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Northwest ESD is approaching equity in access to climate science learning through the spheres of P-K learning, indigenous ways of knowing science and pedagogical tools that engage all learners.

The NWESD has created multiple entry points for teachers and administrators to the body of work that will now constitute WA STATE ClimeTime.  At the elementary level, pre-K and K teachers have created sharable lessons. The NWESD SMC has piloted (and chose) materials for adoption by their member districts.

NWESD has also collaborated with CBOs and other ESDs to create materials and processes that can be used as part of professional learning.   

Materials Support Projects

P-K Early Learning Climate Science

NWESD’s Early Learning Director, Sarah Southard, contracted a local Elementary Science Fellow, Jodi Crimmins, to recruit a team of seven Kindergarten teachers to create play-based climate science stations and instructional units for use in Pre-K classrooms. Our team received an orientation to the NGSS, “interpolated” appropriate science and engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas for use with preschool to Kindergarten-aged children, and ultimately created five units and one set of play-based stations. They have piloted the materials and have used two state-developed formative assessment tasks with the piloting students.

K-5 Amplify Piloting Project

Beginning in the fall of the 2013/14 school year, the NWESD Science Materials Center Cooperative (SMC) embarked upon a 5 year journey to get us to the point of piloting science materials in order to find the very best ones aligned to the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS. Many of the cadre of 54 elementary teachers of science who participated on our pilot have been part of this effort for the entire 5 years. The opportunity to use two sets of materials directly supporting climate science was possible because of these legislated funds. Kindergarten and 3rd grade teachers were provided with subs and Amplify science kits as part of the NWESD Climate Science proviso.

Pedagogical Projects

Teacher Workshops

WA Green Schools has scheduled two 6 hour workshops (Coastal Hazards and a Changing Climate and Climate Change and Agriculture) for K-12 teachers in the NWESD Region. Utilizing the location of the NWESD, right on the coastal waters of the Cap Sante Waterway in Anacortes, WA, teachers will come together with UW Climatologist, Dr. Heidi Roop, learn about how climate change is impacting our coastal environments in the morning and then in the afternoon working with other teachers in their grade band, create lessons based on their learning. Similarly, utilizing The Bread Lab at the Port of Skagit County in Burlington, WA, K-12 teachers will learn about how climate change is impacting agriculture in our region.

These two powerful workshops will give NWESD K-12 teachers opportunities to collaborate, design content specific lessons around our changing climate, and prepare materials to use with their students, in their classrooms, immediately.

Collaboration for Ambitious Science Teaching and Learning (CASTL)

Continuing the work of the Partnership for Ambitious Science Teacher Leaders (PASTL), the Collaboration for Ambitious Science Teaching and Learning (CASTL) recruited 56 teachers to take part in a three day introduction to explanatory modeling and advocated by the Ambitious Science Teaching group at University of Washington. During the school year, teachers were released to bring in examples of student work and to engage in highly scaffolded and focused conversations (called Reflective Planning Days or RPD’s) about the student ideas evident in that work.

Science and Cultural Content Knowledge Projects

STEM Chemistry and Climate Science

NWESD and UW School of Oceanography scientists designed a one day workshop for high school chemistry teachers with the purpose of connecting the chemistry climate scientists use to high school chemistry courses. At this workshop, the science teachers learned about many chemical processes and built a spectrophotometric pH device. Teachers noted 14 specific units or concepts within the current chemistry curriculum where they could include the chemistry of climate science as examples of chemical concepts. Units specifically noted included but were not limited to: nuclear chemistry, stoichiometry, gas laws, acids/bases, reaction types, and labs. 100% of participants indicated their confidence in teaching climate science improved.

Upcoming Classes

8:30 am Teaching Climate Science to Earl... @ NWESD
Teaching Climate Science to Earl... @ NWESD
Nov 5 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Children are naturally curious about their world and love hands on learning.  Come and hear from Pre K and K educators on how they have engaged young learners in NGSS aligned Climate Science Instruction.  Unit[...]

