PCEP Update: January 2017

View this email in your browser

Aloha · Talofa · Yokwe · Paing Kowos · Kaselehlie · Ráán Ánnim · Mogethin · Alii · Håfa Adai · Tirow

Greetings PCEP Partners! Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) is happy to present the December 2016 / January 2017 bi-monthly PCEP Newsletter Update. We have stories from the Big Island of Hawaii, California, Chuuk, and Pohnpei. The reports in this update illustrate PCEP’s ongoing support to schools and communities in addressing climate impacts in their local places through various resources.

This is the last Update for which I am serving as primary editor of the Newsletter. We are turning over Newsletter logistics to our PCEP colleague Canita Rilometo, based in Pohnpei. Corrin Barros and I will still provide feedback during the editing process. It has been such an honor to compile and send out all the amazing stories over the past several months! We’re looking forward to Canita taking the reigns with the Newsletter, starting with the next Update (February/March 2017).

Please keep an eye on our web portal, where new resources will be added soon. For any comments or questions, please send to me (odangoe@prel.org).

maraming salamat sa inyong lahat / thank you to you all,


Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the Learning Garden: Developing Systems Thinking

What do composting and soil fertility have to do with science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas—the three dimensions of the NGSS? Dr. Art Sussman (“Dr. Art”), PCEP Co-PI, along with partners from The Kohala Center and Mala‘ai Culinary Garden, co-facilitated an exploration of the NGSS through gardening skills and content for 2 days in November 2016 at the Mala‘ai Culinary Garden, Waimea, Hawai‘i Island. The participants—consisting of both classroom and garden educators—practiced engineering design skills, including understanding criteria and constraints to create compost piles, which will ultimately increase soil fertility—an important way of adapting to climate change impacts.

The participants built three compost piles using a variety of plant materials, and arranging the piles in different shapes and sizes. Dr. Art guided the participants’ observation of energy flow and the cycling of matter in the compost piles and the garden. The participants traced the energy stored in food grown in the garden back to the source, the Sun, noting the transformation of energy as it flowed through different materials. The participants also noted how matter cycled and changed from the layers of leaves, sticks, and twigs in the compost pile to rich, dark humus full of microorganisms and nutrients. Then, through a one-act science play about Earth’s systems, Dr. Art guided the participants to connect their observations of energy flow and cycling of matter to climate science. They understood that an imbalance in the materials system, such as excess carbon dioxide, affects the rate of energy transformation, which then changes weather patterns.

The following comments taken from the participants’ evaluation of the workshop provide evidence of their learning and application:

  • I could have my students reflect and make inferences. Also they could design a garden box and engineer their own compost piles – 4th Grade teacher
  • Art’s overview of NGSS was very valuable. It was a lot of high-level info, but he presented it in a very digestible way – Gifted and Talented program elementary school teacher
  • As my students search for established science systems in the garden, I will also have them think of the social systems in their lives – 5th Grade Teacher 

PCEP would like to thank Dr. Art Sussman and the partners—The Kohala Center and Mala‘ai Culinary Garden—for the opportunity to collaborate on climate change education through the lens of the NGSS three dimensions in learning gardens.

report by and photos courtesy of Dr. Koh Ming Wei

Representing PCEP at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

From December 12 to 16, 2017, PCEP joined our partners from the National Science Foundation Climate Change Education Partnership Alliance at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Climate literacy and climate change education were prominent throughout the event, which is one of the most high-profile Earth and space science meetings in the world.

Corrin Barros and Dr. Emerson Odango (PREL/PCEP) presented the PCEP Framework for Teacher Professional Development with a panel called Climate Literacy: Delivering Climate Change Science Content, Process, and Context to K12 Educators, Students, Parents, and the Larger Community. Two regional PREL/PCEP colleagues—Juanita Lawrence (Pohnpei) and Joyminda George (Kosrae)—joined Ms. Barros and Dr. Odango in the presentation through pre-recorded audio excerpts. Together, the PREL/PCEP staff discussed how place-based education provides a foundation for professional development in ways that challenge and transform conventional approaches to education in the Pacific region.

Dr. Art Sussman (WestEd) presented on How the Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership (PCEP) Has Collaboratively Increased Regional Collective Impacts on Climate Literacy Via Networks of Diverse Stakeholders Engaging in Multiple Reinforcing Activities. This presentation was part of a panel called Climate Literacy: Increasing the Collective Impact of Climate Literacy Efforts through Networks and Partnerships.

Ms. Barros, Dr. Odango, and Dr. Sussman also participated in a conversation with the CLEAN Network on developing their “National Compact Supporting and Empowering Communities Climate Actions” hosted as part of the AGU conference. The workshop was the kick-off for developing an action plan that supports climate literacy and climate change education in the near- and long-term.

report by Dr. Emerson Lopez Odango; image courtesy of Corrin Barros

Chuuk Teachers Engage in PCEP Resources

On January 16–19, 2017, about 40 elementary and high school educators from Chuuk public and private schools came together to learn about climate change through place-based resources and hands-on activities. The workshop was hosted at the Chuuk High School / PREL Chuuk Office by Diana Manuel and facilitated by Canita Rilometo and Corrin Barros, with support from Steioshy Manuel (Chuuk Women’s Council [CWC]), Yolanda Joab (International Organization for Migration [IOM]), and Rachel Akapito (IOM).

The 4-day workshop was an opportunity for teachers to engage in PCEP resources, including the Place-Based Education Resources for Pacific Island Schools books, as well as the Chuuk Language and Content Bilingual Texts, recently purchased by the Chuuk Department of Education. PCEP facilitators immersed teachers in mapping, reading, writing, and vocabulary activities to model multiple ways in which teachers can introduce their students to climate science content. And our CWC and IOM partners engaged participants in deep discussions on climate adaptation strategies in Chuuk. Now, as these books arrive on campuses across Chuuk, teachers are equipped with strategies to help students learn about climate change and climate adaptation through their places, their community’s expertise, and these classroom resources.

report by and photo courtesy of Corrin Barros

Pohnpei Teachers Learning Community (PTLC) Shares El Niño Demonstration with Future Teachers

On January 25, 2017, the PTLC, in their effort to grow professionally and share their knowledge of climate change with other teachers, engaged in a hands-on demonstration with the College of Micronesia’s (COM) Teacher Corps students. The PTLC consists of select teachers throughout Pohnpei’s elementary schools, and is led by the Pohnpei Department of Education’s Science Specialist, Cliff James. They meet regularly as part of PCEP activities in Pohnpei to discuss and share resources on climate change education.

For the 1-hour period with COM’s Teacher Corps students, the PTLC teachers shared climate change lesson plans and demonstrated an El Niño activity they learned during the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) group’s visit to Pohnpei back in September 2016. The IGERT group will visit Pohnpei again in March 2017 as a follow-up to continue strengthening the capacity of the PTLC (and other local partners) to educate our children, as well as other teachers, about climate change and impacts such as changing El Niño patterns.

report by and photos courtesy of C. H. Rilometo

New Resources Soon

PCEP’s Framework for Teacher Professional Development is now available on our portal at pcep.prel.org/resources/, alongside our Place-Based Education: Elements of Design booklet. PCEP staff use this framework to guide our workshops to model practices that support teaching and learning starting from place. Find it at http://pcep.prel.org/resources/place-based-education-elements-of-design/.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for photos, articles, and announcements on climate in the Pacific region.

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues; use this link to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/-Xx0n.

Copyright © 2017 Pacific islands Climate Education Partnership, all rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
1136 Union Mall, PH 1A
Honolulu, HI 96813

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences