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Too hot to handle

Heat waves are becoming more frequent around the globe, and scientists are studying humans’ ability to endure the extra heat. Get students thinking about what it means to handle heat and explore basic thermodynamic concepts through diagramming. Learning Outcomes: Diagramming

Feeling the heat

Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Humans may not be able to handle as much heat as scientists thought,” which explores the effects of extreme heat on the body and what that means for us as heat waves intensify around the globe. A version of the article, “How much heat can we handle?” appears in the August 27, 2022 issue of Science News.

Thinking through climate solutions

Students will research how climate change affects a nonhuman species, propose science-based solutions that might lessen the impact of climate change on the species and create an infographic to share with the class.
people riding in a backhoe amid flooding in China

Earth Cannot Avoid a Warmer Future

In this guide, students will learn about a United Nations assessment that concludes human-caused climate change is behind extreme weather events. Then, students will discuss and compare climate scenarios and visualize some of the data.

Visualizing climate change scenarios

Students will learn about climate scenarios, analyze a chart of climate change impacts under four scenarios and create a data visualization for one climate change impact.

Looking ahead to a hotter future

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “The new UN climate change report shows there’s no time for denial or delay,” which describes a massive scientific assessment that concludes human-caused climate change is behind extreme weather events. A version of the story, “Earth cannot avoid a warmer future,” appears in the September 11, 2021 issue of Science News.

Planning ahead to prevent future disasters

Students will take on the role of a planning board for a region identified as having an increased risk for natural hazards — wildfires, floods, droughts, heatwaves or hurricanes — due to climate change. After proposing regulations and other strategies to reduce the natural hazard’s impact, the students will discuss the merits of the proposed solutions before voting on a disaster plan and budget for their region.
sea ice

Earth’s Oceans Broke Heat Records in 2020

In this guide, students will learn about how the amount of heat energy that Earth’s upper oceans have absorbed has increased over time. Then, students will discuss strategies for interpreting, understanding and communicating data.

In hot water

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Earth’s oceans are storing record-breaking amounts of heat,” which explores how the upper oceans’ heat storage capacity has changed over time. A version of the story, “Earth’s oceans broke heat records in 2020,” appears in the February 13, 2021 issue of Science News.

Starting small to curb climate change

When it comes to fighting global warming, it’s hard to know where to start. How can individuals make meaningful contributions to this effort? This activity, designed for in-class or at-home learning, encourages students to find ways they can reduce their own carbon footprints, as well as help others work toward the same goal.

Unbalancing the carbon cycle

This activity covers where carbon is stored in the Earth, how carbon moves through Earth’s various spheres and how humans are impacting that carbon flow.

Career share and compare

These discussion prompts encourage students to discuss and compare the work and background of two SN 10 scientists to explore the varied paths to becoming a successful researcher.