2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

March/April 2007

Project 2061 Offers Guide for Teaching Climate Change

New resource available in print and online

Project 2061 has long recognized that citizens who are science literate are vital to addressing some of the most pressing problems facing the nation and the world. Now, a new resource from the project looks at what today’s students need to learn about the problems posed by global climate change. Communicating and Learning About Global Climate Change: An Abbreviated Guide for Teaching Climate Change provides science educators with an overview of Project 2061’s recommendations for what all students should learn about climate change and its environmental and societal implications.

Shrinking Glacier

Drawing on Project 2061’s standards-based science education resources, the 32-page guide focuses on the ideas and skills that are central to understanding the science of climate change, the process of scientific inquiry, and the trade-offs and constraints implicit in making choices about technology. To support teachers as they work with students and as they build their own knowledge about climate change, the guide includes:

  • Excerpts from Science for All Americans describing what science literate adults should know and be able to do.
  • Strand maps from Atlas of Science Literacy, Volume 1 and the newly published Atlas 2 that show what students should be learning in kindergarten through 12th grade in relevant topics such as weather and climate, the interaction of technology and society, energy resources, and the interdependence of life in ecosystems.
  • Recommended books written for a general audience that can help educators and others understand global climate change.
  • Recommended Web sites that provide access to climate change resources from government, academic, and scientific organizations.

The guide was distributed as part of a special teachers’ kit during a town hall event on climate change held in February at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Bringing together more than a thousand teachers, students, business executives, journalists, and scientists, the half-day forum included presentations from some of the nation’s top climate researchers and the debut of a new AAAS video on the science and impact of climate change. (To see the town hall presentations, the video, and many other AAAS climate resources, visit www.aaas.org/climate).

Project 2061’s guide on teaching climate change is the second of its kind. For a similar town hall event at the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting, the project created a guide for teaching evolution that has been very popular with educators. By laying out the basic science concepts that are important for understanding important issues like evolution and global climate change, Project 2061 hopes these guides will provide teachers with a good picture of what a science-literate person should know and be able to do as a concerned and well-informed citizen.

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You may read Project 2061’s climate change guide for free online. To order print copies of the guide, visit Project 2061 Books.

For more information about Project 2061’s climate change guide, please contact:

Project 2061 Director: Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman, (202) 326-6752

Communications Director: Mary Koppal, (202) 326-6643

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