The American Museum of Natural History’s online teacher professional development course on climate change explores the science of climate change, with a special emphasis on the important role played by the polar regions. In addition to gaining an understanding of how the climate system works, middle and high school teachers learn about valuable resources, tools, and activities that can be implemented in their classrooms to support climate change literacy. Teachers also contribute lesson plans to a curriculum repository.
To offset the cost of the course, the PoLAR Partnership offers a $500 stipend to qualifying participants on a rolling a basis. Since the start of the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Phase II program in Fall 2012, 319 teachers have completed the course, 90 of whom received the PoLAR stipend.
AMNH recently expanded their climate change course offerings to include the Our Earth’s Future online and in-person modules for lifelong learners. The Museum sought input from PoLAR during the development of the online program, which is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and incorporated a variety of polar-focused resources. Additionally, based on the experience of the Changing Arctic One-Day Course that PoLAR hosted at AMNH in March 2014, our partners at the Museum designed the courses for lifelong learners with a specific focus on communicating climate change.