Junior Climate Stewards

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Global climate change could be the greatest challenge the next generation will face. Changes in temperature and precipitation, sea level rise, the spread of tropical diseases, extreme storm events and heat-related health problems are just a few of the issues they will confront. The subject can be overwhelming and it’s difficult to keep up with the increasing flow of both legitimate findings and misinformation. 

How can we empower the next generation to prepare for the future?

To begin to address this issue, the Climate Leadership Initiative developed a four-week “plug-and-play” curriculum, Junior Climate Stewards, for middle school science or social studies teachers that is adaptable for upper elementary or high school. 

Our JCS curriculum has gone through expert review by individuals at the Oregon State University Extension Service and the University of Oregon College of Education. The six units cover global climate change and how it relates to transportation, home and school energy, food and waste. The material includes background information for teachers and students, plus activities, quizzes and grading rubrics for each topic. 

What makes the JCS curriculum unique, however, is that each lesson is based around actions that students can make today to create real change in their greenhouse gas emissions. The curriculum culminates with a service-learning unit that guides classes through projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We held training workshops in Eugene in the fall of 2009 to introduce the JCS curriculum to teachers in the Eugene/Springfield area and around the state. The feedback and evaluations were very positive and we are planning more trainings around the state. Please contact TRIG at admin@trig-cli.org  to schedule a training. Click here to view the Junior Climate Stewards curriculum.

CLI thanks the Eugene Water and Electric Board, UO Meyer Fund for a Sustainable Environment, UO Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, and the Alki Foundation for making the Junior Climate Stewards curriculum design and training program possible.