2014 Summer Institute for Climate Change & Energy Education

2014 Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education Recap

We just finished unpacking from the 2014 Summer Institute for Climate Change and Energy Education, August 4th – 6th at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, MN. We share the experience with you – the presentations, photos, documents and more – while our memories are fresh. You’ll find all that below in our virtual agenda (featuring download links for all the supplements).

This year we did a double event – offering two trainings or “tracks” at once (each examining either Minnesota’s Changing Climate or Experience Energy curriculum). We also tried to share cross-disciplinary extras about the intersections of climate change and art, music, literacy, and  equity. The Summer Institute provided educator’s with:

  • Important climate change and energy concepts
  • Confidence to share these concepts
  • Awareness of the standards (including Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core) that support climate change and energy concepts
  • Skills to make learning experiential and to take students outside
  • A framework for effective place based climate change and energy education

Participants were awarded 20 CEUs and had the option of earning graduate credit through Hamline University for attending this experience.

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Monday, August 4th

11:00 AM  Arrive, check-in
12:00 PM  Lunch
1:00 PM  “Intro: Why Climate Change and Energy Education?” Kristen Poppleton (Powerpoint presentation)
2:30 PM  Minnesota’s Changing Climate & Experience Energy breakout sessions (MCC Powerpoint presentation, Carbon Journey game)
4:00 PM  Speed Read #1 “Next Generation Science Standards” and NGSS 2
4:30 PM  Free time (optional activities: swimming, boating, hiking …)
6:00 PM  Social Hour/Dinner with Music
7:00 PM  Keynote presentations:

crawford daniel

Daniel Crawford, U of MN Student, Cellist, “Song for a Warming Planet


Dr. John Abraham Professor, University of St. Thomas (Videos and Dr. Abraham’s Powerpoint presentation)

9:00 PM  Campfire

Tuesday, August 5th
Participants were divided into two tracks for this day.

6:30 AM (Optional) Nature Walk with Bryan Wood
7:45 AM Breakfast
8:45 AM Morning Meeting

9:00 AM

spivey maryExploring the impacts of climate change on Minnesota’s biomes Mary Spivey, U of MN Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Biome presentation and handouts and

MN Plant Community ID Exercise

wood bryanBuilding audits and campus energy tour Bryan Wood, Audubon Center of the North Woods, Co-Executive Director

District Audit Spreadsheet

11:20 AM Speed Read #2 “Equity and Climate Change
12:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM weber larryPhenology tracking and nature observation seminar Larry Weber, Author, Naturalist (Phenology presentationPhenology Reading) asia wardClassroom renewable energy workshop Asia Ward, KidWind, Education Dir.

2:30 PM Carbon Sequestration Activity, Jenna Totz, Education Intern (Carbon Sequestration Activty Documents
4:00 PM Free time
5:45 PM Dinner
7:30 PM Evening Program: School action planning and Green Ribbon Schools (Planning presentation)
8:30 PM Campfire

Wednesday, August 6th

6:30 AM  (Optional) Nature Walk with Bryan Wood
7:45 AM  Breakfast
8:45 AM  Speed Read #3 “Cli-Fi: Climate Change Fiction” and Cli-Fi Presentation
9:30 AM

Energy and Energy Efficiency Lester Shen, Director of Innovative Technologies, Center for Energy and the Environment (Energy presentation)

10:30 AM

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Making change with “Active Hope”  Paul Thompson, Cool Planet, Co-Founder (Active Hope Presentation)

11:30 AM  Closing/Evaluation
12:00 PM  Lunch
2:00 PM  Departure

Resources Shared at the Institute

Vocabulary List from the Institute

Quiz Bowl Conducted Throughout the Institute

Resource Table


More photos

Here are some snapshots of moments that made this event special: 

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This event was made possible through partnership with Aveda, General Mills, Iberdrola Renewables and the Center for Energy and Environment


General Mills 


Center for Energy and Environment

Donations of Educator Goodies

Chinook Book
Kowalksi’s Markets
Mississippi River Fund
Freshwater Society
Mortenson Construction


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