A Science, Education, and Climate Change Symposium: Grades 3-10

Monday, March 30 - Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Grade: 3-10
Featuring: Mary Ehrenworth, Katie Clements, Cheney Munson, with working scientists, journalists, and environmental activists

Attendees: This institute is designed for teachers, school leaders, and environmental educators.

In today’s hyper-connected world, fighting global warming needs to be a priority for all of us. Our schools are no exception. This institute is designed for teachers, school leaders, and environmental educators who are already convinced that climate change is the biggest problem facing our students’ generation and want to take immediate action.

Join us for a three-day symposium where we’ll begin to tackle this question: How can our schools and our curriculum take seriously the challenge of climate change and begin to empower our students to move our country, and our world, in the right direction? While we acknowledge that climate change is far too complex and multifaceted a problem to fully tackle in three days, we can’t wait until we have perfect answers to begin brainstorming actionable solutions.

Come ready to learn, to think together, and to engage with passionate colleagues across a range of formats. Part of your time will be spent in interdisciplinary round table conversations that will tackle different topics of interest, from what climate change instruction is appropriate for young learners, to how we fight back against climate miseducation and climate complacency in our communities, to how we make students aware of the ways that climate change will disproportionately affect people of color and people living in poverty, many of whom are from communities that are not major contributors to the problem. We’ll also engage in conversations around how we prepare our students to be citizens in a world filled with the downstream effects of climate change, including increased wars, natural disasters, and migration, alongside decreased resources.

Of course, we’ll also explore pedagogical approaches that can help your students think deeply about climate change. As a literacy organization, you’ll hear about the critical reading strategies that help kids read scientific texts, as well as news articles and reports written about the topic. There’s a lack of writing about climate change for kids, so you’ll hear how you can empower kids to write their own texts about global warming in a way that makes others care, and you’ll get an opportunity to begin producing your own writing. Science, technology, engineering, and math skills will be an essential part of the solution, so you’ll hear about key teaching methods (from some of you, we hope) you might harness within those disciplines.

You’ll get crash courses from scientific experts designed to lift the level of your own scientific literacy. And, you’ll have opportunities to network with other passionate educators, ones we hope will lead to future collaborations across schools, districts, states, even countries.

We’ll suggest ways you can begin to engage students in this work, perhaps through week-long intensives that stretch across the school day and across subject areas or through units of study that help students to read, write, and think more deeply about climate change.

We believe strongly that in the face of grim news, it’s not enough to wallow in your knowledge of what’s wrong. Instead, we need to empower kids to take real action, and we need to provide the teaching, time, and support necessary for them to do so. We’ll share stories of kid activists around the world that are making a difference when it comes to global warming, and suggest ways you might rally your students to action. We’ll also examine the role technology can play in this work. We hope you’ll be ready to brainstorm with us, so we can learn from the best practices already in play in each of our schools.

Our goal is that you leave inspired, empowered, and ready to coach your students to fight for essential changes in the world. Our students and our planet cannot wait.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY