Free climate science lessons offered to local schools

SAN DIEGO — A set of bilingual water and climate science lessons available for use in local schools is the result of a partnership of San Diego Coastkeeper and the Port of San Diego, the clean water advocacy nonprofit announced Tuesday.

Funded by the port’s environmental fund, the curriculum teaches students how human activities influence the natural world.

So far, the lessons have been piloted in five schools in Coronado, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and San Diego. Nearly 600 fourth- through eighth- graders learned how climate change affects the marine, coastal and intertidal habitats of San Diego Bay.

Pre- and post-lesson evaluations showed increases in student understanding of the causes of rising greenhouse gas levels, the impacts of human activities on the environment and steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions and decrease plastic use, according to Coastkeeper’s education manager, Sandra Lebron, who said other schools around San Diego County have expressed interest in the lessons.

“We believe that as environmental educators, our job is not only to inform local students of the challenges that face them, but equip them with the tools they need to develop real-life solutions to those challenges,” Lebron said. “Climate change and plastic pollution are two of the largest issues facing the next generation. By providing students with engaging, locally-rooted science education, we are empowering San Diego’s youth to take the lead in creating a better world for us all.”

The hands-on, inquiry-based program also teaches students how to calculate their personal carbon footprint and plastic usage, as well as implement plans to reduce their impact. The curriculum, part of Coastkeeper’s Water Education For All program, is free to all instructors and aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, according to Coastkeeper.

To request the curriculum, visit sdcoastkeeper.org/learn/drinkable/water-education-for-all.