OVERVIEW: In the state of Washington we are committed to engaging K-12 students in learning about climate science and climate change. For the 2018-19 school year our state has funded an initiative that will provide tools and professional development to support thoughtful implementation of climate science learning opportunities. I’m hoping that this space will be able to promote many of the resources that are developed and used during this process.
One resource that has bubbled to the top for me is Drawdown.org. Drawdown provides 100 everyday solutions that humans can implement to reverse global climate change. I know several teachers who worry that the teaching of climate change- especially with younger students- can be scary for the children. Draw Down (while not sugar-coating anything) is very solution-oriented and can put students in a positive space rather than doom and gloom.
PURPOSE: The proposed solutions on Drawdown are completely research-based and include some intuitive solutions that you might have predicted (rooftop solar) and others that might seem less intuitive (educating girls & telepresence). The book Drawdown is also a “must-have” climate resource to add to your collection.
AUDIENCE: all the humans
OVERVIEW: Climate Generation has a variety of climate resources for teachers including a middle school NGSS climate unit titled Next Generation Climate. The unit is FREE via a simple registration process and includes several graphs for students to use in examining and evaluating evidence of a changing climate. The unit contains 6 lessons each built around a question such as:
Lesson 1: What evidence is there to show there is a rise in global temperatures?
Lesson 2: What factors have caused the rise in global temperature over the last century?
PURPOSE: Next Generation Climate provides a resource that some middle school teachers and systems might find helpful.
AUDIENCE: middle school science teachers, curriculum directors, professional development providers, administrators, pre-service teachers, etc
Minute Physics has a video that provides a clear explanation for Why the Full Moon is Better in the Winter. This clip could be used with students by asking them about their initial explanations for why the full moon might be “better” in the winter. Students could share ideas and then watch the video as a source of evidence to modify their explanations.
A brief, clear, and well-designed video that explains a Harvest Moon. PS we have a Harvest Moon coming up soon. Enjoy.
See embedded video below or click HERE.
The Next Generation Science Standards contain a strong K-12 focus on climate science and this focus may be missing in some of our instructional materials. Planet Nutshell contains several short well produced educational video clips and they have a series of 11 videos on climate science. See What is Climate? embedded below. These could provide a useful supplement.
Spend a few minutes of your summer exploring a brand new series of short geology videos from scenic Washington. These informative video clips are now available online and are hosted by Central Washington University geology professor Nick Zentner and created by Tom Foster for HUGEfloods.com . You will find 12 current episodes with more on the way at their YouTube Channel or Facebook page. These clips could be useful for providing some Earth Science content and context to K-8 learners (and teachers). See the clip on What is a Coulee? embedded below
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a FREE middle school unit on the essential principles of climate science titled: Discover Your Changing World. Click HERE to download the entire PDF or individual activities. These materials could be useful in helping to meet some of the weather/climate related expectations in the NGSS. The resource was recently revised but does not contain direct correlations to the NGSS or the Framework for K-12 Science Education but I’m assuming that NOAA is working on this…? Also, see Chris Ohana’s brief critique of the materials in the comment section.
If you are a middle school science teacher or a science curriculum specialist- please leave your thoughts in the comments- Does this look like a useful supplemental resource? Why/why not? How might you use this?
Here is a simple structure for scaffolding a science video clip with students.
Predict: What will happen when you wring out a soaking wet washcloth in the microgravity of the International Space Station?
Observe the video below. (Click HERE if you cannot see the clip.) Where does the water from the washcloth go?
Explain why this happened. Make a claim and support it with evidence and reasoning.
I was working with some middle school science teachers today and they shared a NASA eClips video on systems. In Washington state, our science standards have a focus on systems and the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards also include systems as a crosscutting concept. This in one of the few videos I’ve found online that provides a good overview of systems ideas. Click HERE if you cannot see the embedded clip below.
Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers recently posted 50 Years of Solar System Exploration & 10 Good Resources for Learning About Space. There are some great resources that I have posted previously. My personal favorites are NASA 360 and NASA’s The Space Place. Click HERE to read Richard’s complete post- enjoy!