“One of the most precious values of the national parks is their ability to teach us about ourselves and how we relate to the natural world. This important role may prove invaluable in the near future as we strive to understand and adapt to a changing climate.”
– NPS Director Jon Jarvis
This website serves as a resource to provide all teachers with the tools necessary to be successful in delivering national park centric climate change lessons.
The foundation of the Parks Climate Challenge program is the ability of national parks to educate and inspire us as stewards of these protected lands. The program's goal is to educate students about climate change using national parks as classrooms. By teaching about climate change with a hands-on, science-based field curriculum, students will be able to answer the questions what is climate change, and what are the causes of global warming? After a successful inaugural year in 2009 directly engaging students from five cities around the country, the National Park Foundation will reach more than 15,000 youth around the country at the end of the program's third year by educating and inspiring teachers first.Each summer, national parks and their education partners hold nationally relevant and replicable teacher trainings. These "in-person" trainings provide teachers with the tools they need to teach climate change and global warming causes through national parks. With the global warming facts the students learn, they will be able to develop service projects connecting climate change and national parks.
During the summer of 2009, students from five cities across the country came together to learn about climate change through national parks. Their experience is detailed in the video above, and is the inspiration for the teacher trainings and resources provided by the Parks Climate Challenge program. The second and third parts of their experience can be found here and here.