During the 21-22 school year, educators Dave Ketter and Lisa Eschenbach worked with science & social studies teachers at Bellingham High School to replicate elements of the Washington Climate Assembly during a civics unit. As with the Washington Climate Assembly, where 100 citizens learned about the science and issues of climate change to make recommendations to the governor, in this experience, high school civics students learned about the science and issues related to an upcoming climate-related action to be taken by the Bellingham city officials
For this experience, students were asked to play two roles, one, as a student by completing research, assignments and receiving a grade for work like any other unit; and two, as an Engaged Citizen & Future Ancestor as their final product, a set of recommended actions, was submitted to the Bellingham City Council where it will be considered for implementation through the Bellingham Climate Action Plan and Fund.
As a result, student proposals will have real-world and, possible long-term impacts on generations to come. Each participating student focused on a specific action within one of the city’s four categories of action. They analyzed the action and developed a recommendation for the city council. Analyses and recommendations were presented, deliberated, and voted on by the class. Results were tabulated and a small group of students presented the work of all three classes (a collection of 24 specific recommendations) to the Mayor, two city council members and two staff members Bellingham City Council on June 14, 2022.