On June 22, the New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub, an online portal, was launched to connect K-12 educators to the resources they need to integrate climate change into their curriculum for all subject areas and grade levels. The Climate Change Education Hub (NJClimateEducation.org) is free and accessible to all and was created as part of the New Jersey Climate Change Education Initiative, a coalition of nonprofit and higher education institutions that includes Sustainable Jersey, New Jersey School Boards Association, The College of New Jersey School of Education, New Jersey Audubon, National Wildlife Federation and SubjectToClimate.
A tour and orientation of the New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub’s resources took place on Thursday, June 23, with a Facebook Live event titled: NJ Climate Change Education Hub Launch Goes Live! A recording of the event can be viewed through the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/njsba.
In June 2020, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to make the incorporation of K-12 climate change education across content areas a priority when the State Board of Education adopted the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). The launch of the New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub provides foundational resources equipping educators with the specific material they need aligned to the new standards and to the students’ grade and subject area. The new resource will help educators effectively teach climate change and implement the Climate Change Education Student Learning Standards from the New Jersey Department of Education.
The New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub (NJClimateEducation.org) provides:
- Exemplar Lesson Plans: Developed by teachers, each lesson plan is N.J.-centric and aligned with NJSLS so users can teach to the climate change education standards immediately.
- 1400+ Teaching Resources: The online resource database is searchable by keywords, subjects, grade level, NJSLS, and more. All resources have been reviewed by a scientist and a teacher.
- Professional Learning: Educators can find the right professional learning opportunity for their school, whether it is a workshop for curriculum development, courses, or articles to guide teachers on how to teach about climate change.
- Guidance for School Boards: School boards have access to guiding documents to support schools implementing the climate change education standards.
The New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub was created in response to the recently released “Report on K-12 Climate Change Education Needs in New Jersey.” The Hub is also building on the efforts of the state of New Jersey. In March 2022, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allocated $5 million in the fiscal year 2023 state budget for K-12 for climate change education and an office for climate change education in the New Jersey Department of Education.
“New Jersey is leading the nation in K-12 climate change education, and we must equip our teachers with the necessary tools and resources to nurture our climate literate workforce. The Climate Change Education Resource Hub serves as a database for climate change education lesson plans, professional learning opportunities, and more,” said first lady Tammy Murphy. “This hub builds upon our state’s commitment to prepare our next generation of leaders for the reality they will face due to climate-related changes.”
The quick transition from the incorporation of the climate change standards to the implementation of the resources was made possible by the work of an innovative collaboration of thought leaders who assessed the next steps and developed the Hub. In March 2021, the New Jersey School Boards Association, Sustainable Jersey, The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, and SubjectToClimate formed the New Jersey Climate Change Education Initiative. The Climate Change Education Thought Leader Committee created the plan for implementing the standards statewide and developed the New Jersey Climate Change Education Hub. The recommendations are outlined in the “Report on K-12 Climate Change Education Needs in New Jersey.”