2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

All sessions added to My Agenda prior to this notice have been exported to the mobile app and will be visible in your account when the app launches. Any sessions added now, will also have to be added in the app.
Grade Level



Session Type


FILTERS APPLIED:6 - 8, Presentation, Leadership and Advocacy, Climate Science


Rooms and times subject to change.
5 results
Save up to 50 sessions in your agenda.

CSSS: Conversations about systemic supports for teaching sustainability and climate change topics.

Thursday, October 26 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 3501 F

Show Details

Teaching climate change in diverse contexts can be challenging; however, working with colleagues, community members, and leaders in business, government and non-profits can ensure that such teaching persists and expands as needed. This session will be a discussion format to share examples and name challenges and opportunities in building systemic supports for teaching climate change at a variety of scales within educational systems. Facilitators are experienced implementors in this field and bring a variety of perspectives to the conversation. We will also explore tools that have been used to foster deeper collaborations, help facilitate leadership support, and expand teacher capacity to engage in sustainability and climate change learning.

1. Explore examples of needed systemic supports for sustainability and climate change learning 2. Examine tools for working on building supports in your own contexts 3. Share learning with other participants around challenges and opportunities for building systemic supports

Deb Morrison (University of Washington: No City, No State), Tana Luther (Louisiana Dept. of Education: Baton Rouge, LA)

CSSS: Teaching Climate Through a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Lens

Thursday, October 26 • 3:40 PM - 4:40 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 3501 F

Show Details

Teaching climate change in diverse contexts often means we need to meet communities where they are at and teach through concerns that are central to their lives. The SDGs provide a framework of 17 central goals that help to foster thriving and sustainable communities. The SDGs are a global framework that is used across many different nations to raise awareness and engage people in action around critical needs for fostering thriving communities. This session will explore the SDG framework and its connections to climate literacy principles. Participants will be supported to consider examples of how this framework can be used for teaching students about sustainability, climate solutions, and green economy transitions that are critical to our shared future. We will draw on resources and experiences from partner organizations across the nation and the world. "

1. Be able to describe the SDGs Framework 2. Explore the interrelationships between the SDG Framework and climate literacy principles 3. Consider connection points with the SDG Framework to your own teaching

Deb Morrison (University of Washington: No City, No State), Brian Mandell (Smithsonian Science Education Center: Washington, DC), Molly Talbot (Louisiana Dept. of Education: Baton Rouge, LA)

Using Midwest-Centered Phenomena to Anchor Storylines About Climate Science

Friday, October 27 • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2210

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)
Slides on ideas for teaching about climate science using Midwest-centered storylines.

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

Creative ideas will be explored for developing and using climate science storylines based on Midwestern climate phenomena, past and present. For example, the timing of the settling of Midwestern states was a direct result of global and regional climate changes that included the Little Ice Age (creating a demand for animal furs for coats and hats) and the giant 1815 eruption of the Indonesian volcano Tambora (which caused the famines of the “year without a summer” and drove large numbers of easterners westward into the Midwest. Examining regional Midwest geology (such as glacial deposits and bedrock limestone layers) can also foster student sensemaking of the cycles of climate change that can occur on longer time scales. Analyzing the evidence of past climate changes and its impacts on humans and other life will help students carry out the processes of sensemaking to better understand the current trends in climate change (obtained from NASA satellites) and their implications for humans.

Climate-related storylines anchored by Midwest regional phenomena provide powerful frameworks for students to develop sensemaking of performance expectations concerning weather and climate. Instructors will leave with multiple ideas for incorporating the latest climate science into their classroom.

Michael Wysession (Washington University in St. Louis: Saint Louis, MO)

Climate Optimists: Fighting "climate fatigue" through teaching advocacy skills and nurturing hope within our students

Friday, October 27 • 1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 3501 B

STRAND: Leadership and Advocacy

Show Details

In this session, participants will consider the ramifications of climate fatigue on generations who are and will continue to be responsible for climate-affecting decisions as scientists and citizens as well as the means to apply social-emotional learning (SEL) to equip educators and students with hope. Participants will explore the benefits (for educators and students) of integrating SEL concepts and benchmarks with the NGSS throughout educator and student learning experiences. We will identify connections between and opportunities for educator- and student-led discussions, advocacy opportunities, and giving educators and students ownership and agency in their learning through utilizing their backgrounds, interests, abilities, and voice. Participants will have access to strategies and tools that support the integration of SEL within climate science instruction and overviews of instructional units that lend themselves to building climate optimism.

Participants will leave with a set of strategies and tools to implement with regard to their own relationships with climate science, as well as those they can use with other educators and their students to shift toward hope and advocacy.

Erin Lark (Kognity: Stockholm, 0)

Climate kNOWledge: Bringing Climate Science and Climate Justice Conversations to the Classroom

Friday, October 27 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - 2215 A

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

Show Details

Climate kNOWledge engages all 6th grade students from the Howard County Public School system (MD) in learning about and understanding climate science and climate justice through a 45-day science unit. The goal of Climate kNOWledge is to bring current climate science into the classroom while helping students understand the disproportionate impacts climate change has on communities worldwide. Students participate in two field experiences; a schoolyard data collection where hands on protocols help them understand specific climate phenomena like the urban heat island effect, and an offsite field trip to learn about climate change solutions. The unit culminates in student-led action projects that are grounded in evidence-based reasoning and address a local climate change impact. This session will provide an overview of the new Climate kNOWledge unit and will discuss strategies for leading meaningful and educational conversations around climate justice topics with young audiences.

Participants will learn strategies for leading conversations about climate justice with students. We will showcase activities, case studies, and other tools that lead to successful learning environments where students feel empowered by knowledge to seek positive changes in their own communities.

Bess Caplan (Howard County Conservancy: Woodstock, MD)

Back to Top