Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


GOLD, Anne, Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, LEDLEY, Tamara, TERC, 2067 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140, BUHR SULLIVAN, Susan, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, GROGAN, Marian, Center for STEM Teaching and Learning, TERC, 2067 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140 and LYNDS, Susan, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, Boulder, CO 80309-0449,

The topic of climate change comes up regularly in news stories and household discussions. However, recent polls among adults and teenagers about their knowledge of climate change show that their understanding of the basics of the climate system is minimal with more than 50% receiving a failing grade.

Communicating about a changing climate is challenging for scientists and educators alike. The public response to facts about climate change is often politically charged and not based in scientific findings. Educators struggle to bring climate science, climate change, and solution topics into their classrooms. Multiple barriers have been reported by educators across the country, including the controversial nature of the topic, and lack of personal knowledge.

The recently released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) emphasize that solid knowledge about climate change is essential for students to be prepared for the decisions the next generation of citizens will face. This new science education framework mandates that teachers educate their students about climate, climate change, and related societal impacts, requiring that they build their communication skills about these topics.

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN, supports educators in addressing these challenges and assists them in their teaching about climate topics. CLEAN has developed a rigorous peer-review process for educational resources. Educators and scientists alike review all materials for scientific accuracy and pedagogic effectiveness. In addition CLEAN provides background materials for educators and a support community.

In this presentation we summarize the CLEAN peer-review process and other avenues through which the CLEAN portal supports educators in improving their own climate literacy as well as enhancing their teaching.

We summarize the needs described by educators in a national, multi-year informant pool study focused on climate instruction, and outline the demands the new education framework (NGSS) is posing on educators, in terms of climate and sustainability instruction. We will also show tools that are helpful in addressing these needs.