Columbus, OH Ohio Sea Grant has released the first updates to its climate change curriculum for the Great Lakes region. Including both newly created lessons and modernized versions of previously available materials, this first release introduces students and educators to the effects of climate change on plant habitats, using Google Earth to teach regionally relevant climate science, the role of cars in North American society, and the overall connections between natural and human-created ecosystems. The lessons are available free of charge from changingclimate.osu.edu/topics/education.
The 2012 update to Great Lakes Instructional Materials for the Changing Earth System — more commonly known as GLIMCES — addresses new discoveries and data about climate change in the Great Lakes region, as well as an updated structure that more closely aligns with current teaching methods. Dr. Rosanne Fortner, Ohio Sea Grant’s former Education Coordinator and an integral part of its education efforts for over 30 years, and Lyndsey Manzo, Ohio Sea Grant Educator and a classroom teacher in the Westerville City school district near Columbus, are leading the update project.
GLIMCES was first introduced in 1995 in an effort to provide teachers with lessons and activities that helped students localize climate change to their own backyard instead of seeing it as an abstract global phenomenon. Along with 1993’s Activities for the Changing Earth Systems (ACES), these lessons allow Great Lakes teachers to include climate change into their courses without having to start entirely from scratch.
“There are great climate change activities out there, but they’re often on a global scale, or they’re on a regional scale but it’s not our region”? Manzo says. “They’re focusing on the Arctic, or they’re looking at alpine glaciers of the Himalayas. That’s really hard for students to grasp when you’re here by the Great Lakes.”? Manzo and Fortner are continuing to update the curriculum, and activities will be added to the website above as soon as they are available.
In addition to providing the lessons for science teachers in the Great Lakes region, Ohio Sea Grant is offering two short teacher training workshops and a weeklong course to introduce educators to the activities and the science behind them. The June workshop, held at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village, Ohio, presented eight activities from the curriculum to 13 area educators.
Registration for the August 7 workshop, located at the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center in Oregon, is still open; contact Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Outreach Specialist, at email@example.com to request information and registration materials.
The weeklong “Climate Change Education”? course will be held at Stone Laboratory, Ohio State’s Island Campus on Lake Erie, from July 22-28. For-credit admissions for the course are closed, but noncredit workshop applications will be accepted through July 10. Application materials are available at stonelab.osu.edu/applynow. The cost of the workshop is $805, which includes lodging and meals.
An online webinar on October 19 will introduce some of the lessons to teachers and informal educators who are unable to attend the in-person workshops. Webinar registration is now open, and located at changingclimate.osu.edu/topics/education.
Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Christina Dierkes, 614.292.8913, firstname.lastname@example.org.