Published on June 22, 2017

Climate Education Program Finishes Second Year

Arcadia was thrilled to wrap up the second year of our Life in a Changing Climate program at the end of June. This middle and high school climate science program was piloted last year at Hampshire Regional Middle and High School, where it met with much success.

For the program's second year, we continued to work with Hampshire Regional and expanded to Northampton's JFK Middle School and Northampton High School.

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Thank You For Your Support

This year's program was made possible thanks to the support of the Northampton Education Foundation; local cultural councils in Chesterfield, Goshen, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington; and individual donors to the Arcadia Environmental Education Fund.

2016-17 Program Summary

The goal of the Life in a Changing Climate program is to serve as an introduction to the science of climate change, an invitation to learn more, and an inspiration to take action.

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At Hampshire Regional, participants ranged from students in grades 7-8 as well as high school students taking Environmental Science. The newly expanded Northampton program included grade 7 students in addition to Environmental Science students at the high school level.

Students in each grade experienced different lessons tailored to their level. Topics covered included:

  • An introduction to climate change where students became carbon atoms in the carbon cycle
  • A study of local bird species using historic population data to see trends
  • Calculating their carbon footprint to determine how many earth-sized planets would be needed to support our lifestyle if everyone lived like they did
  • A forest resiliency study for forested land to determine its ability to withstand climate change impacts
  • A quiz that matched their personalities to green careers

For some students, further lessons involved a field trip to Arcadia to explore and predict habitat changes and to discuss climate solutions—and see many in action at the sanctuary. They learned the importance of turning individual action into community-wide and even worldwide solutions to combat climate change.