ACE Unveils New Assembly

Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 4.33.54 PMIt was the last Friday in August and the first week of school, Matt Lappé stepped to the front of a chemistry laboratory classroom in Denver, Colorado. He turned on his projector, and turned down the light. The room got quiet.

“What’s up Arrupe Jesuit High? How is everyone doing today? Let me get a sense of who's here. How many freshmen do we have? …” The screen lit up with a vivid image of the earth, with a giant thermostat at the center.

It was the intro to the new ACE Assembly, which Matt had brought, fresh from the editing room at Free Range Studios.

Almost a year in the making, the new ACE Assembly takes education about climate change and youth-driven solutions to a new level. Highlights include:

Deeper climate science content, delving into concepts like energy sources and positive feedback loops.

Science content aligned with the new Next Generation Science Standards, linking with NGSS Performance Expectations and Cross-Cutting Concepts

Footage of young people whose lives have been directly impacted by changing climate in places such as Colorado, Massachusetts and Alaska.

A moving call to action: for young people, by young people.

Powerful stories of ACE students across the nation building climate solutions in their communities: from installing solar panels to leading city-wide climate rallies.

That first ACE Assembly of the semester was co-delivered by Matt Lappé, ACE Director of Education and Jessie Fischer, ACE Education and Leadership Program Associate to a warm reception by students. In particular, students were inspired to sign on to ACE’s Right to Know Campaign, to assert that they have the right to know about the impacts of climate change as well as the rewards of solutions.

Overall – that ACE Assembly was indicative of early success in sparking youth interest in climate solutions. Following the presentation, students were asked to rate how inspiring the presentation was overall: they gave it an average of 9.7 out of 10. The students polled indicated a better understanding of climate science, and an interest in sharing climate-related video with family and friends following the ACE Assembly.

Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 4.28.24 PMThe ACE Assembly was created in partnership with Free Range Studios, the creative firm that collaborated with ACE on its original Assembly. For this fresh new iteration, ACE also received content from numerous partner organizations, including Brower Youth Awards, Extreme Ice Survey (creators of the film Chasing Ice), Earth: The Operators’ Manual and Witness.

With the ambitious goal of nothing less than shifting the conversation on climate in America, ACE plans to bring its new Assembly to over 300,000 high school students around the country during the 2013-14 school year.

Want to be part of the solution? You can help! Know a high school teacher or administrator? Share this story with them and ask them to book ACE for their school this year.

Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca Anderson is ACE’s Director of Education. She came to ACE in its inception in 2008. Rebecca develops ACE's science content, manages the online climate education resource Our Climate Our Future, oversees the ACE Teacher Network, and works with schools in the Reno-Tahoe area. Prior to ACE, she did paleoclimate research in the Arctic and Antarctica.