Climate Education: Not Just for the Science Classroom

Empower and engage students to take action while supporting academic outcomes across curricula.

 In the new year, climate change will continue to carry a sense of urgency in the minds of students, educators, and administrators. As former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn stated, today’s students will face the conundrum of being “the first generation to feel the effects of the climate crisis and the last who can do something about it.” 

The impact of climate change on education policies and classroom practices is already present. In fact, EdWeekResearch Center conducted a national survey of educators and found that one in four teachers, principals, and district leaders say climate change has impacted their school or district. An additional 18 percent of educators say climate change poses an “imminent threat” to their district. 

In a study conducted by researchers in England, 10,000 teens across ten countries (including the U.S.) responded to a survey about climate change. The study found that nearly 60% of students felt worried, afraid, sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and/or guilty about the world’s inability to effectively combat climate change. 

One Step Climate Ed blog

Students have witnessed, often firsthand, the destructive effects of catastrophes triggered by climate change, including flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, and increasing heat waves. Students and educators alike have been affected both physically and mentally––making this subject one that is especially relevant for classroom discussions, activities, and lessons.

2023 presents an opportunity to address students’ anxiety about climate change through inquiry-based learning and student-led action and at the same time, support learning across curricula. By teaching students about innovative solutions to the impacts of climate change around the world, they’ll have the opportunity to build their scientific thinking and problem-solving skills, develop new vocabulary, put math skills to practical use, and much more! Programs like One Step’s Climate Science video-based supplemental curriculum give students in grades 4–12 the power to be change makers and stewards of our planet. Using engaging videos, 5E lesson plans, activities, and discussion prompts; they’ll explore green solutions and technologies that address the challenges of climate change.

One Step Dashboard

One Step’s cross-curricular program supports campus-wide climate initiatives––making it easy for teachers of all subject areas to leverage the videos and other materials to engage and motivate students.

One Step App TrackerUsing One’s Step unique Sustainable Action Tracker, students track their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and cultivate habits toward a more sustainable and less wasteful lifestyle—from taking a shorter shower and turning off lights to composting. Individual and school-wide reports help students see the impact of their choices and motivates them to continue to take action. 

With its rich, cross-curricular applications, climate education is a huge opportunity for educators to tap into issues students care about to teach content knowledge across curricula. It is also a topic we cannot afford to ignore. By giving your students the tools to advocate for the future of the Earth, you can help empower them to be the engines of change that our planet so desperately needs.

Want a closer look at how One Step supports climate education and empowers students? Schedule a quick demo