Climate Change Education Project

About CCEP

CCEP has created curriculum that uses NASA data to put student-collected BudBurst data in regional, national and global contexts. Students explore the phenological data they collect through BudBurst in light of historical and recent climate and weather data sets from NOAA, NASA and other sources, and use both to draw conclusions about ecosystem responses to climate.

CCEP is guided by four essential concepts, each forming the basis of a series of learning modules and labs that provide students the opportunity to investigate and explore climate change and its impacts. Students investigate:

  • how is the Earth a system
  • the key changing conditions of the Earth system
  • how the Earth system responds to natural and human-induced changes,
  • how Earth system change might change and what the consequences may be for human civilization and other organisms

Because this curriculum was developed by practicing teachers, it is standards aligned and grounded in practical knowledge and classroom experience. The activities have been pilot tested by teachers throughout Illinois and have been adapted to work with a diverse group of students. Activities are designed to be flexible so they can be implemented individually to enhance existing curricula, or sequentially as a complete unit.

Three field-tested instructional units, one for each grade band (grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12) address phenology and climate change using an Earth Systems Science approach. The curricula include 8-10 weeks of unique activities of for each of the three grade bands. While all are grounded in Project BudBurst, activities are unique to each grade level and are based on national content standards. The curriculum is complemented by technology that directly supports the instructional units, fosters student learning about ecosystems and climate change, and supports their active involvement in Project BudBurst. The incorporation of NASA's earth observation data provides students with rich opportunities to explore the interconnectedness of earth systems through the triangulation of data in a variety of disciplines, providing a context for comprehensive investigations into climate change impacts on plants and ecosystems. Together these teaching tools support a sophisticated understanding of climate change and earth systems science through students' participation in citizen science and the use of NASA and BudBurst data to solve problems.

For more information about the curriculum please contact: jschwarz@chicagobotanic.org

About this project:

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Jennifer Schwarz Ballard

Project Coordinator:

Rebecca Barak

Teacher Curriculum Developers

Grades 4-6:

Amani Abuhabsah, Dawes Elementary School, Chicago, IL

Nancy Finn, Dawes Elementary School, Chicago, IL

 

Grades 7-9:

Christopher Barnett, Niles West High School, Skokie, IL

Elana Jacobs, O'Keeffe Elementary School, Chicago, IL

 

Grades 10-12:

Christopher Hawker, Niles West High School, Skokie, IL

Thomas Jodelka, Niles West High School, Skokie, IL

Diane Lebryk, Lane Technical High School, Chicago, IL

 

Teacher Contributors

Kate Anderson, Baker Demonstration,
Wilmette, IL

Hallie Askovich, Canter Middle School, Chicago, IL

Nichole Augustine, Prairie Crossing,
Grays Lake, IL

Naomi Hershier, Prairie Crossing,
Grays Lake, IL

Kathy Cochrank, Frank C. Whiteley,
Hoffmann Estates, IL

Leanne Ellis, Rutledge Hall,
Lincolnwood, IL

Marie Gehrig, Beach Park Middle School,
Beach Park, IL

Karen Kelley, Lake Forest Country Day,
Lake Forest, IL

Andrea Koeniger, Prairie Crossing,
Grays Lake, IL

Kelly Lazar, Prairie Crossing, Grays Lake, IL

Julie McCormack, Lake Forest Country Day,
Lake Forest, IL

Cynthia McGovern, Prairie Crossing,
Grays Lake, IL

Mike Mieszala, Warren Township High School,
Gurnee, IL

Regina Mueller, Beach Park Middle School,
Beach Park, IL

Oscar Newman, Orozco Academy, Chicago, IL

Mercy Offor Ph.D., Howard Area Leadership Academy, Chicago, IL

Tara Oshinski, Highland Middle School,
Libertyville, IL

Rebekah Rogers, Highland Middle School,
Libertyville, IL

Kerah Sandler, Baker Demonstration,
Wilmette, IL

Carol Schnaiter, Amboy Central Middle School, Amboy, IL

William Smith, Bowen Environmental Studies (BEST) High School, Chicago, IL

Alicia Song, Orozco Academy, Chicago, IL

Tony Zamia, Prairie Crossing, Grays Lake, IL