Templates & Lessons
June 23, 2022
Pear Deck and Boston Museum of Science Inspire Climate Change Conversations
Pear Deck Team
We've teamed up with EIE, the award-winning curricula division of the Boston Museum of Science, to educate students about climate change and empower them to make a difference!
Climate change is a topic of growing importance for everyone around the world. That’s why Pear Deck has teamed up with EiE®, the award-winning curricula division of the Boston Museum of Science, to create a collection of lessons designed to spark conversations in classrooms!
These ten ready-to-teach lessons — designed for grades 3-5 and 6-8 — inspire students to understand the science behind climate change, and empower youth to take action in their communities. To learn more about these exciting new Pear Deck lessons, we spoke to Heather Gunsallus, vice president, STEM Education for EiE and Boston Museum of Science:
Hi Heather! For those who might be unfamiliar with EiE, can you tell us more about your amazing work?
EiE is the award-winning curricula division of the Boston Museum of Science. Our mission is to create a generation of problem solvers. We give teachers the tools they need to engage and inspire their students by enhancing educators’ knowledge of engineering, computer science, and other STEM topics so that they can become STEM leaders in their classrooms and districts.
That’s awesome! Why do you think it’s important for climate change discussions to happen in schools?
Climate change will affect every person on the planet and every aspect of life — including where people live, how they travel, what they do for work, and more.
High-quality climate change education leads students to reduce their individual carbon emissions by several tons a year; if such education were deployed at scale, it would be a mitigation measure as significant as widespread adoption of rooftop solar panels or electric cars*.
That’s truly an impressive impact. Can you tell us more about these lessons and how they’re designed to engage students?
Each lesson is structured in three parts: First, students explore climate data using grade-appropriate math techniques. In the second part, they watch one or more videos that describe key mechanisms and effects of climate change. Finally, they explore the possibilities for climate change mitigation and adaptation at their school. This is the most important part, because it gives students agency to work on locally relevant problems.
What are some ways Pear Deck helps bring these lessons to life?
Pear Deck helps teachers engage students in active learning by giving them the opportunity to interact with content in ways that support instructional best practices. It’s perfect for in-person learning, synchronous remote learning, or student-paced learning. It offers lots of options for students to share ideas and explain their thinking, from polls to drawing tools to text responses.
These Pear Deck templates give teachers everything they need to facilitate a lesson, including discussion prompts and links to videos and worksheets.
The topics in this collection are fascinating. What makes these topics so vital to understanding climate change?
Temperature and precipitation extremes, wildfires and drought, and sea level rise are some of the most prominent effects of climate change. They’re likely to be personally and locally relevant to students, and we know such relevance engages students and gives them a reason to care about a topic.
Each of these phenomena also raises two important questions: Why is this happening? and What can we do about it?
We love to see students inspired to action — how will these lessons help them put what they’ve learned into practice in their lives and communities?
Each lesson provides opportunities for students to assess greenhouse gas sources and climate change vulnerabilities at their school; they then consider ways to reduce them. This scaffolded problem-solving shows students that, although climate change is a big problem, they have agency and can make a difference through achievable local actions.
Climate change can be a bit of a scary topic. Are there any tips you have for making the subject more accessible and less intimidating?
Although climate change can be frightening and complex, strategies for teaching it effectively are the same as those for any subject. Present an intriguing phenomenon in a way that’s relevant to students, and support them in making sense of it. Give them options for authentic, experiential work using the knowledge they’ve constructed.
Download a copy of the lessons created in partnership with EiE and Boston Museum of Science!
Pear Deck Team
Helping teachers deliver powerful moments
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