Climate Change Curriculum Released for grades 6-12

Climate change is a real phenomenon that is impacting all of the organisms that we feature here at Amazing Life. Sadly, due to political interests and the historical lack of standardized climate science education, there aren't many well-developed curricula reflecting climate science.

The National Center for Science Education has released its 6-12 curriculum for climate science. It is a six-lesson set that features, not just content on climate science, but also addresses misconceptions about climate science. NCSE's curriculum promotes an open-inquiry approach coupled with level-up scaffolding and hands-on practical activities. The sets below are:

Lesson 1: Scientific Consensus—A Tsunami of Evidence

Lesson 2: Understanding Climate Modeling

Lesson 3: Back to the Future—Climate Edition

Lesson 4: Climate Change in Your Own Backyard

Lesson 5: Climate Super Solutions

Lesson 6: Climate and Me

Key Terms and Concepts through the curriculum:

Data, evidence, scientific consensus, outliers, peer review, verifiable, falsifiable, weather, precipitation, cloud formation, atmosphere, climate, climate change, climate normal, anthropogenic, greenhouse gases (GHGs), positive and negative feedback loops, science denial, FLICC, fake experts, logical fallacies (red herring, misrepresentation, oversimplification, false analogy), impossible expectations, cherry-picking, conspiracy theories.

Core Ideas:

  • HS-ESS2.D1: The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

  • HS-ESS2.D3: Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

  • HS-ESS2.D4: Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

Science educators, please contact me directly if you need any assistance or suggestions with implementation. Please consider joining our team to help improve science teachers' (and inevitably the public's) understanding of science, climate change, and evolution.

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