Climate Change Teacher Resources
Climate and Environmental Literacy Learning Sequences and Activities
Scripps Oceanography scientists have contributed to a wide range of resources that can help K12 educators teach climate change and California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs). Resources include Next Generation Science Standards-aligned learning resources, presentations for the general public, and educational programs at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The resources reflect the collaborative efforts of California STEM educators, experts in STEM pedagogy, Scripps scientists, and Birch Aquarium at Scripps education specialists.
Learning Sequences and Activities developed by Scripps Oceanography in collaboration with California Association of Science Educators (CASE), the San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Unified School District and other partners are linked below.
California Science Education Conference Climate Summit Learning Resources
In 2018, Scripps Oceanography and Birch Aquarium at Scripps teamed up with the California Science Teachers Association (now California Association of Science Educators) and several other partners to develop and deliver the 2018 California Science Education Conference Climate Summit. The Summit was intended to enrich the experience and expertise of teachers by providing opportunities for teachers to strengthen their content knowledge and receive support for teaching climate science as envisioned at their grade-level. Resources include the learning sequences developed by classroom teachers, Scripps scientists (current and former), and STEM education experts. Included are links to the learning sequences, “phenomena”-based resources derived from those sequences, and slide sets from the California Science Education Conference workshops led by the teachers and scientists.
San Diego County Office of Education/Scripps Oceanography Project Phenomena Resources
Scripps Oceanography scientists and Birch aquarium at Scripps work closely with the San Diego County Office of Education in a state-wide effort supporting creation of environmentally-focused, NGSS-aligned educational resources. These phenomena-based activities are created by bringing together classroom teachers, STEM pedagogy experts and university scientists to work in collaborative teams to build out an instructional resource. The activities linked below each provide an environmentally focused phenomenon, highlight resources for building teacher understanding of the phenomenon, and identify possible student activities. They also provide a grade-level appropriate student explanation that incorporates disciplinary core Ideas and crosscutting concepts, and make explicit connections to the California Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs).
High School Activities
- Microplastics in the Pacific Garbage Patch
- Harmful Algal Blooms, Sea Lions and Human Health
- How salp blooms impact marine food webs
- Climate change Impacts on California precipitation
- Why Phytoplankton Thrive in the California Current
Grades 6-8 Activities
- What rubber duckies tell us about ocean currents
- Why rainfall varies in San Diego from year to year
- Harmful algal blooms and the marine food web
- Harmful algal blooms and sea lion Strandings
- El Nino impacts on sportfishing species
Grades K-5 Activities
- Plastic pollution can kill albatross
- Rainfall varies from the beach to the mountains
- Climate impacts on sea lion pups
- El Nino brings unusual species to southern California coast
- Sea otters & kelp forests
For additional resources, the San Diego County Office of Education maintains a searchable database of teacher resources.
Climate Champions is a UC San Diego based program that aims to get more teaching, learning, and action on the climate crisis into K12 schools. The Climate Champions Team works with expert teachers, youth, and university partners to create and curate climate curriculum, to share climate education resources that meet the needs of students and teachers, and to build a community of Climate Champions committed to bending the curve of global warming. Climate Champions curriculum (for multiple grades and subjects) is currently under development and educator feedback on the curriculum is welcome. Check the Climate Champions website for future professional learning events.
Leveraging a range of UC San Diego resources and collaborators in service of K12 and community, the Climate Champions team brings together people from Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Social Sciences Climate Action Lab, the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence, Education Studies, and the San Diego County Office of Education.
The Scripps Classroom Connection was a close collaboration between Scripps Oceanography and the SDUSD, the 8th largest urban school district in the U.S. Key outcomes of the project included development of pedagogically robust curriculum in Earth Sciences through a collaboration between scientists, teacher-educators, teachers, and graduate students. These resources are available in the form of standards-aligned learning sequences that support earth, climate, and environmental science instruction at the middle and high school level.
Climate and Environmental Literacy Video Resources
Scripps Oceanography scientists frequently give presentations on their research that are geared for public audiences. Online streaming of many of these talks can be accessed using the links below.
- Birch Aquarium at Scripps Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Sciences
- Scripps Presentations on Climate and Environmental Literacy Topics
Educational Program Resources
Birch Aquarium at Scripps works closely with Scripps scientists to offer onsite and online programs that highlight climate science and environmental literacy themes. These programs benefit from the participation and input of Scripps scientists – from senior scientists to postdoctoral scholars and graduate students.
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