Climate Crisis Education
Published: September 03, 2021
The weather is like the clothes we wear daily, and climate is our wardrobe for the entire year.
Climate change is becoming increasingly problematic and has been at the forefront of world issues for many years. Weather is becoming increasingly extreme, and the impacts are taking their toll on the environment. The importance of educating the younger generation and giving them the tools necessary to deal with the climate crisis cannot be understated.
Educators and guardians play equally important roles in engaging youth with the facts and information surrounding the climate crisis. Let’s Talk Science understands that valuable resources and up-to-date information can be hard to find, and many resources are geared towards an American audience. This blog aims to supply valuable resources for youth of all ages in both official languages.
Fighting climate change requires significant action from individuals, corporations and government. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that unless immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach. Individuals can take action by lobbying their political representatives and choosing to support organizations who have committed themselves to the fight against climate change. There are actions we can take at home that include short showers, turning the water off when we brush our teeth, walk or bike to the store instead of driving, recycle, consume less meat and use less energy at home. Eco teams at school are great ways for youth to get involved early in sustainability. Educating youth about climate science benefits everyone and sets up the next generation for success in sustainability.
Learning about climate science and how to preserve the earth for many generations to come should be a fun and interactive experience. Combining the child's interests with the impacts of climate change is an excellent way of speaking to them in ways they recognize. Climate change has increasingly caused extreme weather across the world. Youth who enjoy playing outdoor sports in the summer like soccer and baseball might be negatively impacted by frequent thunderstorms and rain delays, not to mention high humidity levels. Hockey players may notice poor ice conditions early in the season as some community ice rinks struggle to fight the heat outside and keep the arena cold enough that the ice remains perfectly frozen. For non-athletes and those who love exploring the outdoors, look around at the insects and birds you see because the changing climate drastically impacts the food birds can find and their nesting environments. Warming conditions on earth tip the balance for pests to become worsening threats. Emerald ash borer, the mountain pine beetle and Dutch elm disease are all killing trees across Canada at a devastating rate.
It is never too early to engage youth in climate science, and there are many ways to start. Using interactive games and maps or resources tailored to your geographical location, climate change education can be fun for all. Whether using the resources listed below or any other you may find, climate science education benefits everyone.
Introduction to Climate Change (Grades 9-12)
Are you looking for an in-depth resource on climate change in Canada for adolescents? Let’s Talk Science created a detailed article discussing how we know the climate is changing, why it is changing, the impacts, and how we can tackle the problem. Topics explored in this article include greenhouse gases, carbon cycle and fossil fuels.
Clothing4Climate (Grades 7-12)
The fashion industry is currently responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. Fashion-related emissions are expected to grow by more than 50% by 2030. The clothing industry also impacts our water, soil, and a variety of ecosystems.
Clothing4Climate is a project-based learning project aligning with the Canadian curriculum in multiple subject areas. This project encourages participants to learn about the science behind climate change and our clothing system's impact on the environment.
“Science Literacy Week showcases the many ways kids and families can explore and enjoy the diversity of Canadian science.” Science Literacy Week occurs from September 20 to 26. Some events are offered in-person, but most will be offered online for a second year: hands-on activities, presentations, field trips, and nature walks. Films, books and podcasts are featured mediums during Science Literacy Week geared towards all school-aged youth across Canada available in both official languages.
Climate for Kids (All Ages)
Climate for Kids is a resource from the Government of Canada for all ages. Test your climate change knowledge with a climate science brain buster or discover what climate actions you can take based on your habits. Youth can learn about the plastics impacting Canadian oceans, and they can create their own renewable energy superhero or explore the climate impact in Canada.
Climate for Kids encourages youth across the country to understand their actions and the impact they have on the environment. Everyone can get involved and keep the conversation going on social media by using #ClimateKids.
Google Earth Timelapse Imagery (All Ages)
Watch climate change happen on your screen. This fascinating time-lapse from Google highlights the change on earth across the world over the past 37 years. Featured timelapses include mining in Alberta, coastal expansion in Dubai and urban growth in Las Vegas, Nevada. 18 timelapses in total show the impact of deforestation, bushfires, mining, melting glaciers and large construction projects.
Climate Atlas of Canada (All Ages)
The Climate Atlas of Canada is another fantastic and interactive tool for everyone from all walks of life to learn about climate change across Canada. The Climate Atlas combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the issue of climate change closer to home. The Atlas explains what climate change is, how it affects Canada and what these changes mean in our communities. Curious about what impact climate change has on our health, agriculture, cities or forests? The Climate Atlas of Canada has informative articles, images and videos for these topics available in English and French.
Are you not seeing something suitable for your classroom or youth in your home? Type “Climate” into the search bar at the top right of the Let’s Talk Science website for an even more diverse group of resources. Explore careers dedicated to fighting climate change, read about cows and methane gas. Learn about ocean warming and arctic animals or dive into carbon offsets and energy efficiency.