Climate 101 is a pedagogical, content-based course designed to help teachers and resource managers effectively teach and communicate climate science in place-based, culturally relevant ways.

The course utilizes resources developed by the Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership with NSF funding, and an exemplary middle school science curriculum developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science with NOAA funding.

Topics include at the local level, the connections among weather, climate, ecosystems, and human communities; and at larger scales, climate variability (e.g., El Niño), ocean and wind circulation, the carbon cycle, Earth’s energy flows, global warming, causes of climate changes, impacts of climate changes on island ecosystems and communities, and adaptations to increase resilience with respect to climate change.

Climate 101 Course

PCEP – Place-Based Education Guide


Week 1. My Island: Place-Based Education

Facilitator’s presentation


Reading: Teaching Scientific Comparison Writing

Handout: Big Idea 1

Handout: Big Idea 2

Handout: Big Idea 3

Handout: Big Idea 4

Handout: Comparison Words

Handout: Scientific Comparison Writing

Handout: Stories Of Place

Climate 101 Course Pre-Test

Climate 101 Course Test Scoring Guide


Week 2. Local Island Weather/Climate

Facilitator’s presentation


Reading: Climate Change in the Marshall Islands

Handout: Unit 1- How Do the Ocean and Atmosphere Interact?

Handout: Weather, Climate or Both?

Handout: Understanding Visuals in the RMI Book

Handout: Ocean Sciences Sequence 1.4


Week 3. Local Island Weather/Climate


Handout: Balloon Simulations

Handout: Investigating Currents

Handout: Making Sense of Ocean Currents


Week 4. Concluding Group of OSS Unit 1 Sessions


Handout: Moving Air

Handout: Global Winds and Ocean Surface Currents

Handout: Ocean Currents, Global Winds, and El Nino


Week 5. Introducing Earth System Science

Facilitator’s Presentation


Reading: Dr. Art – Chapter 1

Handout: Example of a System

Handout: Matter, Energy, and Life in the Earth System


Week 6. Water Cycle and Start Carbon Cycle

Facilitator’s Presentation


Reading: Dr. Art’s Guide to Planet Earth

Handout: Carbon Cycle Reservoirs

Handout: Learning with Visual Features About the Water Cycle

Handout: First Ideas About Carbon Cycle

Handout: Make Two Cubes

Handout: Names of Large Numbers


Week 7. Deeper into the Carbon Cycle

Facilitator’s presentation


Handout: Carbon Cycle Hypotheses

Handout: Model the Carbon Cycle Using Balloons


Week 8. Earth’s Energy Flows and Global Climate

Facilitator’s presentation


Reading: How Do Scientists Know about Carbon in the Atmosphere?

Handout: Energy Interactive

Handout: Changes in CO2 Concentration

Handout: Greenhouse Effect Simulation


Week 9. Climate Changes Impact Ecosystems and Human Systems

Facilitator’s presentation


Handout: Impacts of Climate Change

Handout: Notes on Climate Change Impacts

Handout: Sea Level Rise

Climate 101 Course Post-Test

Climate 101 Course Test Scoring Guide