Education

Registration Opens for Third Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

Registration opened on September 2, 2014 for EPA’s third annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design challenge for college and university students. Student teams and faculty advisors are invited to submit design boards, a project narrative, and a letter of support describing a proposed green infrastructure project for a location on their campus. Registration ends October 3, 2014, and registrants must submit their entries by December 19, 2014.

Proposed Texas Textbooks Teach Climate-Change Doubt

Read the full story in the National Journal.

Texas Board of Education member David Bradley wants to set the record straight on global warming.

“Whether global warming is a myth or whether it’s actually happening, that’s very much up for debate,” Bradley said. “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.”

Bradley is not a climate scientist, but he’s about to make big decisions governing what Texas students learn about climate change.

In November, Bradley and the rest of the state’s 15-member board will vote to adopt new social-studies textbooks for public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. When he does, he says that part of his mission will be to shield Lone Star schoolchildren from green propaganda.

Instead, Bradley plans to push for textbooks that teach climate-science doubt—presenting the link between greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity and global warming as an unsubstantiated and controversial theory.

National Library of Medicine Resource Update: Environmental Health Student Portal adds “Mercury and Our Health” animation

The National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Student Portal has added “Mercury and Our Health,” an animation about the uses of mercury and how exposure can impact human health.

The animation introduces children to mercury and its basic properties, discusses mercury exposure routes, outlines health impacts of mercury, describes mercury containing products, discusses mercury contamination in the environment, outlines the proper disposal of mercury containing products, discusses bioaccumulation and mercury contamination of fish, and describes additional sources that children could use to find credible health information on mercury.

The Environmental Health Student Portal connects middle school students and science teachers with free, reliable, and engaging environmental health education resources. The Student Portal offers a diverse array of engaging educational materials such as videos, games and activities, lesson plans, experiments and projects, fun challenges, as well as additional resources for further reading.

You can also view the video on the NLMNIH YouTube Channel.

Commentary: Divestiture Is Nothing but a Distraction

Read the full commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

As a college president and chemist, I have worked throughout my career in areas connected to climate change. As an educator, I have written chemistry textbooks and regularly teach courses in which the most urgent issue is climate change. As a president, I frequently face decisions about investments in sustainable practices, whether green buildings (our most recent construction has been certified LEED platinum) or reductions in water and energy use, or curricular changes in support of our strong environmental-analysis major.

And yet on the topic of divestment of stock in companies that produce and market carbon-based fuels—an issue that is gaining attention on college campuses and in the news media—I am a profound skeptic. Why? Because we have passed the point for symbolic actions and need to take real steps to achieve change. Feel-good measures that have no effect on actual greenhouse-gas production are a diversion from the critical actions we must take before it is too late.

Educators Say Higher Ed in Sustainability a Must; Business Execs Mostly Agree

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Higher education in sustainability and environmental management is more important now than ever before, some education professionals believe. While environmental work was a fringe issue decades ago, this is no longer the case. “The issue of the environment has merged with the issue of economic development. In the seventies, managers could avoid paying attention to these issues; today they can’t,” says Steve Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and consultant to the EPA.

Global Warming Science

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.

MIT OpenCourseWare, a free online education initiative, was launched in 2002. Starting with 50 courses, by 2007 the university had posted over 1,800 courses in 33 academic disciplines. This revealing undergraduate module, based on a class taught by four MIT professors in 2012, focuses on the fundamental physical processes that shape climate. The course also covers evidence of past and present climate change, an overview of climate models, and discussions of climate change consequences. Navigating the system is easy. Begin with the Course Home page; then look over the Syllabus and Calendar before browsing the Readings, Lecture Notes, Assignments, and Projects.

Curricula on marine debris from NOAA

Turning the Tide on Trash: A Learning Guide on Marine Debris

This set of lesson plans and background information introduces educators, students and researchers to the topic of marine debris. The interdisciplinary education guide is designed to provide maximum flexibility in the classroom: it can be used as a stand-alone teaching tool or to supplement work in other subject areas.

Appropriate for grades 1-12.

The Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

This guide is designed for educators in both formal and informal education situations. It is a regional introduction to three main categories of marine debris: litter; derelict or abandoned boats; and lost or abandoned commercial and recreational fishing gear.

Appropriate for grades 5-8.

Download Marine Debris Activities and Puzzles
Puzzles, coloring books brainteasers, and hands-on activities for children.

An Educator’s Guide to Marine Debris

Designed as a standalone teaching tool, or to supplement lessons for educators in both formal and informal settings.
Appropriate for students grades K-12, with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) objectives.