Environmental Education Initiative for Middle Schools

During our Collaboratory experience, we aimed to create an easily implementable introductory climate change education program for middle school students in NYC. Our primary goal was to develop a lesson transcript for a 45-60 minute interactive presentation that covers important information about the intersections between climate change, COVID-19, and environmental justice. We hoped to distribute this lesson transcript and the associated interactive materials to middle schools in New York City, particularly under-resourced schools without alternative forms of environmental education, where teachers could present the information to their students themselves, or school leaders could request someone from our team to present the information. Ideally, the presentation would encourage schools to incorporate the topic of sustainability into classes, curriculum, and school-wide conversations.

At the beginning of our process, we completed extensive market research and content research, both about environmental issues and about interactive education models. We also contacted a variety of experts in climate science, education, and environmental activism for advice, including professors, research scientists, climate change journalists, and climate change education NGOs. Unfortunately, given our time constraints, the ongoing pandemic, and professors’ busy schedules, we received less responses than we had anticipated. Despite the lack of responses, we remained motivated throughout the remaining weeks. We pivoted our project idea so that instead, we would look for climate change education NGOs to assist with lessons and raising awareness of Climate Change. While we did not complete our own lesson transcript, we gained new teamwork skills and learned a lot about climate education!

Team Members:

Maya Bickel, CC’21

Renata Burnett, CC’23

Pablo Drake, CC’23

Charmane Gabriel, SEAS’22

Jené Stefaniak, GS’24

Ana Valeria Vázquez Navas, GS’23