Stories about climate change are in the news just about every day. Whether it’s a new study about rising sea levels, or a story exploring the link between California’s drought and global warming, climate change is a popular topic in the news and on social media. Navigating through all of the stories, and the science, can be a challenge. In order to help students understand the science of climate change, KQED, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University have partnered on a new iBooks Textbook series and iTunes U course, called Clue into Climate. The four-part series explores the causes of climate change, its impacts on freshwater and ecosystems, and strategies for curbing and adapting to climate change.
“KQED’s climate e-books couldn’t have been published at a better time for educators and students,” says Robin Mencher, director of education and media learning for KQED. “They offer a real-life, media-rich experience of what climate change looks like on the ground and what can be done to stem its effects.”
Each e-book in the series begins with a short video that tells a story about climate change in California, and then delves into the science through additional videos, audio stories, interactives, animations and text. The books also feature career spotlight videos, highlighting people working on climate change issues — from climate modeling to researching how trees are being affected by climate change. Middle- and high-school students across the country can engage in discussion about climate change topics via Twitter through a social media activity included in each book, called “Do Now.” There are also opportunities for students to create and share their own media projects on climate change topics.
“Responding to climate change involves many thousands of conversations around the world,” says Michael Mastrandrea, Co-Director of Science for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “The KQED books put the science in clear, vibrant terms, inviting dialogue on risks in a changing climate and the opportunities for response.”
An accompanying Clue into Climate iTunes U course brings together activities, videos, climate data and chapters from the books to give students an opportunity to examine climate change and look at impacts in their own communities.
Both the book series and course are aligned with the the Next Generation Science Standards and Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science. The Clue into Climate iBooks Textbooks are available for iPads and Macs, and can be downloaded for free from the iBooks Store. Collections of media, including content from our e-books, can be found on the QUEST website.