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Science Classroom Explores Realities Of Climate Change

To The Reader’s Forum:

I was delighted to read about the climate-change projects completed by Thomas Jefferson Middle School 7th graders. Congratulations to them and to their teacher in the AT science class. They combined art, communication, and interdisciplinary research and created a teaching and learning product to be proud of. The project is similar to one recently completed by 7th graders in another Thomas Jefferson Middle School in my city, Madison, Wisconsin. These students created picture books about climate to read to elementary school students.

It’s encouraging to see climate education bucking political pressure and gaining traction nationwide. Not surprisingly, New York has attempted to pass legislation mandating climate education in public schools, as have Connecticut and California–coastal states that are repeatedly clobbered by climate-related disasters. But a 2019 NPR/Ipsos poll found that 86 percent of teachers say children should learn about climate change. And The Next Generation Science Standards include climate change teaching, and these or similar standards have been adopted in forty states.

It may be difficult to teach about climate change without frightening students, but projects like those in the two Jefferson Middle Schools show it can be done by empowering students to be part of the solution.

Carol Steinhart

Madison, Wisc.

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