Communicating Climate 1: The Science of Climate Change

In this activity, students use climate data to develop a simple graph of how climate has changed over time and then present the result in a blog, emphasizing effective science communication.

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Jennifer Hanselman (Westfield State University)
Rick Oches (Bentley University)
Jennifer Silko (Pennsylvania State University)
Laura Wright (Western Carolina University)
InTeGrate, SERC

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This assignment could be used in a science class to strengthen communication skills, or it could be used in a humanities or writing course to strengthen science skills. The activity is deliberately designed to be used either way.

If done as homework, the students should bring a printed copy of their graph to annotate in class. If done as an in-class exercise, students will need to have computers (ideally one per student) with Microsoft Excel or Mac Numbers installed and either Internet access or the climate data already downloaded.

The graphing part of the activity in Excel is very simple and user friendly, and, as such, this activity works well for novice Excel users.

The activity overview page also includes helpful suggestions and tips.