Last week, ACE’s new online climate education resource, Our Climate Our Future, hit the milestone of 100,000 students reached. Not bad, considering the site launched just four months ago in early 2016.
At ACE, we love bringing our live award-winning ACE Assembly to as many high schools as we can. Nothing beats the thrill of standing in front of hundreds of rowdy high school students, all eager for some climate science knowledge—or, at least, for some fast-paced animation and music.
Why bring the ACE Assembly online?
The only downside to those high-energy live assemblies is that for every school we visit, there are many more that request an ACE Assembly that we aren’t able to reach. Usually they’re in states—or countries—far beyond our geographic range.
That’s a big reason why we were so excited to launch Our Climate Our Future, bringing the ACE Assembly into classrooms around the country and beyond. This online multimedia experience includes ACE’s signature mix of dynamic animation, music, video, and interactivity. Teachers get access to a host of exciting resources, including:
- Climate science, told through animation and aligned with standards
- Stories from young people impacted by climate change from across the country
- Innovative climate solutions
- Opportunities for students to take action via trivia, texting, and social media
- Teacher resources for Our Climate Our Future, as well as additional climate education materials
So, what’s been the result?
Teachers and other users have logged in over 3,000 times to explore Our Climate Our Future with their students, reaching a total of 100,000 viewers to date. And the feedback we’ve been getting from teachers has been encouraging: 89% of teachers rated the site as a 4 or 5 out of 5 for user-friendliness.
What do teachers say?
“Thanks for making climate change information very engaging and student friendly. I learned a lot as a teacher and it also launched us into further inquiry.”
—Donna Idstrom at Rosemount Middle School in Minnesota
“The video does a very good job of communicating information in a way my students can understand. Showing how climate change impacts real people, their age, is powerful.”
—Mona McCormack at Smith-Cotton High School in Missouri
Over the past few months, we’ve expanded resources on the site to include interactive trivia questions, English subtitles (Spanish subtitles coming soon!), and an extensive collection of teacher resources, including a student worksheet, a facilitator’s guide, and follow-up resources and lesson plans.
Looking ahead with a data driven approach
So, what’s up next? All of ACE’s work is grounded in science and we’re always striving to improve our programs by evaluating their success. An evaluation of the live ACE Assembly published in the journal Climatic Change in 2014 found that:
- Students demonstrated a 27% increase in climate science knowledge
- More than one-third of students became more engaged on the issue of climate change
- The number of students who talked to parents or peers about climate change more than doubled
Following this study, we will be conducting an extensive evaluation of Our Climate Our Future to gauge its impact on students’ climate knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.