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Climate Change Education

Berkeley Bridge

Walking, bicycling, carpooling, and taking transit reduces air quality emissions and minimizes congestion. Climate change education make a connection between personal and community transportation choices and climate impacts. Resources in this section address more facets of sustainability and climate change than transportation, including air and water quality, waste, and energy consumption.

Bay Area Resources:

  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Protect Your Climate Curriculum is a comprehensive climate change curriculum for 4th and 5th grade students that includes 16 lessons focusing on air pollution, energy, waste reduction and transportation. The Air District also offers the Speakers Bureau, which brings experts to classrooms to educate students about local air quality and climate change issues.
  • The Green Kids Conference brings together junior scientists and innovators to share their environmental experiments and research at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus.
  • The San Francisco Department of the Environment has a student fact sheet on What is Air Pollution?
  • The Sonoma County Safe Routes to School program has a math lesson plan for Calculating School Trip Emissions, a Pollution Prevention Hero lesson plan, and a lesson asking the question: Is Climate Change Good For Us? Also in Sonoma County, EC02school is a high school service learning program that encourages students to reduce their carbon footprint by walking biking and carpooling to school.
  • The Alliance for Climate Education offers assemblies for students to learn about climate change and organizes teens into Action Teams to take actions together.
  • Strategic Energy Innovations offers K-12 Education Programs that engage students in a variety of climate change education and advocacy activities.
  • Based in Berkeley, the Green Schools Initiative helps parents, students, and teachers reduce their schools’ environmental footprint by encouraging schools to eliminate toxins, use resources sustainably, create green schoolyards and buildings, serve healthy food, and teach stewardship.
  • A Pollution Punchcard tracks each time a student walks, bikes, or carpools to school. Students receive a reward when the punch card is complete or for the most punches per classroom. Marin Safe Routes to Schools developed a Pollution Punchcard Guidebook for contest organizers.
  • Marin County Safe Routes to School also provides an Environmental Facts sheet.
  • Marin County Safe Routes to School has a Green Team Curriculum, including assistance setting up a team, suggested activities and curriculum, and evaluation.
  • The Chabot Space & Science Center’s Bill Nye's Climate Lab Exhibit teaches students about clean energy opportunities and solutions.
  • A variety of Activities provide online information and fun learning opportunities for students to learn about climate change and how transportation choices impact air quality.
  • State and National Resources:

    • Using EPA's Climate CHECK, high school students can learn about climate change, estimate their school’s greenhouse gas emissions, and conceptualize ways to mitigate their school’s climate impact. Students gain detailed understandings of climate-change drivers, impacts, and science; produce an emission inventory and action plan; and can even submit the results of their emission inventory to their school district. Students can also compare the energy use of their school with other schools nationwide, and earn an Energy Star if their school qualifies as a top performer.
    • It’s Getting Hot in Here is a blog for student and youth leaders of the global movement to stop global warming. Originally created by youth leaders to allow students to report from the International Climate Negotiations in Montreal in 2005, It’s Getting Hot in Here has since grown into a global online community with over 300 writers from countries around the world.
    • The Missouri Bicycle Federation’s Walk/Bike to School Savings Calculator asks parents to input the number or bicycling or walking trips taken in a school year, the average miles per trip, and average speed. It calculates the distance bicycled, fuel and money saved, and emissions reduced. The calculator can be installed on any websites.
    • The Young Voices on Climate Change website features a film series that profiles students for their low greenhouse gas lifestyles. The website is a call to action for students to take notice of greenhouse gas emissions and to look for ways to become engaged. The program also provides discussion questions for teachers and information for students on how they can reduce CO2 emissions.
    • The Planet Protector Academy is a Canadian program focused on behavior change and educational outcomes that empowers students to become community leaders on transportation and energy use issues.