The science standards of 36 states (plus the District of Columbia), as of 2019, explicitly acknowledge the reality of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. These include the 20 states (plus DC) to have adopted the Next Generation Science standards (NGSS) which include climate change as a part of a so-called Disciplinary Core Idea on the earth and space sciences. Of the state standards in the remaining 14 states, five mention anthropogenic climate change as a possibility, four fail to mention it altogether and worst of all, five mention it but misrepresent it as a matter of scientific debate.

State science standards lack the force of law but compliance is expected. Earth sciences and environmental sciences are however, not widely required for graduation from high school.

In 2014-2015 a questionnaire was sent to 1,500 science teachers across the nation and it appeared (this is the good news) that climate change was taught in 90% of all public middle schools and about 98% of all public high school. The bad news is that 4 in 10 science teachers reported that they “emphasize that recent increases in temperature are probably due to natural causes”, 6 in 10 said that they encouraged students “to come to their own conclusions about the causes of global warming”, almost as many said that they encouraged students “to debate the likely cause of global warming”, and almost 3 in 10 said that they gave “equal tine to perspectives that raise doubt that humans are causing climate change.” The bulk of this copy came from Glenn Branch’s paper, Science Teachers in the Hot Seat. I urge you to read the entire paper, produced for the American Federation of Teachers.

There are a growing number of great resources for teachers below. And, there is a growing number of bills at both state and federal level to mandate the teaching of climate change.



A seventh climate change education bill in New York

Senate Bill 4781 would, if enacted, require the state commissioner of education to "make recommendations to the board of regents relating to adjusting curricula for social studies, economics, geography, and government classes in New York schools…

Senate Bill S4781

Requires the commissioner of education to make recommendations to the board of regents relating to adjusting curricula for certain classes to include climate change education  

Resolution to support climate change education introduced in Congress

House Resolution 29, introduced in the House of Representatives on January 11, 2021, would, if adopted, express the House's support for "teaching climate change in public and private schools at all grade levels."  

H.Res.29 – Supporting the teaching of climate change in schools.

Ms. Lee of California (for herself, Ms. Moore of Wisconsin, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Espaillat, Ms. Norton, Mr. Tonko, Ms. Castor of Florida, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Ms. Meng, Mr. Morelle, Ms. Velázquez, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Blumenauer, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Hastings,…


STEM Lessons for Educators – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Explore standards-aligned lessons from NASA-JPL in science, technology, engineering and math for students for grades K-12. Engage students in NASA missions exploring Earth and space.

CLEAN – a Collection of Climate and Energy Education Resources

A team of educators and scientists has reviewed and organized the best free teaching resources for K-12 through college. Go Entire Collection Activities Videos Visualizations Featured Resource Earth: An animated...

Columbia Climate School

The Columbia Climate School's mission is to develop and inspire knowledge-based solutions and educate future leaders for just and prosperous societies on a healthy planet.

For Educators

The following organizations provide reviewed listings of the best available student and educators resources related to global climate change, including NASA products.

U.S. Department of Energy Education Resources

The D.O.E. provides a collection of energy fundamentals videos, K-12 education resources, Spanish content, and more.

Climate Change is Our Generation’s Biggest Challenge

3 Million Students Educated on Climate Science, Impacts and Solutions    

High-level event: Education – A key driver to scale-up climate action

This event brought together ministers of environment and education, and international organizations to discuss how education can enhance the implementation of INDCs and climate action. Good practices were showcased. A guidance document for policymakers and ACE focal…

Living Landscapes Climate Science Project

Funded by NASA, the Living Landscapes Climate Science Project is a comprehensive set of culture-based climate science educational resources for native communities. Learn more about NASA's role in developing the curriculum.

NASA’s Climate Kids

NASA’s Climate Kids website brings climate science to life with fun games, interactive features and exciting articles.

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of resources to aid students' understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science, coupled with the tools to…

Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

This web site houses a reviewed collection of K-20 educational resources meant to help students’ understand the core ideas in climate and energy science. These resources have been linked to the essential climate and energy…

Global Climate Change: The Effects of Global Warming

Students conduct an experiment to determine CO2 levels in four different gases, examine evidence of global warming in our environment, and consider their own role in contributing to global warming.  

