MS Students Research Climate Change

MS science students collaborated on a climate change research project earlier this year. Their teacher, Ms. Alexander, created a scenario for her students that opened up opportunities for deep conversations about climate justice and helped them understand the complicated nature of negotiating resolutions while also internalizing the need for immediate action to mitigate its impact. Ms. Alexander worked with her students on the project after attending the UN Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) as an observer. To start the project, MS students received an introduction to chemistry - atoms, molecules, carbon cycles, greenhouse effects focusing on elements of carbon and oxygen, and molecules of CO2 and H2O. Students were assigned a group that worked as a country or a coalition of nations. Each group represented a major global player that creates, negotiates, and implements climate policy. Students researched their assigned country or block of countries to understand economic realities, CO2 emissions, and commitments made at COP21. They presented their findings and analysis in class. In the end, students better understood the process countries go through as they weigh their engagement in mitigating climate change with economic realities and negotiate with each other to achieve progress.

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