2017 was the hottest year on record without the assistance of El Niño, making the last four years the hottest period ever recorded. By late summer, some of the most destructive and most expensive wildfire and hurricane seasons in the United States left much of the West Coast ablaze and the East Coast under record rainfall.
Misinformation campaigns are making their way into classrooms across the country.
Although the evidence of a rapidly changing climate is clear, only 58% of Americans agree that climate change is happening and human-caused and misinformation campaigns are making their way into classrooms across the country. In March of 2017, the Heartland Institute launched their second edition of “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” with the goal of shipping the book and DVD to more than 200,000 K-12 science teachers countrywide.
ACE exists to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. In 2016, we launched Our Climate Our Future, a unique online climate education resource featuring our signature mix of dynamic animation, music, video, trivia and lesson plans. It teaches the latest climate science and inspires young people to take action.
In alignment with ACE’s new strategic plan, we are working to better support educators and young people in communicating climate science and climate justice by creating resources for the classroom and beyond. Shortly after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, we created a new lesson plan, Hope After Hurricanes, aimed at helping teachers and students to cope with the trauma and build resilience in the wake of these devastating hurricanes. Read more about ACE’s work in Puerto Rico here.
Since then, ACE has released three more NGSS-aligned lessons and activities and has held in-person teacher workshops in response to real-world climate impacts. All of our activities and lessons are coupled with dynamic video content from Our Climate Our Future. Check them out below:
Analyzing the Rise of U.S. Wildfires
In this activity, students graph the acres burned by wildfires across the U.S. by year and compare the trend to that of rising temperatures. Students can literally connect the dots between climate change and increased risk of wildfires then read on about how climate change-fueled wildfires tie into real world issues.
Mapping Air Pollution in Oakland, CA
Air pollution doesn't affect all people equally. In this activity, students learn to make a heat map by drawing isolines of air pollution in Oakland, CA to examine how air pollution affects some communities more strongly than others.
Have the Talk: Climate Conversations
Research shows that having a one-on-one conversation with a friend or family member can have a significant impact on each person's views on the subject. This full-fledged lesson plan supports teachers in guiding students to have a conversation about climate change with a parent or other adult in their lives through having an open, listening-based conversation.