Penn Staters are invited to 'Make Climate A Class' for Earth Month

April 01, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Students, teachers and community groups from across Pennsylvania will bring the topic of climate change into their classrooms and learn how they can make a difference this year and over the next decade as part of the national "Solve Climate by 2030" movement.

Registration for the free online event, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, is available here.

Penn State’s Sustainability Institute — in collaboration with the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and webinars hosted by more than 100 universities in 45 countries around the world and almost all 50 U.S. states — will be hosting an interactive "Solve Climate by 2030" webinar with top experts on climate solutions and climate justice in Pennsylvania.

The target audience is teachers and students who want to participate in "Make Climate A Class," an effort to ensure that climate change isn’t just relegated to environmental science classes but becomes part of the curriculum in every discipline: psychology, political science, engineering, literature, natural science, art, communication, music, economics, philosophy and more.

“It has been a long year — with COVID-19 sickening over a million Pennsylvanians, putting millions out of work and forcing students to take many classes remotely, not to mention climate change continuing to accelerate its impacts on Pennsylvania — yet there is cause for optimism,” said Peter Buck, academic programs manager at SI, who will emcee the event. “While vaccinations offer hope for an end to the pandemic, we’re also seeing Pennsylvanians starting to take on climate change with a can-do attitude. From solar power adoption, to soil-smart agriculture and to electric vehicle adoptions, we are seeing concrete action at all levels of the state.” 

Nationwide, the webinar discussions will focus on the big and the small, exploring both collective and personal things people can do in their communities and universities over the next year to help solve the issues brought about by climate change.

The Pennsylvania edition will focus especially on how community relationships can make a difference. Speakers include:

  • Christine Knapp, chief sustainability officer for the City of Philadelphia
  • Tykee James, government affairs coordinator for the National Audubon Society and co-organizer of the first #BlackBirdersWeek event
  • Pam Adams, sustainability planner for the Centre Region Planning Agency
  • Brandi Robinson, chair of the Centre Region Climate Action and Adaptation Planning Technical Advisory Group

Teachers can use the webinar to "Make Climate A Class" by assigning it as homework. There are one-page teacher's guides available to lead a one-class-period discussion about climate change from the perspective of the teacher's subject area. The guides, for over two dozen different disciplines, have been developed by the global climate education project based at Bard College in New York. They are available in English, French and Spanish.

“The world’s top climate scientists have told us we have 10 years to act to hold global warming to the low end,” said David Blockstein, co-director of Solve Climate by 2030. “This April, students deserve a class period to talk about climate solutions and climate justice — from many different disciplinary perspectives. Join one or more webinars in early April and ask every teacher you know to 'Make Climate A Class.'” 

"Solve Climate by 2030" is free and open to all, but pre-registration for Pennsylvania’s event is required. For questions or further information about the Pennsylvania event, contact Buck at peterbuck@psu.edu.

For more information about the national movement visit www.solveclimateby2030.org.

Last Updated April 02, 2021