Climate Change in STEM Secondary Education

In this professional development course for secondary education teachers, we will delve into the subject of teaching students about climate change through various STEM disciplines. Climate change is an inherently complex subject that incorporates multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and solutions. While climate change is frequently in the media and increasingly is the paradigm in which we base modern scientific research, it is often known to the public in general terms, at surficial levels, and is sometimes misunderstood. Students in secondary schools may lack the foundational knowledge to understand the scientific evidence of climate change, critically analyze arguments that attempt to refute climate change, and importantly, understand the breadth of solutions available to society to mitigate climate change. In this course, participants will first review the fundamentals behind climate science and the relevance to physical and natural sciences, and then examine in-depth solutions to mitigate climate change. We will delve into sharing a step by step case-study teaching approach in which real-world challenges are used to engage and instruct topics and knowledge in science and math. We will employ two case studies as examples in which we work to understand and develop solutions that address climate change in the fields of energy and forestry. Each case study will take place over a two-week period and emphasize the ways that teachers can teach about their particular STEM field in the context of a case study.