Climate Champions of the Sonoma Valley
Here’s a new product being developed by ETS alumni from our 2016 course in San Francisco. Sonoma Ecology Center’s K-12 Watershed Education Programs are founded on place-based design, using Sonoma Valley as the lens for learning. This new addition, Climate Champions, will connect the concepts of climate science to the Sonoma Creek and San Francisco Bay watersheds, allowing students to explore complex earth systems while investigating the specific impacts of these systems on the place in which they live and learn.
A Climate Curriculum in Progress...
Climate Champions is currently in development, and will consist of six 80-minute classes and one field trip experience to be provided to Sonoma Valley 6th grade students at no cost to schools. This program will incorporate educator-led activities such as lectures and discussions, but primarily emphasizes student-centered, hands-on investigations, explorations and games. To measure achievements and effectiveness of both the program goals and SEC’s ability to facilitate the program, students will take pre and post assessments and teachers will complete post-program evaluations.
The primary audience for Climate Champions is sixth grade students in Sonoma Valley, including Sonoma Valley Unified School District and Kenwood School District.
Sonoma Ecology Center has worked with Sonoma Valley Unified School District and Kenwood School District every year since 2002. For this project, as with school-based projects in the past, SEC will outreach directly to principals and teachers for participation. School principals and every sixth grade science teacher will receive emailed letters and flyers. Teachers will be encouraged to participate as grade-level teams with their colleagues, to create consistency in programming for all students.
Sixth grade students in the Climate Champions program will focus their learning on finding answers to the questions: “What is climate, and what systems influence it?”, “What are the impacts of a changing climate on our Sonoma Creek and San Francisco Bay watersheds?”, and “What solutions can reduce negative impacts to our climate?” Students will find answers to these questions through several investigations with hands-on models, and by accessing information and data from experts including NASA and NOAA scientists, and members of the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative. They will use the information they have learned through analyzing data, investigations, and creating models to answer these questions. Students will then take action based on these results, by writing letters to their government officials communicating the need to address climate change in their region.
Climate Champions will include science curriculum developed and delivered by qualified Sonoma Ecology Center educators, in partnership with classroom teachers. The program will be place-based, with hands-on activities and investigations, utilizing resources from a variety of sources including NOAA, NASA, and regional climate groups.
SEC staff have created a draft curriculum for Climate Champions, which will be further developed in collaboration with sixth grade teachers to best meet academic standards and integrate into existing classroom curriculum. A program schedule design will be established, based on the teacher’s recommendations, to create a series of learning experiences. Attached below is a document with more details and an outline of the draft Climate Champions curriculum, which will be proposed to teachers as an essential framework from which to develop the final product.We’ll post additional details and results in the future, as this curriculum evolves.
Contact for more details:
Sonoma Ecology Center
O: (707)-996-0712 x108