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Climate Science Focus of CSU Channel Islands Summer Institute, Camp

NASA scientists will help teachers and students better understand climate change and the science behind it

CSU Channel Islands will hold its first Summer Climate Science Institute and Camp, which will bring together NASA scientists, climate science experts, local teachers and students for seven days of learning about climate change and the science behind it.

The Teacher Institute kicks off Monday. Fifteen science teachers from the Oxnard Union High School District will work with internationally renowned climate scientists and curriculum resource developers throughout the week to better understand climate change and how to incorporate NASA satellite data, research and curriculum in the classroom.

The Student Summer Camp will bring 55 Oxnard Union High School District students to the CI campus June 25-26 for climate science instruction and self-guided scientific inquiry.

The Summer Institute and Camp are funded by a $593,000 grant from NASA that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. CI was one of only 14 institutions across the nation awarded funding through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program.

“Our goal is to spark engaging, new ideas that science teachers can implement in their classrooms to stimulate students’ passion for science,” said Dr. Bob Bleicher, a CI professor of science education who obtained the grant. “Participants will hear from some of the nation’s leading climate science experts, conduct their own research, and form their own opinions about climate change using the best data and tools available from NASA.”

The Summer Institute and Camp launch a two-year program known as “PEL” (Promoting Educational Leadership in Climate Science). More than 30 biology, chemistry and earth science teachers at eight schools in the Oxnard Union, Ventura Unified and Santa Paula Union High school districts will receive instruction under the grant. The program offers the teachers access to NASA resources, prominent climate scientists, on-site classroom instructional support, university credit and a $1,200 stipend.

All institute and camp activities will take place in the Bell Tower on the CI campus. For more information, contact Dr. Bleicher at 805.437.8508 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Nancy Gill is the director of communication and marketing for CSU Channel Islands.

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