Back in the Classroom

Discuss the Exhibition

Use these conversation starters to build on what your students learned at the Museum:

  • What did you learn about climate change that surprised you?
  • How does climate change affect the world around us?
  • How could your life change as our planet warms?
  • What did you learn about our energy use? What would your life be like with less electricity?
  • How do your actions affect how much energy you use? What could you do to save energy and lower CO2 emissions?

Classroom Activities

Simple acts like switching to energy-saver light bulbs reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
© Armistead Booker
(click to enlarge)
Energy Conservation: Have students list ways in which they can save energy and lower CO2 emissions. For ideas, visit Be an Energy Saver. As an extension, have students brainstorm ways to encourage their schoolmates, friends, and families to join the effort. How could students promote the program (e.g., a campaign with flyers, posters, school assembly presentations, and/or letters to local politicians or businesspeople)?

Energy Conservation in School: Ask students to survey how their school uses energy.
Brainstorm energy-saving strategies (e.g., switching to Energy Star products, keeping thermostat settings lower in the winter and higher in the summer, car pooling). Encourage them to present the report to your principal.

Imagining Solutions: Review with students the various energy solutions from the exhibition. Point out that the demand for energy will continue to rise, and that we need to produce more "clean" energy to meet the need and to lower CO2 emissions. Have student teams brainstorm innovations—from ideas to inventions, and individual actions to nationwide initiatives—that could address this energy dilemma.

Online Resources

  • Climate Change exhibition:
    Access the exhibition text and images before or after your visit.

  • Climate Change for Educators:
    Find free online resources, including downloadable activities such as "Climate Change Circle of Consequences," "Environmental Alphabet," and "Using Solar Energy."

  • Climate Change OLogy:
    Younger students can explore big ideas about climate change and energy use, find energy-saving tips, and build a terrarium.

  • Science Bulletins:
    Through videos and interactives, middle and high school students can learn about current research into melting ice and rising sea levels. Click on the "Climate Change" tab at the top right.

  • Environmental Protection Agency Personal Emission Calculator:
    Students can use this online calculator to estimate their or their family's rate of greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change Online Educator's Guide