Dynamics of Climate 2015
2-Day Professional Development Workshop for Middle and High School Science Teachers.
Dates:  June 16-17, 2015
Times:  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location:  Butler University, Jordan Hall, Room 170  (map)
Workshop is limited to 20 teachers/education students.
Please RSVP.
  • Work in small groups on activities you can use in your classroom.
  • Bring your laptop to review new lesson plans and discuss with group.
  • Earn Professional Development Points!
  • This class is also available for 1 credit hour of 600-level graduate credit through Butler University.  For more information about graduate credit, please contact Professor Meredith McAllister at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 317-940-8416
  • $75 Stipend available to qualifying teachers if funds are available. To qualify, you must be a middle or high school science teacher present for both days of the workshop.  Available stipends will be assigned in the order in which you RSVP.  Stipends are no longer available due to limited funding.
Participants will learn activities and lesson plans for -
  • Climate Systems
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Carbon Cycle
  • The Earth’s Energy Budget
  • Climate Data, Variability and Change
  • Changes in the Climate System
  • Adaptations and Mitigation
  • Wedge Game
  • Action and Impacts
  • Leslie Webb, Carmel Green Initiative president, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Brandy Yost, High School Biology Teacher, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Natalie Webb, Middle School Science Teacher
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has concluded that global warming is unequivocal and that human activity is likely the main cause. The National Research Council’s Grand Challenges in Environmental Sciences (NRC, 2000a) identified four "grand challenges" that are directly linked to climate and climate change.  Additionally, the National Science Foundation has identified climate prediction and variability as a core study area.  Hence, it is vital that adults/teachers and students learn about climate and climate change.

The workshop will address four general questions: What is a climate system and its components?  What are causes and effects of component change?  What are the impacts of these changes?  What can we do about it?  The workshop will actively engage participants in learning through a combination of large and small group activity and discussion that is driven by climate data and visualizations. Participants will gain an understanding of climate variability, the interactions of natural and human systems, and the role of climate data and modeling in decision-making.

The workshop is designed to prepare middle and high school science teachers to both understand the science of climate and climate change and the methods for effectively teaching about climate and climate change.  The workshop consists of rich data sets and visualization activities that are model learning experiences and that address the major misconceptions students and adults hold about climate, global warming and climate change. The workshop was designed to align with a conceptual framework and are: 1) grounded in the research on students’ and adults’ conceptions of climate and climate change, 2) based on instructional activities and experiences that engage participants in analyzing and interpreting climatic data sets and visualizations and that require the application of scientific concepts, and 3) designed in accordance with the research on effective teacher professional development. The workshop promotes active learning and collaboration.  Participating teachers will qualify to earn Professional Development Points.

Here's how some science teachers are planning to use the information learned at the workshops...

"I plan to incorporate this into my ecology unit. We are also practicing problem based learning, so I am interested to see what is going on at a community level."  8th grade science teacher.

"I need the best and latest data to help students understand that climate change is real."  9th grade biology teacher.

"I would like to use this information to improve the Global Climate Change unit of my Environmental Science course."  11-12th grade AP Environmental Science / Physical Geology teacher

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  Click here to register.

So far, we have RSVPs from teachers at:

  • Pike High School
  • Brebeuf Jesuit
  • George Washington Community School
  • Fishers High School
  • Carmel Middle School
  • Zionsville Community High School
  • Zionsville West Middle School
  • Education Major at Butler - new teacher
  • Lincoln Middle School
  • Franklin Township Middle School East  (3)
  • Franklin Township Middle School West  (2)
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School
  • Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School
  • University High School

Past participants include teachers from:

  • Carmel High School (3)
  • Carmel Middle School
  • Creekside Middle School
  • Noblesville High School
  • Noblesville West Middle School
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School
  • Fishers High School
  • Guerin Catholic High School
  • Emma Donnan Middle School
  • Butler University

See Workshop Photos from 2015

Indiana Academic Standards - Science

Teacher Lesson Plans

Thanks to our Partners, Sponsors and Facilitators!

This workshop is offered by Carmel Green Initiative in partnership with the Environmental Education Association of Indiana, the City of Carmel, and Purdue University.

This program was developed at Purdue University by the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and Agronomy  with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Geoscience Education program.  The project directors are Dan Shepardson(PI), Professor of Geoenvironmental and Science Education, Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University and Dev Niyogi (CoPI), Indiana State Climatologist and Associate Professor, Departments of Agronomy and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University.