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Bringing global climate change education to Alabama classrooms: a 2011 update

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Bringing global climate change education to Alabama classrooms: a 2011 update
Washington State Convention Center
Luke Marzen, Auburn University, Auburn, AL; and M. K. Lee, M. Simon, K. Fielman, Y. Lin, R. Birkhead, C. Miller, P. Norgaard, M. Obley, J. Cox, L. Steltenpohl, E. Wheeles, and M. Wooten

Auburn University has launched a state-wide Global Climate Change Education (GCCE) Program that aims at improving high school and public education in climate change science. Our overarching goal is to generate a better informed public that understand the consequences of climate change and can contribute to sound decision making on related issues. With funding provided by NASA, we have developed new educational modules that have been incorporated into the existing course of study for 9-12 grade biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental sciences classes. Because of the complexity of Earth's climate, the development GCCE modules must involve contributions from nearly every field of science. Volunteer teachers have been trained in the use of these modules for their classroom through partnership with Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) funded by the state of Alabama. Science in Motion provides an equal opportunity for hands-on use of state-of-art equipment that many Alabama students wound never experience. ASIM is under the umbrella of the Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative (AMSTI). In the summer of 2010 certified AMSTI teachers attended summer professional development workshops taught by ASIM specialists to learn the use GCCE modules in their classrooms. During the school year, the ASIM specialists in turn deliver the needed equipment to conduct GCCE classroom exercises and serve as an in-classroom resource for ASIM teachers and their 9-12 grade students. Scientists are partnered with ASIM specialists and leading teachers to implement and test efficacy of instructional materials, models, and NASA climate change data used in classroom. The project is being evaluated by professional evaluators to refine the modules, improve the training tools, and assess student learning. The GCCE program will be sustained through our unique partnership with ASIM and the Alabama State Department of Education. The GCCE program has the potential to reach over 200,000 students when the modules are fully implemented in every school in the state of Alabama.