Climate Champions - Digital Promise

Climate Champions

Objective: Students will create something that combats climate change and its impacts in their local community.

Tools/Materials Required: As needed

Depth of Knowledge: Extended Thinking

Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Climate Champions Student Guide.

Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project

This challenge draws from UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action, which seeks to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Get started by considering the guiding questions below:

  • What is climate change?
  • What are the impacts of climate change in your community?
  • What are the causes of climate change in your community?
  • How are other people in your community taking action to combat climate change and its impacts?
  • What actions could you take to combat climate change and its impacts in your community?
  • How is Goal 13: Climate Action related to other Sustainable Development Goals?

Learn more about Climate Action by exploring resources on climate change:

As you explore resources on climate change, you may find that climate change and its impacts relate to other Sustainable Development Goals that you care about. A few examples: sustainable infrastructure (Goal 9) can be more resistant to the impacts of climate change; some impacts of climate change are found to increase inequality within and between communities (Goal 10); Globally, women and girls are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (Goal 5). How might these connections inform what you will create for this challenge? The goal is to design something that combats climate change in your community; What you create–whether a campaign or service, a product or device, a simulation, or anything else–is up to you.

The open-ended nature of this project also presents a great opportunity to use the Challenge Based Learning framework. You may generate additional guiding questions on your own or use the CBL framework on health.

Educators may also want to explore resources on teaching about climate from the NEA and CLEAN.

Practice: Try as many activities to as you would like to build your skills

Practice a Thinking Routine

  • Consider the causes and effects of climate change in your local community by creating a Problem Tree.
  • You can also try Parts, Purposes, Complexities and/or Parts, People, Interactions to explore how parts, people, and systems work together. The latter two thinking routines require some contextual knowledge about the people, parts, and systems related to climate change within your community. It may be helpful for teachers to guide students in a community walk during which students can journal observations to inform a thinking routine. Teachers can also get ideas for how to make local connections to climate change by using this resource on localizing climate change in the United States.

Practice Needfinding

  • Talk to people in your community to understand their experiences, needs, and challenges and how they may be related to climate change. Practice interviewing with the project What Makes You Happy?
  • Find data to understand how climate change is directly affecting the environment and people around you using Data Hunting.

Build Skills
What skills do you need to practice to create your solution?

These are just a few suggestions among endless possibilities. Brainstorm what your project could be and gather the necessary resources to help you complete it.

Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!

Go out and create your project!

The goal of this challenge is to create something that helps combat the impacts of climate change in your community. You may create anything from a campaign or service, to a product or device, a simulation, and much more.

Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.

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