CLEAN Teleconference Call January 30, 2018

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Provenance: Noun Project
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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
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Evaluation of Our Climate Our Future

Abstract: In 2014, ACE (Alliance for Climate Education) evaluated the impact of its 45-minute live climate education program on the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of high school students with respect to climate change. The results showed gains in knowledge, increased engagement, as well as increased communication about climate change with a number of students reporting talking about climate change with friends and family more than doubling. In 2016, ACE launched a digital version of its in-person education program, an online climate education resource that includes a 40-minute video version of the live program. This digital version, Our Climate Our Future (OCOF), has now been used by nearly 4,000 teachers nationwide and viewed by over 150,000 students. ACE wanted to test the relative impact of the digital education program (OCOF) compared to the live program to see if OCOF could affect similar shifts in knowledge, attitude, and behavior in young people. 709 students across 27 classes participated in the evaluation at two public high schools in North Carolina. Classes were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: digital, live and control. In digital, students watched the 40-minute OCOF video. In live, students received an identical 40-minute live presentation by an ACE staff. The control group received neither treatment. 512 individually-matched pre and post questionnaires were compared. Results show that the digital program produced statistically significant outcomes comparable to the live program in several key areas: knowledge, attitudes about climate change and climate justice, and self-efficacy (belief in one's own ability to take action on climate change). In the areas of hope that people can solve climate change and intent to change behavior, the live program showed change where the digital program did not. In these two areas, it may be that an in-person experience is key to affecting change. In light of these results, ACE hopes to increase the use of OCOF in schools across the country to assist teachers in their efforts to teach about climate change.

Bio: Rebecca came to ACE in its inception in 2008 as an Educator, and now serves as ACE's Director of Education. Rebecca develops ACE's science content, manages the online climate education resource Our Climate Our Future, oversees the ACE Teacher Network, and works with schools in the Reno-Tahoe area.

Rebecca holds a B.A. in Geosciences from Williams College and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado. For her graduate degree, she studied melting ice caps on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Some of the ice caps she studied in 2005 are now completely gone.

Rebecca has also worked in Antarctica as a member of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Ice Core Drilling Project, where she analyzed the age of the ice core, shoveled mountains of snow, lived in a tent, and worked in a (no joke) air-conditioned room at -30ºF. When not fighting climate change, Rebecca enjoys chasing her husband Andy and young son Huck over the slopes, rocks, and trails around Truckee, CA

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CLEAN CollectionTeaching about Climate and Energy