Teaching the Science/Economics/Sociology/Politics of Climate Change

I'm thinking about developing a new course for my 9th grade Science students.

After listening to Thomas Friedman lecture on his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded, I've begun to imagine a course based on the Science, Economics, Sociology, and Politics of Climate Change. I envision my students investigating climate Science, then applying their understanding in sociological and economic case studies, and wrestling with political issues just as politicians and pundits thrash out the same issues in the media. Of course, I would want to include some global networking via Web 2.0 tools.

I have found one curriculum, Global Systems Science (developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science) that seems to fulfill several of the components of the course I envision.

My question for you is: Do you know of any other potential resources that I might find useful -- curricula, grants, books, websites, teachers that are currently teaching a similar course, teachers that may be interested in co-developing a course, etc.?

Steven Carpenter
The Queens School of Inquiry
Queens, NY

Tags: Friedman, Thomas, change, climate, curriculum, global, high, school, science

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Seems to me that in all this science and social science, you forgot one big source of information on climate change -- and that is history. It's late, and I will check some of my books later, but it seems there have been other warming times in history --- the discovery by the Vikings of Greenland took place in one... Whether the cross from Russia to Alaska or from Australia to Antarctica to South America, a warm spell is also believe to have opened the door to America.
Hi Steven, I've taught a climate science component in the past to year 8 students; really good for emphasising data analysis skills, looking at long term trends v. short term fluctuations etc... too. Some sites I have found useful have been:

Dept. of Climate Change FAQ
B.O.M. Climate Change page
The Climate Change collection

I've also included a graphic for the last 1000 years of average temperatures for the Northern Hemisphere that I got from the IPCC as it could be used to illustrate Anne's point about linking in historical events with the fluctuating climate - particularly with the start of the industrial revolution. (as an aside, it has been over 60 million years since Australia and Antarctica were joined, and that link was severed due to continental drift, rather than climate change. New Guinea, on the other hand, has joined to Australia in the past during periods of global cooling, as more water has been locked up in ice sheets and glaciers.) There are also longer term temp. fluctuation charts that go back over 200 000 years as well. They can all be found through the IPCC.

Edit: I forgot to also add An Inconvenient Truth website and the youtube video of David Attenborough
There are tons of resources online. The Lego FIRST (http://www.usfirst.org/firstlegoleague/community/homepage.html ) challenge this year investigated the topic of climate. I pulled the following resources as well http://www.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=hun http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/index.html http://www.childrenoftheearth.org/Kid's%20Entries/global_warming_Dore_class. htm http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/
It doesn't look like I can post active links. I hope this helps.
Take a look at Global Warming Interactive . This simulation/game tries to have users simulate how politics and economics can affect climate change.

Ross Hunter
Technology Integrator
Great Valley School District
Hi Steven,
I teach VCE Environmental Science (Year 12 in Victoria, Australia) and try to incorporate education for Sustainability into all my middle years Science classes. Some resources i have found useful include:
Teaching Climate Change
CSIRO - Understanding our Changing Climate
FAQ about Climate Change

My blog for VCE students has further resources and links.
Hi Steven,

ScienceTech 2.0 Well, it's not much of a resource yet, but I'm hoping you and others will join and share your ideas. This topic is a good one for the site. I'd take a look at http://www.nextgenerationearth.org, which is a great site that I get a lot of info from.

Have a look at J.F. Rischard's book High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. I have been using it with my Bio II students for several years as part of the National Association of Independent Schools Challenge 2020 project.
www.ted.com has some wonderful talks on all kinds of contemporary issues. Shai Agassi former CEO of SAP made a great presentation on the electric car. These "Ted Talks" are all relatively short 10-20 minutes and are very thought provoking. This web site would be a great resource. You can download the videos from the website or from Youtube.
Hope this helps.
Larry Wilson



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