NASA Wavelength

This reviewed collection of NASA Earth and space science resources is for educators of all levels: K-12, higher education and informal science education. Find climate resources in the collection at the following link, which can…

Global Climate Change: Understanding the Greenhouse Effect

Changes to Earth's global climate have had and will have major consequences for life on Earth. Using evidence preserved in ice for tens of thousands of years, scientists are searching for an understanding of the…

National Climate Assessment Resources for Educators

The National Climate Assessment offers a wealth of actionable science about the causes, effects, risks and possible responses to human-caused climate change. NOAA, the NCAnet Education Affinity Group, and members of the CLEAN Network have developed a series…

NOAA: Teaching Climate

This website contains reviewed resources for teaching about climate and energy.

Climate Change Lessons: JPL Education

This collection of climate change lessons and activities for grades K-12 is aligned with Next Generation Science and Common Core Math Standards and incorporates NASA missions and science along with current events and research.

Climate Change Education

A large body of scientific information indicates that global climate change is unequivocal, almost certainly is caused mostly by human activities, is already causing significant harm, and as it continues, holds great risks for our…

Climate Change Education

Watershed STEM Grantees share stories about how they implement their projects, adapt to challenges, and work collaboratively towards a blue planet in the eeBLUE: Watershed Chronicles blog. This month, Dr. Jennifer Jones and Dr. Heather…

Next Generation Science Standards

Next Generation Science Standards identifies the science all K-12 students should know. These new standards are based on the National Research Council's A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association,…

AFT and First Book unveil to Kill a Mockingbird

AFT and First Book unveil to Kill a Mockingbird


Why it’s a mistake to teach climate change only in science class

By Valerie Strauss   09/22/21  
The Washington Post did a recent poll on the attitudes of teens on various subjects, and there was a surprising result on what they see as the biggest threats to their generation: Only 49 percent…

‘Our house is burning’: student climate protesters urge their universities to go carbon neutral

By Alexandra Villarreal   09/20/21  
As West coast wildfires color the skies dystopian red and orange and an aggressive hurricane season batters the US Gulf coast, college students are demanding their schools take bold action to address the climate crisis.

A third of Gen Z says climate change is a top concern. A new report says the climate crisis is pushing young adults to pursue more sustainability-focused career paths.

By Rebecca Ungarino   09/07/21  
Young adults born in 1997 onward are graduating from college and entering the workforce as the Earth is experiencing some of its hottest years on record. Studies show members of the cohort known as Generation…

BBC Mocked For Teaching Kids Climate Change Will Have Nice Upsides

By Dan Robitzski   07/03/21  
Even reputable news organizations can utterly screw up, which is exactly what the BBC did when it published a widely-mocked study guide for children that listed 15 “positive impacts” that global climate change could have…

America’s schools are crumbling. Fixing them could save lives — and the planet.

By Levi Pulkkinen   07/03/21  
Before the COVID-19 pandemic made airflow a life-or-death issue, ventilation experts rarely tested the air inside U.S. schools. That was probably a mistake, said Kevin Thomas, the business representative for the union representing ventilation workers…

Amid climate change crisis, Pa.’s science curriculum falls short

By Michael E. Mann   06/28/21  
Climate change is an ongoing crisis, so it’s no surprise that a solid majority of Pennsylvanians — 78%, according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication’s estimate — think that schools should teach about…

What are Competencies and Sustainable Education?

By Sofía García-Bullé   06/16/21  
Professor Lozano is a teacher at Gävle University in Sweden; he specializes in organizational sustainability issues and is currently Specialties Editor-in-Chief of the journal Frontiers in Sustainability. His extensive training and experience managing the intersections…

Infusing climate change and sustainability into the medical school curriculum

By James Bevan and Paul Roderick   06/07/21  
The climate emergency is a health emergency. This fact is now indisputable and it is common knowledge that climate change and environmental degradation pose an unprecedented threat to human health. Increasing intensity and frequency of…

CCI scientists provide resources to educate Maine youth about climate change

By Beth Staples   06/07/21  
Colleagues at the Climate Change Institute are collaborating to strengthen climate education for youth in grades 5–12 in Maine. CCI faculty and staff have created the Climate Education Resources webpage to provide educators with a…

What is ocean literacy and why do we need it?

By Douglas Broom   05/24/21  
The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface. It is the last and largest unexplored area on Earth. Yet too few of us really understand how it is inextricably connected to all aspects…

On-Demand Panel for Students: Covering the Climate Crisis

By The Learning Network   05/13/21  
Climate change is one of the most monumental news stories of our time. We know that the planet has already started experiencing alarming trends related to this crisis, from increasing frequency of wildfires and floods…

The Unexpected Ways Climate Change Is Reshaping College Education

By Ciara Nugent   04/16/21  
n 2018, Scott McAulay had a “Wizard of Oz moment.” He was a final-year architecture student at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland when the U.N. published a report warning that the world had 12…

Georgia science teacher helps students recognize misinformation about the climate

By Diana Madson and Sarah Kennedy   03/30/21  
Teachers have a lot to cover in their classrooms, so many skim over climate change. But Sarah Ott, a middle-school science teacher in Dalton, Georgia, is committed to making time for it.

