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Climate Change Education

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Project-Based Global Climate Change Education: 

NY Teachers Taught about Climate Change

Clarkson University and NYSERDA were jointly awarded a grant from NASA to improve climate literacy education throughout New York State.  Both partners are known for their strong programs in energy literacy and this new venture expands their focus and commitment to shaping a climate literacy citizenry.

This project supports the creation and dissemination of new climate change instructional modules that incorporate NASA data, models and resources.  Through a three-tiered approach, students and teachers from middle school through college will have the opportunity to increase their climate literacy knowledge and problem solving skills.  

  1. College class: The “Global Climate Change:  Science, Engineering, and Policy” was developed specifically for engineering students at Clarkson University. This course was offered for the first time in 2010 and is now taught in Spring semesters.

  2.   Climate Change SOAR class for adult learners SOAR is a member-directed learning group affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network. The 350+ members of the North Country SOAR are “Third Age” adults, post-family and career people who are actively enjoying their lives.. A 4-week class at Clarkson University teaches members of SOAR about the science, policies and impacts of climate change.

  3. Summer Workshops: Middle school and high school teachers from across New York will refresh their climate science knowledge and develop project-based learning experiences that highlight and integrate NASA earth observation system data and models. The workshops were offered in August 2010 and 2011.

  4. Teacher Conferences: Project materials, including exemplary instructional modules will be disseminated throughout New York State through a NYSERDA-sponsored state-wide Climate Change Conference for Teachers, regional workshops, and one-day workshops during 2012. Summer workshop participants will lead these professional development activities with support from the Clarkson grant team. 


The success of this project will be determined by how much participants’ climate literacy increases and how their attitudes change. The assessment plan includes surveys for college and public school students, teachers, and conference participants. A secondary measure of success will be the number and quality of the instructional modules that result from the summer workshops. 


This project is funded through a grant from NASA Global Climate Education Project (grant number NNX10AB57A) and has approval from Clarkson University’s Institution Review Board (No. 10-24.1)


2011 Group Photo

“Both Clarkson University and NYSERDA have made great strides in developing and disseminating teaching materials to improve the energy literacy of New York’s school children.  This grant is a natural extension of our current efforts to explore how our dependence on fossil fuels and large-scale agricultural industries have affected our planet.” 
--- Dr. Susan Powers, the principle investigator of the project