Educators: Check out ClimeTime, a model curriculum for climate change

August 2019—Washington State is rolling out a model curriculum to teach students about climate change. It’s cross-referenced to the science standards. They’re putting big bucks behind it.

On March 8, 2018, the Washington Legislature approved a $4 million grant for 2018-19 to the state’s nine educational service districts and several community-based organizations to tackle the issue of teaching climate science. Washington is the only state devoting this level of funding and attention to the issue. (This spring, the state House and Senate voted to allocate $3 million for each of the next two years.)

The money is for teacher education, development of educational materials and student events.

Key to this process is exposing teachers to climate scientists who know how to embrace skepticism.

Brumley was one of hundreds of K-12 educators from around the state who attended workshops led by scientists to increase their knowledge of climate science. The idea is for them to create curricula and take what they’ve learned back to their classrooms. The program covers the entire state, with a specific focus on student populations underserved in the area of science education.

“We hadn’t been able to offer this type of direct teaching before,” says Ellen Ebert of OSPI. “We were strongly encouraging innovation, because we really want to hone in on best practices. Teachers’ time is so valuable. … This model with a working scientist, who is doing the work, and can translate complex data so that they can really understand, has been really strong.”

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