Rather than breaking apart climate change issues at the front of her classroom next week, Breck Middle School eighth grade science teacher Beckie Alexander is heading closer to the action: to Paris, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Alexander, one of ten education ambassadors selected from across the U.S. to attend the annual conference, will observe UN negotiations, blog about her experiences and conduct live webcasts with students at Breck throughout next week.
According to its website, the two-week climate conference will produce a new universal climate change agreement, “aimed at putting the world firmly on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future.”
Alexander has been introducing her nearly 100 students to the science of climate change, including the natural carbon cycle and fossil fuels. Students are also thinking about how different countries might negotiate around climate change, she said.
Breck Middle School director Sky Fauver said Alexander has been committed to climate change issues for years; she took sabbatical time a couple years ago to revisit glaciers to see how they had been impacted. He said the school is financially supporting her trip.
“This opportunity is the fruit of a lot of work that Beckie has done over the years,” he said.
Alexander is asking her students to think about what the climate might be like when they’re older. The conversation around climate change is shifting, she said.
“It’s moving out of the political realm, actually, and into the personal realm,” she said. “I think more and more people are starting to feel impacts in various ways.”