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Supply Chains and Climate Change

Laur Hesse Fisher, David Lishansky, Aaron Krol, Sabrina Gaitan, Today I Learned: Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This 11-minute podcast and accompanying lesson guide encourage students to evaluate the supply chain of green technologies in the context of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

This learning activity takes one 60min class period

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The "Teacher Pages" provide a complicated amount of information, and might be most useful if instructors are using this resource as a part of a larger unit within the TILclimate curriculum. Consider relying on the student guide instead of the "Teacher Pages" for the listening activity and discussion.
  • There are many opportunities for teachers to extend the lesson in the educator guide. There is also background information available to teachers to help guide the lessons and for personal professional development.
  • There is a link to an NPR resource that directs students to record their own podcasts. This may be an appropriate extension lesson for this activity.
  • This lesson could be extended by considering forms of clean technology other than solar energy. The educator guide states that the lesson is not intended to be all-encompassing.
  • This resource has a strong diversity, equity, and justice focus.

About the Content

  • The resource introduces learners to the concept of a supply chain and how clean technology could work. It includes robust information about these topics, such as where in the world minerals are mined, and challenges students to think about the supply chain for solar panels and how to suggest solutions to challenges.
  • Accurate, up-to-date data regarding solar panels are included in this lesson.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This resource teaches about the multifaceted, complex nature of climate solutions. The supply chain associated with solar panels (a product often considered a climate solution) is analyzed in this resource. Sustainable development goals and mind mapping are both effectively used as tools to highlight the complexity of sustainable supply chains.

About the Pedagogy

  • This lesson uses podcasts to guide students through clean technology and infrastructure. It asks students to consider UN sustainable development goals while listening. It then asks students to construct a mind map in groups using the SDGs as a guide.
  • This lesson is a great way to introduce students to the challenges of replacing fossil fuels due to infrastructure and supply chain issues. It guides students through an excellent example: solar panels.
  • This resource has a strong pedagogical background and is engaging for students through mind mapping and the inclusion of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • This resource supports students in evaluating the podcast both while they are listening, and after in the form of a discussion. There is a listening guide for both students and instructors.
  • Both the educator guide and the student worksheet provide helpful information. There is a clear pathway through the lesson and questions to guide student discussion.
  • The use of creative media in this lesson (podcasts) feels modern and engaging and may appeal to students who learn best by listening.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The PDF download is helpful and straightforward to use.
Entered the Collection: September 2023 Last Reviewed: August 2022

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