ITHACA, N.Y. — The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), in Ithaca, New York, is taking the first steps in a national campaign to spread the best available scientific knowledge on the subject of climate change to every high school science teacher in the United States. This week, PRI started mailing out their widely-acclaimed book, The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change, to teachers and high schools across New York State.
Scientists around the globe agree that climate change is the greatest human challenge of the 21st century. In the United States, however, climate science is under attack, as the current Federal administration slashes funding and casts doubt on the validity or importance of human-caused climate change. Increasing access to peer-reviewed climate science is critical, and the best place to begin is in the school classroom where youth first learn to examine data and create informed opinions.
In 2017, teachers across the nation were bombarded with climate change-denial propaganda distributed by an industry-funded “think tank.” PRI’s current national outreach campaign in climate science education seeks to counteract this spread of disinformation. The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change, the tenth book in the Teacher-Friendly Guide™ series (http://teacherfriendlyguide.org), was first published in April 2017, and has already received praise from around the United States. The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change provides teachers with accurate, easy to use resources on climate change along with support for teaching this complex and sometimes highly politicized issue. The book assists teachers in making climate science accessible to every student. PRI believes that reaching young learners with the science behind global warming can empower tomorrow’s leaders to combat the real and destructive impacts of climate change. Project leader Dr. Alexandra Moore, Senior Education Associate at PRI, states “We must replace climate denial with climate facts and support teachers who face this challenge.”
There are approximately 200,000 public high school science teachers in the United States. As a small institution, PRI is reaching out to the larger community for support to teach climate science. PRI has initiated a crowdsourced funding campaign to help cover the costs of printing and mailing these books to teachers. With the support they have already received, the project begins this month to start sending The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change to every public high school science teacher in New York State. Additionally, one generous donor has asked that books be sent to teachers across the state of Idaho as well.
The first mailings go out this week, but funds are still needed to send books to the rest of the United States. You can read more about this effort, and donate to the cause, by visiting http://bit.ly/TeachClimateScience.
About the Paleontological Research Institution
The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) pursues and integrates education and research, and interprets the history and systems of the Earth and its life, to increase knowledge, educate society, and encourage wise stewardship of the Earth. PRI and its two public venues for education, the Museum of the Earth and the Cayuga Nature Center, are separate from, but formally affiliated with Cornell University, and interact closely with numerous University departments in research, teaching, and public outreach.
Feature photo: Alexandra Moore, Coordinator of the Paleontological Research Institution’s Teach Climate Science campaign shows Dryden High School science teachers Travis Crocker and Eric Reisweber The Teacher’s Friendly Guide to Climate Change. Provided