To help Indiana K-12 teachers better teach climate and environmental science in the classroom and meet new state science standards, Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) is offering expanded professional development opportunities, including single-day and multi-day workshops and greater access to teaching resources and IU scientists.
The offerings are part of Educating for Environmental Change (EfEC), a collaboration between ERI, IU faculty, K-12 educators, and the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology. Expanded programming in 2022-23 is made possible by two anonymous donors and the IU Center for Rural Engagement.
“In 2022, preparing students for the world they are inheriting means teaching them about climate change,” said ERI Managing Director Sarah Mincey. “Indiana’s new science standards, which reflect that, are good for students, but they’re only a first step. Teachers need support to help them develop engaging, age-appropriate lessons on this critical topic. For the last five years, EfEC has been delivering just that, and it’s exciting that this program will be able to reach even more teachers in its sixth year.”
Since 2017, EfEC has offered free in-person and virtual workshops to K-12 science teachers. During the academic year, one-day workshops are held at the IU Bloomington campus. Over the summer, EfEC hosts three-day workshops for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers that equip attendees with new ideas, skills, and lessons they can take back to the classroom. The professional development opportunities, which teachers receive a stipend for attending, are helping to address a gap in reputable materials and lesson plans on climate change. So far, more than 225 teachers have participated in the program.