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High School Climate Education

This is a curated collection of resources that aim to teach about Earth's climate for high school students. 

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2014 National Climate Assessment
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Public Domain
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The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents climate change related impacts and responses for various sectors and regions, with the goal of better informing public and private decision-making at all levels.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
United States Global Change Research Program
Date Added:
01/01/2014
Adapting to climate change
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This video uses Bangladesh as a case study by describing climate change adaptation strategies being implemented in Bangladeshi communities as well as in other countries.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
The Economist
Date Added:
09/24/2018
America's Climate Choices: Advancing the Science of Climate Change
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This video production is a part of a four-panel report from the National Academies' America's Climate Choices project. The video maps out the realm of our accumulated knowledge regarding climate change and charts a path forward, urging that research on climate change enter a new era focused on the needs of decision makers.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
National Academies
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Assessing the Timing and Extent of Coastal Change in Western Alaska
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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An interactive map based on four decades of satellite images helps residents, resource managers, and stewards of the land anticipate and plan for coastal change.

Subject:
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Case Study
Provider:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Provider Set:
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
Date Added:
08/29/2016
At the Core of Climate Change
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This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cores are cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scientists use them to study indicators of climate change from the past.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
KQED
Teachers' Domain
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Beetle Outbreaks and Climate Change
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This interactive shows the extent of the killing of lodgepole pine trees in western Canada. The spread of pine beetle throughout British Columbia has devastated the lodgepole pine forests there. This animation shows the spread of the beetle and the increasing numbers of trees affected from 1999-2008 and predicts the spread up until 2015.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
10/27/2014
The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Undertakes Innovative Action to Reduce the Causes of Climate Change
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Educational Use
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The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe—a federally recognized Native American tribe in California—was one of 16 communities selected as a 2015–2016 Climate Action Champion by the Obama Administration for exceptional work in response to climate change.

The Tribe began its strategic climate action planning in 2008 and has become a regional leader in greenhouse gas reductions and community resiliency measures. To date, the Tribe has reduced energy consumption from 2008 levels by 35 percent and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2018, utilizing a range of approaches—including aggressive energy efficiency upgrades, developing on-site renewable energy (biomass, solar, fuel cells, grid battery storage), and switching to green fuels (electricity and biodiesel).

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Case Study
Provider:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Provider Set:
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
Date Added:
11/03/2016
A Brief Mathematical Guide to Earth Science and Climate Change
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2009-2010 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. The problems were designed to be ‘one-pagers’ with a Teacher’s Guide and Answer Key as a second page. This compact form was deemed very popular by participating teachers.

Subject:
Mathematics
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
Space Math
Date Added:
05/02/2017
Budgeting for a Better Tomorrow
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Educational Use
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This unit will teach students about “Carbon and Ecosystems.” They will begin by analyzing the four spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and how they are interconnected. They will understand that one system cannot exist without the other in order to maintain proper functioning within our planet. The students will learn about the various types of ecosystems that exist and how living organisms depend on other living and non-living organisms for survival. This being said, students will examine how the spheres interact and how changes in one, affects another. Students will understand that ecosystems are fueled by the energy from the sun and cycles from which they are powered.

It will focus on what the carbon cycle is and its’ influence in our lives. Carbon is essential for all life on Earth and is also in our atmosphere. It regulates the Earth’s temperature and provides an essential source of the energy to fuel our economy. The carbon cycle describes how carbon moves throughout the Earth’s spheres. By gaining a deeper understanding of how carbon moves, we can better regulate our daily decisions to help sustain our future.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Biology
Ecology
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2021 Curriculum Units Volume III
Date Added:
08/01/2021
The Carbon Cycle and its Role in Climate Change
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In this activity, students use a physical model to learn the basics of photosynthesis and respiration within the carbon cycle.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
United States Global Research Program
Date Added:
11/07/2012
Chemistry of Greenhouse Gases
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Educational Use
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This unit will include an overview of the three main greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide). The unit will be a mix of organic and inorganic chemistry and will describe the physical and chemical properties of the three main gases and the most important chemical reactions that move the greenhouse gases into and out of the atmosphere. The unit will include a chapter of chemical reactivity, how these gases work (by atmospheric absorption and scattering of electromagnetic waves at different wavelengths), their residence time in the atmosphere and analyze the mitigation (what humans can do to reduce or limit the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere).

One section of the unit will discuss the “global warming potential” (what makes a stronger or a weaker greenhouse gas) and the relationship between physical properties of greenhouse gases and their lifetime (how long they remain in the atmosphere).

Subject:
Environmental Science
Ecology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Provider Set:
2021 Curriculum Units Volume III
Date Added:
08/01/2021
Climate Change 1958: The Bell Telephone Science Hour
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Bell Telephone Science Hour produced this video in 1958, explaining how the production of CO2 from factories and automobiles is causing the atmosphere to warm, melting the polar ice caps, and causing the sea level to rise.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Bell Telephone Science Hour
Frank Capra
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Climate Change, After the Storm
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This 3-activity sequence addresses the question: "To what extent should coastal communities build or rebuild?" The activity uses social science and geoscience data to prepare an evidence-based response to the question, in targeted US coastal communities.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Central Connecticut State University; INTEGRATE project
Jeff Thomas
Jim Ebert
Scott Linneman
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Climate Change Basics
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The video offers a simple and easy-to-understand overview of climate change. It poses basic questions such as 'What is it?' and 'How will it effect us?' and effectively answers those questions.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Date Added:
10/27/2014
Climate Change Causes Loss of Genetic Diversity
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Some Rights Reserved
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If you'd visited Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park 100 years ago, you probably would have encountered the alpine chipmunk, Tamias alpinus. Today, however, park visitors will have to hike up a nearby mountain to see one of these critters. That's because this species is sensitive to temperature and over the last hundred years of global climate change, Yosemite has warmed by about 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature increased, the chipmunks retreated to higher and higher elevations where it was cooler. Today, they occupy a fraction of their original range. If climate change continues, they could be squeezed right off the tops of their mountains and out of existence.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
University of California Museum of Paleontology
Provider Set:
Understanding Evolution
Date Added:
04/01/2012
Climate Change Impacts Alaska Glaciers
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Educational Use
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This video adapted from KTOO takes a look at Earth's warming and cooling cycles and the current atypical trend of warming that is impacting the glaciers in Alaska's Inside Passage.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity
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This video documents the effects of increasing global temperatures on biodiversity (changes in distribution, range, and numbers) and human populations. Adaptations to climate change are also outlined.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Convention on Biological Diversity
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Climate Change Indicators: US and Global Temperature
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This resource is part of a collection of visualizations that illustrate observed changes in temperature, precipitation, storms, floods, and droughts. This resource focuses on US and Global temperature. Rising global average temperature is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns. Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change. The larger collection includes climate change indicators within the oceans, snow and ice, and other ecosystems and the effects on humans and our society.

Subject:
Physical Science
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Environmental Protection Agency
Date Added:
09/24/2018
Climate Change Showdown: Keystone XL Pipeline
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Environmentalists passionately opposed to a giant pipeline that would transport crude oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf coast are going head-to-head with proponents of the project. Students explore the controversy surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and the strategic questions it raises for environmentalists.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
05/16/2013