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CPO partners with Office of Education, National Ocean Service on White House Climate Education Initiative

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On October 22, Holdren (and staff) posted a “Call to Action” blog which was essentially the start of the climate education initiative. NOAA’s Climate Program Office in partnership with the Office of Education and the National Ocean Service worked with OSTP to develop the initiative and submitted a number of commitments released in the White House Factsheet (Released Dec. 3).  The initiative is designed to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change. 
NOAA played a key role in the launch of the Initiative with a Roundtable discussion at the White House on December 3rd, 2014. The Roundtable provided an opportunity for leaders from the public, private, academic, nongovernmental, and philanthropic sectors to discuss opportunities and new steps for connecting America’s students and citizens with the skills they need to succeed as tomorrow’s community leaders, city planners, and entrepreneurs, in the context of a changing climate.  

The initiative includes a number of exciting new commitments by Federal agencies and outside groups.  NOAA included the following commitments with our partners:

  • Providing training to senior Federal leaders. The OPM, EPA, NOAA, DOI, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are spearheading a new “Climate Change for Senior Executive Leaders” program.
  • Convening regional climate-science workshops for educators. In 2015, NOAA will sponsor five regional workshops for a total of 400 formal and informal educators, providing opportunities to interact with climate experts and visit climate-science facilities to explore the technological innovations that have revolutionized Earth-system research. Workshops will focus on the regional impacts of climate change, as highlighted in the Third National Climate Assessment. The workshops series will take place in Silver Spring, MD, Seattle, WA, St. Petersburg, FL, Boulder, CO, and Chicago, IL.
  • Leveraging digital games to enhance climate education. NOAA and partners will organize a competition bringing together game developers, scientists, and educators to create new game prototypes that allow players to learn about climate change through science-based, interactive experiences. Promising prototypes may be made available for teachers and students to use in the classroom. 
  • Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium, New England Aquarium, and Seattle Aquarium. Through a partnership called Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators, the Aquarium of the Pacific, National Aquarium, New England Aquarium, and Seattle Aquarium, which collectively welcome over 5 million visitors annually, are collaborating to use digital platforms and technologies to illustrate impacts of climate change on coasts and oceans. (This project is funded by NOAA.
  • The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). By Summer 2015, over 50 new resources, including classroom activities, experiments, visualizations, and videos will be added to the CLEAN Collection – a free, online catalogue of over 625 scientifically and educationally reviewed climate and energy education materials. The CLEAN Collection is led by TERC, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, and NOAA. As part of this effort, NOAA and DOE are working with CLEAN to align these online resources with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 
  • National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). The National Environmental Education Foundation is developing a free online “Extreme Weather 101” course for release in early 2015. NEEF will work with NOAA and interagency collaborators to draw upon information, data, and tools from the Third National Climate Assessment,, and elsewhere. The course is being developed with a Social Innovation Grant from Udemy and will be published through the Udemy online platform.

To learn more, read the White House Factsheet at:

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