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Education, environment officials gather at GVSU Climate Change Summit

Grand Valley State University arch photo


As environmentalists continue to warn about the impending dangers of climate change, some educators may need to find a way of teaching the subject to youths in a positive and hopeful way.

That was one of the main themes at the Climate Change Education Solutions Summit Wednesday at Grand Valley State University as teachers shared what ideas and strategies they use to educate their students on the subject.

Sarah Duffer is a ninth grade science teacher in Asheville, North Carolina. She says she uses “Project Drawdown” to teach her students about climate change. It’s a book with 80 practical climate solutions collected by researchers, scientists and policy makers around the world.

“It’s also a movement of people globally who are really deeply committed to changing our paradigm, so instead of climate change being something that is happening to us, instead of us being victims to climate change, instead it’s an invitation for us to create a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future for all life on this planet,” Duffer said.

Duffer says she tries to empower her students by letting them take the lead.

“We do a mindfulness activity where they identify their feelings that they feel about how their future is impacted by climate change,” she said.

The students then look through the book, find solutions they are interested in and carry them out through group projects.

Duffer says it equips the students to make an impact in their own communities, and that could drive the future of climate change.


Kayla Sosa is a general news reporter for WGVU Public Radio.