Teaching Climate Literacy Helps Prepare Students to Deal with Their Inheritance

By Frank Carini   03/28/21  
Two Rhode Island lawmakers, like many others, have been inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The teenager’s efforts have reinforced the importance of teaching students about climate change, climate justice, and sustainability.

Unleashing the creativity of teachers and students to combat climate change: An opportunity for global leadership

By Christina Kwauk and Rebecca Winthrop   03/26/21  
hat if, with a little leadership from global heads of state, including U.S. President Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Johnson, there was an opportunity to catalyze a movement at home and abroad that combats climate…

Why don’t more U.S. schools teach about climate change?

By Lucy Jaffee   02/24/21  
More than three out of every four Americans want schools to teach children about global warming, but most schools are struggling to implement climate change courses because of opposition from skeptics and because teachers are…

Many states get poor grades on their climate education standards

By Diana Madson   01/11/21  
Many states do not require schools to adequately teach students about climate change. That’s according to a report from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and the National Center for Science Education, or NCSE. They…

Climate Change to Become Part of Core Curriculum in Public Schools

By Grace Chen   06/01/20  
Climate change has never been a consistent part of school science curriculum. Some teachers have touched on the subject, but few have delved into the matter with the depth it requires for thorough understanding. Sometimes…

How a program in washington state is bringing climate change into the classroom

By Miyo McGinn   02/11/20  
In some parts of the country, climate change may be the most controversial subject that science teachers bring up in their classrooms. “People oppose environmental things because they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s just a bunch of…

Teachers and students push for climate change education in California

By Sydney Johnson   10/08/19  
As students around the globe demand action by their government leaders to protect the environment, school boards across California have taken steps to recognize the impact of climate change on the environment and their students.

Teach Our Children — About Climate Change

By Oren Pizmony-Levy and Aaron Pallas   09/17/19  
A large majority of Americans support teaching primary and secondary school students about global warming and climate change, according to new findings from The Public Matters: How Americans View Education, Psychology and Health, a public-survey…

Teaching global warming in a charged political climate

By Caroline Preston   07/06/19  
Lau, 42, has taught science for seven years at Piedmont Intermediate School, which is housed in an airy, modern building overlooking a wheat field and serves predominantly middle-class families, many of whom work in the…

How Should Climate Change Be Taught In Schools Across America?

By Andrew Urevig   06/20/19  
Yet the education system, like the climate system, is complex. Across the country, from elementary to high school — and from science class to social studies — other teachers are taking the initiative to tackle…

8 Ways To Teach Climate Change In Almost Any Classroom

By Anya Kamenetz   04/25/19  
NPR/Ipsos conducted a national poll recently and found that more than 8 in 10 teachers — and a similar majority of parents — support teaching kids about climate change. But in reality, it's not always…

Should climate change be taught in schools? Parents and teachers think so

By Study International Staff   04/25/19  
Climate change has long been a global issue, but it was recently thrust into the spotlight when young environmental activist Greta Thunberg initiated a worldwide school strike climate movement that fast became viral.

Most Teachers Don’t Teach Climate Change; 4 In 5 Parents Wish They Did

By Anya Kamenetz   04/22/19  
More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or…

Kids to teachers: We need to talk about climate change

By Zoe Sayler   03/21/19  
Portland resolved three years ago to build climate literacy into public school curriculums, but 17-year-old Sriya Chinnam, one of the strike’s organizers, said the district hasn’t delivered: “We are demanding that they take charge and…

“Climate Confusion Among U.S. Teachers”

By Eric Plutzer, Mark McCaffrey and others   02/11/16  
The first nationwide survey of climate change education in the United States, conducted by researchers at NCSE and Pennsylvania State University, was described in "Climate Confusion Among U.S. Teachers," published (PDF) in the February 12,…

“Stupid Book of Wrongness”

By Eric Fishman   01/01/16  
I found Susan huddled in the corner making a new cover for the book. She had drawn cartoon flames leaping around angry faces, and as I peered over her shoulder she wrote enormous bubble letters…

Climate Change Science Poised to Enter Nation’s Classrooms

By Katherine Bagley   03/04/13  
New national science standards that make the teaching of global warming part of the public school curriculum are slated to be released this month, potentially ending an era in which climate skepticism has been allowed…