Partners & Collaborators

UW School of Oceanography
WA Green Schools


Indigenous Ways of Knowing Climate Science in the NWESD Region

The STEM teaching tools from the UW Institute for Science and Math Education are providing the foundation for our work with tribal elders in the NWESD region. In designing this place-based instruction for teachers, we acknowledge the dual citizenship of our tribal students and tie tribal students’ understanding of climate science to their tribal origins. A big part of this for our non-tribal teachers is learning to get our students outside into their environments. Curriculum for this teacher workshop is currently being developed, pending deployment in spring of 2019.

Field Experience in Climate Science

Our community-based partners’ field experiences are being scheduled. Teachers will have access to substitutes for their own “learning outdoors” which will primarily happen in Spring 2019.

All I Need to Know to Understand Climate Science I Learned in High School Chemistry

University of Washington College of Oceanography professors and graduate students will provide learning experiences aligned to introductory oceanography courses and current research practices. Participants will learn current climate science taught at UW and build a spectrophotometric device, modeled after those used in current ocean research, to measure pH. Each participant will take home a device that could possibly be built by students in their science classroom.

OpenSciEd Piloting

Eight excited teachers are piloting their first unit of the OpenSciEd Grades 6-8 Open Educational Resources (OER) materials developed with support from the Carnegie Institute. Data is being collected not only on teacher experiences but also around student experiences using these materials.

Climate Science – FREE Canvas Course

In this course, designed in collaboration with ESD113, attendees will learn a protocol for conducting student-centered, whole-class discourse. Structured as three one-month cohorts and divided into grade bands, the protocol, along with the skills and knowledge learned will be transferrable to other content areas beyond science. In this context of the course, participants will apply the protocol to a climate science topic. With regard to NGSS alignment, the course focuses on the practice of “engaging in argument from evidence.” Registration and information through ESD 113.

Collaboration for Ambitious Science Teaching and Learning (CASTL)

Following their Summer Institute, two new cadres of 56 teachers are using 3-D instruction around climate science phenomenon in their classrooms. These teachers came back together in fall 2018 to review their students’ work and reflect on their students’ learning. As the work progresses, teachers will continue to monitor student progress and come back together with their colleagues to adjust their units.

Stories of Us and the World: How We See Ourselves in Relation to Our Environment

English Language Arts are a vital backbone of learning science. To solve the problems of tomorrow, all students must understand their relationship to our climate and see themselves as active, empowered citizens of our world. In this two-day workshop, we will investigate how first-hand knowledge and experiences with climatic events put migrant students in a position to lead in learning about climate science. Participants will learn strategies that support practices for inclusion, empowerment, and participation in climate science and literacy learning. On the second day of the workshop, participants will come back to share student artifacts and to learn from each other’s experiences. This event is scheduled for January 29 and February 25, 2019. Event ID: #84642

Piloting K and 3rd Grade Amplify Kits

In early October, 52 elementary teachers across nine school districts in the NWESD Science Materials Cooperative received instruction on the use of Amplify Science Kits. Twelve of these teachers are piloting climate science based units. Data is being collected not only on teacher experience but also around student experience using these materials.

Climate Science for Pre-K and K

A design team of Pre-K and K teachers met for professional learning around NGSS, 3-D learning, and science phenomenon. As part of this grant opportunity, these teachers received science materials and, at the end of January 2019, each participating teacher came back to the group to share samples of student work and units of instruction. From these units and ideas, a professional development day is being designed that will take place on April 22, 2019. Registration can be found here.

Success Stories from NWESD

Stories of Us and the Environment

Last week the NWESD 189 held the first of a two-part ClimeTime class called “Stories of Us and the Environment." This class focused on the intersection of ELA and science, specifically through the lens of narratives that we all have inside of us. A group of mostly K-5...

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