Teaching Science

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course (book)

I backed this on KickStarter and it just arrived last week, so I haven”t had a chance to test it in the classroom. At first glance, though, it looks useful as a resource for activities. The intended audience is a bit younger than our students, which makes it about right for applied classes — as does the emphasis on a hands-on activity for every section.

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course focuses on the science concepts needed to understand why the climate is changing at this time, how humans are responsible, and what can be done to slow or stop the global warming that is causing climate change. Science is most effectively learned when there is a careful pairing of information with an application of that information. For that reason, this illustrated course has sixteen activities woven through it. This course is intended for use with grades ranging from late grade school to early high school. However, as one 12-year-old reviewer said, “There really is no upper age limit, if you do not know this material.”

The product is a 96 page PDF file. It is well-designed and prints nicely double-sided, but it really requires colour printing (the illustrations can be hard-to-understand in grayscale).

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

The Hot Topic (book)

Another good, simple overview of climate change. Intended for adults, it also suitable for our students.

Global warming has progressed in the past few years from conjecture, to suspicion, to cold hard fact. We now know for sure that in every inhabited continent on Earth, year by year and decade by decade, the world’s temperature is rising. Should we care? After all, changes like this are nothing new to the ever-evolving Earth.

But this time is different. Human civilization has never before been faced with a climate that is changing this fast, or this furiously. The threat has become urgent. Also, of course, the amount of information about the problem has multiplied uncontrollably: It has become almost impossible to know what really matters.

The Hot Topic offers a concise guide to the whole issue. In this one-stop handbook, we explain the science of the problem, the possible technological solutions, and the politics that will affect our efforts. The book lays out what we can and should do, with no spin, no agenda, and no exaggeration. We are neither activists nor politicians, and we are not offering a generic green call to arms. Instead we propose specific ideas to fix a very specific problem.

We also don’t believe this is a story that has to have an unhappy ending. Global warming is a serious problem, perhaps the most serious that the human race has ever faced. But we can still do something about it. And this book shows how.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Minute Earth: The Faint Young Sun Paradox!

This short two minute video from MinuteEarth looks at the Faint Young Sun Paradox and gives a brief overview of likely solutions to it. Nicely points out that the greenhouse effect isn’t a bad thing!

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit. and the grade 12 earth and space science course.

Minute Earth: How to Build a Better City

This short two minute video from MinuteEarth takes a quick look at urban design, and how North American cities are not as ecologically friendly as European ones.

Linked in the grade 9 biology unit.

Minute Earth: How To (Literally) Save Earth

Farming erodes soil 50 times faster than it forms. We can change that, but will we?

This short three minute video from MinuteEarth looks at soil formation and degradation, especially the effects of farming practices on soil, and suggests a few sustainable farming techniques that would help.

Linked in the grade 9 biology unit.