Paper No. 103-9
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM
CLIMATE CHANGE INQUIRY: TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS IN THE HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM
Engaging students, particularly high school students, with the realities of climate change can be an unexpected challenge for instructors. Climate science, our daily perceptions of climate and weather, and a barrage of news media can all affect how students conceptualize climate change and how it applies to their daily lives. This scaleable exercise, which was undertaken with the cooperation of the Earthwatch Institute citizen science initiative, allows students to participate in a start-of-the-year inquiry exercise that both introduces the concept of inquiry-based learning in an environmental science high school course, and draws students in to learn more about the data behind climate science. Using online citizen science tools such as collaborative Google Spreadsheets, iNaturalist, OpenTreeMap, and the Habitat Network, as well as phone apps for these resources, students become digital field scientists and increase their ability to understand, record, and communicate data on climate science. This exercise can be shortened or expanded to comprise a lab, a unit, or a semester, and is appropriate for students at primary and university levels with minimal modification. Using these cutting edge and collaborative technology components allows students to grasp climate science concepts, recognize their role in contributing to global science, and become more involved and better informed climate change scientists in their own right.