ACE Assembly Outline

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The ACE Assembly runs approximately 40 minutes in length and we can tailor the presentation to meet the needs of your school. 

The presentation is based on the latest and most credible scientific sources, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report — one of the most heavily researched and reviewed scientific reports in history. Click here for a list of citations used in the ACE Assembly.

Below is an outline of the content in the ACE Assembly. Click on the links below to jump to each section. 

1. Introduction
2. The Situation: How We Got Where We Are Today
3. Impacts of Climate Change: Global and Local
4. Solutions: How Young People are Leading the Way to a Clean and Just Future
5. Conclusion: Take the Next Step


1. Introduction

  • Climate science trivia on screen as students arrive to the assembly.
  • Welcome and introduction of the ACE presenter.
  • Briefly introduce the problem and the solution: Climate change is the biggest challenge your generation will have to face, but your generation can make the choice to solve it.


2. The Situation: How We Got Where We Are Today

The second section of the assembly is an animated look at how we ended up in the situation we’re in today. Corresponding Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Performance Expectations are shown in parentheses.

Key concepts:

  • Human lifestyles have an environmental impact on the planet.
  • Modern lives require energy and humans have discovered many different ways to produce energy. (HS-PS3-3)
  • Fossil fuels have historically been an important energy source but they come with serious downsides.
  • Explanation of the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases. (HS-ESS2-4, HS-PS4-4)
  • Our planet’s climate depends on a stable concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
  • Human systems, such as agriculture and tourism, depend on a stable climate. (HS-LS2-6)
  • Climate has changed naturally over Earth’s history. (HS-ESS2-7)
  • Currently, humans are driving climate change by releasing extra greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
  • The Earth’s carbon cycle regulates the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere but is being overwhelmed by human-made CO2. (HS-LS2-5)
  • CO2 levels are currently at 400 ppm, higher than they have been in at least the last 800,000 years, as seen from ice cores. (HS-ESS3-6)
  • An example of a positive feedback cycle is melting ice in the Arctic. (HS-ESS2-2) Sources of methane include livestock, landfills and fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
  • 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is caused by human activity.

Key terms:

  • Fossil fuels
  • Renewable energy
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Carbon dioxide, CO2
  • Parts per million (ppm)
  • Carbon cycle
  • Carbon sinks
  • Ice core
  • Positive feedback
  • Methane


3. Impacts of Climate Change: Global and Local

The third section of the assembly is two-part: a video of the global impacts of climate change, followed by an interactive map, where students can request to learn about specific impacts of climate change around the country and where they live.

Key concepts:

  • Climate change is taking away our choices to live the lives we want.
  • Climate change is loading the dice towards more extreme weather, including droughts, storms and heat waves.
  • Because of the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere and the slow response time of the planet’s climate system, action or inaction now on climate will affect our world for generations to come.
  • Specific impacts of climate change in the U.S. include:
  • Increased air pollution from warmer temperatures and burning fossil fuels, particularly affecting young people with asthma.
  • Increased wildfires due to higher temperatures, drought and outbreak of pine beetles in the West.
  • Sea level rise affecting the over 100 million Americans who live along the coast.


4. Solutions: How Young People are Leading the Way to a Clean and Just Future

The fourth section of the assembly switches gears to show students how young people around the country are already leading the way toward solving climate change. It ends with an inspiring call to action to young people to make a choice to act.

Key concepts:

  • Individual actions can add up. You can use hashtags to share your own actions: #DriveLess, #StopWaste, #ThriftShop, #Unplug
  • Young people around the country are already stepping up to lead climate solutions in their schools, communities and even nationwide.
  • Students can work on solutions that match their talents and find green jobs in every sector of the economy. Examples include music, fashion, writing, engineering, building, gardening and more.
  • Students are introduced to ACE’s DOT campaign to Do One Thing to help the environment.


5. Conclusion: Take the Next Step

To conclude the assembly, the presenter asks students to take two simple steps to get involved.

  • Pick a DOT and share it by joining ACE's online student network.
  • Step up and get involved in your school's action team or a local project.


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