CYCLES addresses the need for Global Climate Change Education (GCCE) with a focus on Native perspectives. CYCLES is a three-year innovative professional development program for teachers (grades 5-12) focused on teaching climate change science that is native friendly, place-based, holistic and interdisciplinary, technologically rich, and incorporates NASA data, models, and simulations.
‘CYCLES’ reflects the similarities between Native American and scientific explanations of the natural world as interconnected processes that are cyclical. In native culture, the medicine wheel symbolizes the interconnectedness of the earth, air, water, and fire. This is recognized in science through an Earth Systems approach based on the interconnectedness of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, with the energy flow of these systems derived from the “fire” of the Sun and the interior of the Earth.
The CYCLES Project directly addresses all of the NASA GCCE project goals and in addition, supports NASA’s cultivation of diversity as a core value for all NASA education efforts. The specific objectives for the CYCLES project are:
- Strengthen teachers’ understanding of fundamental Earth-System Science and Global Climate Change concepts
- Develop GCC teaching strategies that are culturally-responsive
- Improve teachers’ knowledge of and implementation of GCC education resources
- Increase students’ knowledge of GCC
CYCLES is a three-year program targeting science teachers (grades 5-12) from reservation schools or schools with significant native student populations. A cohort of 20 CYCLES teachers will be selected – we encourages teams of 2 or more teachers in the same school system.
During the summer workshop teachers will be actively involved in doing Global Climate Change (GCC) science, both in the field with local projects and working with existing National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED) and NASA data. Teachers will also learn how to use NASA tools to visualize and model GCC change to answer questions about GCC. During the academic year, teachers will attend five additional training days and be expected to implement lessons and activities from the summer workshops in their classrooms with support from the CYCLES staff.
The program structure for each of the three years includes:
• An intensive 5-day summer institute at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve on Global Climate Change Education in year 1 with institute location in years 2 and 3 TBD.
• Five additional training days during the rest of each year; Saturdays with locations TBD.
Benefits to Teacher Participants:
• Stipends: $1,000 for 10 days of project participation per year;
• Travel expense reimbursement;
• Room & Board at summer institute location if needed;
• Institute Books and Supplies; Classroom Supplies for participants @ $300 per year;
• Global Climate Change Education Curriculum matched to state science standards;
• GLOBE Training and knowledge of NASA datasets;
• Increase cultural competence in working with American Indian students and communities.