Picture: ClassroomCredit: Max Fischer (Pexels)

Climate Classrooms is a joint initiative of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes and the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub. It aims to help teachers to teach concepts in climate science along with the core Australian secondary curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Climate Classrooms offers educational resources development workshops for teachers. In these workshops, teachers work together with climate experts on designing programs of work and developing educational resources for teaching topics from the STEM disciplines using climate science concepts. These workshops provide great networking opportunities for teachers, help them better understand areas of climate science and give them the confidence to use climate science examples in their classes. They expose teachers to a breadth of existing online climate science materials that can be used in teaching the Australian curriculum including datasets, videos, interactive activities, visualisations, and games.

Past workshops have led to the development of new teaching resources which are made available in the table below. The Climate Classrooms team also works with the international TROP ICSU project to create versions of the new resources suitable for use around the world. These can be found in the TROP ICSU lesson plan repository.

Why do we focus on secondary STEM disciplines?

Climate science relies on scientific methods, mathematics, data and technology. Despite this, it often has a lower profile in secondary school STEM subjects than in some non-STEM subjects. This can have unfortunate consequences. Firstly, it can lead to a misconception among school students that they do not need STEM skills to pursue climate science at university and beyond. Secondly, it can contribute to a lack of awareness among STEM students that their passions and skills can be applied to climate science. Not only do these effects restrict the talent entering the field, but they deprive students of the opportunities that climate science has to offer them.

How does studying climate science benefit students?

Studying climate science offers students the opportunity to apply their skills in a context relevant to one of the most pressing issues of our age, that of how to help society manage the risks posed by climate change and natural climate variability. Further, climate science is an ideal field of study to draw together knowledge and skills from across the STEM disciplines. No matter what a student’s specific interests in STEM are, they will be able to tailor a career to make a difference in climate science. Specialising in climate science also arms students with analytical, programming and data skills that can create career pathways beyond scientific research. For example, PhD students studying climate science at Australian universities have gone on to work in banking, insurance, energy, climate information services, engineering and environmental consultancy and software engineering.

For inquiries, contact knowledge broker Sanaa Hobeichi | s.hobeichi@unsw.edu.au

Lesson Plans

Maths Year 10 – Year 12
Bivariate Data and Sea Level Rise
Lesson Plan (pdf)
Tutorial (pdf)
Maths Year 11 – Year 12
Substituting Formulas for Wind Power
Lesson Plan (pdf)
Working Exercise (ppt)
Physics Year 11 – Year 12
The power, energy and dynamics of wind turbines
Lesson (pdf)

A teacher’s review on a past Climate Classrooms workshop

I found the Climate Classroom Workshop invaluable. As a Science teacher, I know how important it is for students to gain an understanding of both the mechanisms of climate change and implications of this on their own future. Working with other teachers as well as experts in the field allowed me not only to collaborate in making a useful lesson plan but also opened my eyes to a range of resources already available. I was able to take knowledge of these resources back to my science teaching colleagues who are already using them in lessons (Katrina Holewa, Science and Geography) It was so good!!! Having a chance to work with real climate scientists, to use/have access to authentic data and get insights into their areas of study, to develop resources to help support the understanding of both EES (Earth and Environmental Science) content and skills outcomes.

(Science teacher)

Upcoming events

Climate Classrooms: Educational Resources for Teachers.
Date to be advised.
Location: Sydney, New South Wales.
Register your interest here if you would like to participate this in-person workshop

Articles on previous workshops