Climate Change and Human Health Lesson Plans

NIEHS has developed Climate and Health learning modules for a variety of student audiences that explore the health impacts of climate change both in the United States and globally. Modules are suitable for use in high school and secondary school courses on earth, life, and environmental science, history, geography, health care or social studies classes. Modules are also available for medical school students and professional students in public health and health sciences.

CDC provides science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skill development resources for K-12 teachers

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has innovative resources and trainings for K–12 teachers that support the teaching of public health. Resources focus on STEM skill development at all grade levels.

Incorporating public health into your classroom, club, or activity can give students hands-on experience doing science, which may boost their academic achievement, help them make science-backed choices throughout their lifetime, and set them on an early course for a promising STEM career.

CDC resources for K–12 teachers are designed to:

  • Teach disciplinary core content in public health sciences
  • Align with STEM disciplinary core content
  • Focus on essential skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation, collaboration, and communication
  • Implement strategies that engage students in STEM through hands-on experiences and real-life epidemiology and public health scenarios

Topical areas that intersect with environmental science include cleaning the air, making water safe, getting the lead out, climate change & health, and mercury pollution prevention.

Explore 7 climate change solutions

Read the full story in the New York Times.

In this lesson, students will use a jigsaw activity to learn about some of the most effective strategies and technologies that can help head off the worst effects of global warming.

I Am Not a Science Teacher

Subject to Climate has compiled climate change information for non-science teachers: ESL, social studies, math, ELA, art, social science, HS subjects, health with easy ways to incorporate climate change into non-science classes.

Voluntary Codes and Standards: Teaching Resources for Law and Public Policy Courses

With support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Penn Program on Regulation has developed course modules and multi-media case studies which use examples from the world of voluntary codes and standards to teach broader legal concepts.

The case studies feature real-life narratives and video interviews with key participants and experts designed to engage students and stimulate lively discussion. The materials are intended to be integrated into existing law school courses with the aid of teaching materials that can be used by instructors without any prior background in working with voluntary codes and standards.

This educator designs curricula to make nature inclusive for all kids

Read the full story at Grist.

The key, says Makela Elvy, is to ‘really lean into that wonder,’ check biases, and stay away from assumptions.

USGS Water Science School

The USGS Water Science School offers information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge. The site includes multi-lingual resources for all ages.

Steps to Designing Justice-Focused Assessments in Science

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This resource outlines a nine-step process to help teams develop Framework-aligned assessment tasks in science focused on justice-centered phenomena and scenarios. It builds on the thinking about 3D assessment design from STEM Teaching Tool #29 (from March 2020), but has been significantly revised.

Justice-focused assessments are assessments where students use science knowledge and engineering design practices to solve problems involving matters related to the unequal distribution of consequences (e.g., benefits, harms) to communities that result from human-nature interactions and/or unequal voice of communities in matters affecting their thriving and sustainability. Justice-centered assessments are pertinent when assessing performance expectations that require students to engage in engineering practices, because such practices involve developing and testing solutions that address human needs. In addition, justice-centered assessments engage students with the idea of science as a human endeavor, as called for in the Nature of Science connections of the NGSS.

Smithsonian Science Education Center launches new biodiversity guide for youth

Read the full story from the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership, announces the launch of Biodiversity! How can we balance the needs of people with the needs of other living things? This community research guide for youth ages 11–17 is the newest guide in the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals series. Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to help young people understand the relationship between people and other living things in their community to ensure a more sustainable world.

The other guides in the series are:

An Introduction to Green Chemistry

This lesson introduces students to Green Chemistry, the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and/or the generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry is a pro-active approach to pollution prevention that teaches chemists how to develop products and materials in a manner that does not use hazardous substances, thus avoiding much waste, hazards and associated costs.

The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and how they relate to a chemical process. These principles provide a framework for scientists, engineers and chemistry students to use when designing new materials, products, processes, and systems. The Principles focus on sustainable design criteria and have proven to be the source of innovative solutions to a wide range of problems.

Through this lesson, students will also use weight and measurement to understand the concept of a recipe as it is applied to a chemical process and think critically about that process and how it might be improved. Students will be asked to use a wasteful, inefficient procedure to make glue and be challenged to improve the procedure-during which they will unknowingly use the 12 Principles.

Before starting this lesson, students should have been introduced to the periodic table and properties of matter. The estimated time for this lesson is 50-60 minutes.

For more information: https://blossoms.mit.edu/videos/lessons/introduction_green_chemistry