UN Climate Council

Contributor
Black Rock Solar
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Project , Simulation , Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

In this activity, students will act as members of the UN Climate Council and working within teams, identify and address the major factors of climate change. Students are instructed to identify three major factors of climate change through research. They then have to identify ways to help reduce the impact these factors have on climate change keeping in mind social, economic, and environmental impacts of those solutions. They will use the C-Learn model to see if the solutions they develop will reduce the impact on climate change as they predicted.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • High School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

Clarification Statement: Examples of data on the impacts of human activities could include the quantities and types of pollutants released, changes to biomass and species diversity, or areal changes in land surface use (such as for urban development, agriculture and livestock, or surface mining). Examples for limiting future impacts could range from local efforts (such as reducing, reusing, and recycling resources) to large-scale geoengineering design solutions (such as altering global temperatures by making large changes to the atmosphere or ocean).

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students are tasked with identifying, what they believe, are the three factors that are the greatest contributors to global climate change. They are required to do research to develop solutions to reduce the impacts of their three identified factors.They then use the C-Learn model to evaluate how well their solutions worked to reduce the cause's impact on climate change.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students identify different solutions to reduce the impact an identified factor of global climate change. They determine the effectiveness of this solution by running it in the C-Learn model simulation. While the activity only requires students to print out the results of their solution using the C-Learn model, it does not have them use this as evidence to evaluate how effective their solution is. Teachers can require students to run the C-Learn simulation to evaluate how effective their solution is and refine the solution to increase its effectiveness.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Student guides are designed to have them search and evaluate three factors of global climate change and evaluate the pros and cons of solutions to help decrease the effects of those factors. Students will need to be given direction on how to evaluate the effectiveness of the solutions. The evidence students use to determine the effectiveness from their solution is purely educated guesses. Having students create the final report after using the C-Learn model to simulate how the solution effects climate change by emission reduction will increase the evidence requirement in their argument.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students are directed to consider the social, cultural, and environmental impacts their proposed solutions may have. They are not directed to specifically take into account any restraints when proposing solutions.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
While students are identifying possible solutions to reduce human impact on global climate change, they are not being asked to develop those solutions. Students will need to research the techonologies that are currently in existence in order to predict how those technologies will reduce emissions.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students are not performing any investigations to gather empirical evidence. Instead, students are primarily researching about what they feel are the top three causes for global climate change. They have to identify what effects each has on increasing global climate change. They then are doing additional research into ways that can help reduce the impact of each cause. While there is some ability to have students do investigations, using the C-Learn model, this is not stressed in the activity.

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students need to examine how the solutions may not always have positive impacts even when it helps reduce the impact of the factor causing global climate change. Students determine the feedback results using the C-Learn model. The simulation will allow them to see if their estimate of the solution's impact reduction is correct. They will also be able to see if their solution may have different positive, or negative, impacts.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The practice of engaging in argument from evidence is very strong in this activity. Students must gather evidence through research to defend their top three causes of global climate change as well as solutions to reduce the impact of those causes. The disciplinary core ideas covered in this activity are more limited. The first disciplinary core idea, ESS3.C, students are asked to identify possible solutions to reducing human impacts on the environment. While this partially covers the core idea, students are not asked to look at technologies which can preclude ecosystem degredation. The second disciplinary core idea, ETS1.B, students are directed to take into account ways the solution can impact us socially, culturally, and economically but are given no restraints. This may lead students into identifying solutions that may sound good to use, are not feasible when taking into consideration safety, cost, reliability, and asthetics. The two cross cutting concepts covered in this activity are also limited. The first cross cutting concept, cause and effect, is only briefly covered. Students are required to identify causes for one effect, global climate change. They are not being asked to develop empirical evidence or use empirical evidence at any time in the activity. The second cross cutting concept, stability and change, is only suggested. Students use the C-Learn model to see what effect their solution has on global climate change, but they are not asked to explore how the solution may either stabilize or destabilize the system.

  • Instructional Supports: While the activity does well in providing opportunities for students to engage in three dimensions of learning, it lacks guidance for teachers to support differentiated instruction and opportunies for students to express and refine ideas as a result of peer and teacher feedback. There were not any supports for teachers included in the materials to give alternatives to help struggling learners or extensions to engage students with high interest. While students are working within groups to identify the three main causes of global climate change, there is little opportunity for group to group review or teacher review prior to completing the activity.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Students report out some reasoning early on in the process, but no other opportunities to see evidence of three dimensional learning occurs until the final report is turned in. There is no formative assessment opportunities embeded into the activity. Formative assessment is left up to the teacher questioning students throughout the process. While a final report is required, no rubrics are included in either the student or teacher sheets.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: While the resource does not have a technological component, students are required to do research and run an online simulation.