Climate Change to the ever-growing canon of climate education.