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ERIC Number: EJ1201113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
From Facts to Solutions
Grumbach, Elizabeth
Science and Children, v56 n5 p34-41 Jan 2019
This article describes an 8-10 week problem-based learning unit for fifth graders that introduced them to the facts underlying global climate change. This unit was inspired by the lack of awareness in our national population around this clear threat to our global ecosystem and takes on this goal: to provide students (our future advocates and voters) with a firm understanding of the data and science related to climate change. This includes an understanding of the difference between visible and infrared light and the interaction of each with our atmosphere as part of the greenhouse effect. It includes an understanding of the difference between weather and climate so that students can accurately evaluate short- and long-term changes in variables such as temperature, storm frequency, rainfall, and so on. Because carbon dioxide production is at the root of climate change, students need to learn about the carbon cycle so they can recognize the interconnectedness of different human and natural activities to the phenomenon itself. Since power generation is a primary anthropogenic source of atmospheric carbon dioxide, any curriculum that is trying to introduce ways to address the problems associated with climate change must include a comparative survey of different renewable and non-renewable energy resources. At the end of the unit, students used this scientific understanding to design and present collaboratively designed solutions (at the personal, school community, or state level) to help mitigate or adapt us to the climate changes we are seeing today. At the unit's end, students presented their solutions to school administrators, local government leaders, and to participants in a regional conference for educators about problem-based learning.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A