Life in a Changing Climate Program

Western Massachusetts Youth Climate Summit © Phil Doyle
Western Massachusetts Youth Climate Summit © Phil Doyle

Contact Us

[email protected]  


Our climate is changing and so have the state science standards. Arcadia is here to help your students and teachers prepare for both of these changes with hands-on, minds-on, and grade-level appropriate lessons on climate change.

These lessons include an optional field trip and can be made high-tech (laptops and projectors) or low-tech (printouts and post-its) depending on your classroom needs.

We’re happy to answer any questions you have or help you find other ways for your schools to participate in our climate programs. We offer stand-alone, in class, and field trip opportunities for all grade levels.

Proven Results

  • 88% of students who participated in 2016-17 reported an increased confidence in understanding, talking about, and taking action on climate change.
  • After participating in LCC, 90% of students from one school mentioned eliminating fossil fuel use as a main way to fight climate change (up from 0%).
  • 51% of the 80 7th graders from one school showed an increase in under-standing of the potential impacts of climate change after the program.

What Students & Teachers Are Saying 

“I knew that climate change was happening, but this has really helped me to understand how it works.” - 7th Grader at Hampshire Regional Middle School

“Thanks so much for delivering the wonderful climate change program to our 7th graders over the past few days. It really helped the students put the pieces together, and they had a lot of fun!” - Science teacher at Hampshire Regional Middle School

“I just wanted to thank you for inviting me to that climate summit! I really, really enjoyed it. I was blown away by the opportunity to talk to the organizers in Germany, especially as they’re right in the middle of this direct action on a world stage. Insanely cool...Thank you again, I had a great time” -Student participant, 2017 Western Mass Youth Climate Summit

“If there ever was a summit that was informative, fun, resilient, meaningful, and well-planned... I think that was it.” -Teacher participant, 2017 WMYCS

High School

Class #1: Climate Science

Students review the carbon cycle and greenhouse gas effect. They view scientific predictions and calculate their own carbon footprint.

Class #2: Tracking Climate Changes

Students use local maple sugaring data to hypothesize the impact climate change may have on an important and iconic species. They will then predict how changes will impact our economy, health, and infrastructure.

Field Trip: Forest Resilience and Solutions
On sanctuary or school grounds

Students learn about past, current, and future forest changes due to human activities. They use the forests of Arcadia or their school grounds to perform a forest resiliency study and propose management strategies and do a forest carbon sequestration calculation. They also explore climate solutions, participate in an optional outreach challenge, and discover which green career fits their personality.

8th Grade

Class #1: Climate Science Basics

Students discover the scale of the atmosphere and explore the role of green-house gases as they participate in a simulation of increased heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere.

Class #2: Using Climate Data—Keeling Curves

Students learn about ppm and use re-al carbon dioxide data to make inferences about our future climate by calculating slope and comparing to climate scientists’ predictions.

Field Trip: Climate Impacts & Solutions

Students focus on the benefits and costs of climate solutions by touring Arcadia’s attempts to “lead by example” throughout the sanctuary. Students will identify solutions they are willing to try, calculate the amount of carbon they will save, and create a pledge for their class.

7th Grade

Class #1: Climate Science Basics

Students uncover some climate misconceptions and explore the carbon cycle’s role in climate by becoming carbon at-oms both before and after the industrial revolution.

Class #2: Changing Wildlife

Students brainstorm changes to local wildlife populations and use historical bird species data to track changes in populations over time. Students will use the online Mass Audubon State of the Birds and Climate Change report to answer questions about range, distribution, breeding, and habit, and interpret graphs to predict why there has been either an increase or decrease in their species in Massachusetts.

Field Trip: Changing Habitats & Solutions

Students visit Arcadia’s vernal pool, forest, field, farm, river, and meadow habitats to discover past, current, and future changes. They propose ways to protect habitats for the future, explore climate solutions, and participate in an optional outreach challenge.