On June 17, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), funded by CPO’s Education Program, will hold its 16th review camp of high-quality, digital, and free climate and energy educational resources. The review camp will review and certify new teaching activities as high quality resources that are ready to be entered into the CLEAN collection. Such resources include learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments geared toward educators of students in elementary through undergraduate levels.
The CLEAN Portal was launched in 2010 as a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathways project. Since 2010, the CLEAN review camp process has evaluated over 30,000 resources. CLEAN is led by the science education expertise of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. As of 2012, CLEAN has been syndicated to NOAA’s climate.gov portal.
For years, educators have faced the challenge of helping their students stay informed while preparing youth to address the environmental and economic issues caused by climate change. However, until about a decade ago, there was no shared definition of climate literacy. In 2008, a community of leaders from across academia, federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations came together to change this. They formed CLEAN— an organization that educated the students who would come to be known as “the climate generation.”
CLEAN worked with a variety of partners to identify essential principles and fundamental concepts of climate literacy. With National Science Foundation funding, a consortium of partners, including CPO and CIRES, used the Climate Literacy guide to develop the CLEAN Collection, which provides essential curricula support for over 1 million science educators across the nation. “CLEAN is by far the most reliable resource for teachers,” said one educator from New York. CLEAN and CPO also helped ensure that the 2013 Next Generation Science Standards incorporated significantly more information about climate change and climate science than previous standards.
Now, these standards are guiding over 71% of the nation’s classrooms and educators. Since it began, CLEAN has won three prestigious awards, including the National Center for Science Education’s “Friend of the Planet” Award. This year, the CLEAN website and NOAA Climate.gov brought in over 7 million visitors. By building lasting relationships with educators, CLEAN has created a vibrant community committed to advancing climate literacy into the next decade.