Students kneel by the Merced River in Yosemite National Park while doing a science investigation on water quality.

Climate Change Community Impacts

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NatureBridge's environmental science educators lead interactive online sessions designed to explore climate change and its effects on our local communities. Students should already have a basic understanding of climate change. They will compare communities across the country and consider what actions they can take to reduce their impact and adapt to a changing climate.

Program Format

Two educators lead each 40- to 60-minute session as presenter and host using a video conference platform such as Zoom. Attending teachers participate as chaperones who observe and assist students as needed. Interactive technology tools may include Prezi, Jamboards, GoogleSlides, breakout sessions and participant polls.

Session 1 40- to 60-minute live session
During this lesson, students will explore how climate change impacts our national parks before zooming closer into their community. Students will explore various community-related impacts of climate change both locally and afar. They will create a collaborative map of their findings as they learn how their community is being impacted by climate change.

Session 2 40- to 60-minute live session
Students will build upon their exploration of climate change impacts in their community. They will share their findings and learn about how some environmental impacts affect members of the community differently through the lens of environmental justice. Students will then start to explore different avenues to reduce impact and adapt to a changing climate.

Session 3 40- to 60-minute live session
Students will share out their findings and explore what youth are doing in their own communities across the United States. Looking at mitigation efforts and action, students will begin to see ways they can have an environmental handprint on the places they call home.


Students will be able to:

  • Share climate-related observations through perspectives of their community and reflect on realizations.
  • Define and explore environmental justice issues and what can/is being done in relation to climate change in their communities. 
  • Explore community issues and Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Identify the motivations, skills and resources needed to be involved in efforts making a difference.


  • 3-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity: Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS2- Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; LS4- Biological & Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • Science & Engineering Practices:  Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Construction Explanations; Communicating Information
  • Cross Cutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; Patterns, Systems and System Models, Stability and Change, Energy and Matter

Materials Needed

Access to a computer, tablet or other online learning compatible device. Paper, pencil, coloring materials and/or something to write with. 

Adult Expectations

At least one teacher will be present throughout each live online session. Other adults may attend by invitation from the teacher or group coordinator. All attending adults must complete NatureBridge’s Participant Registration Form in advance of the session. 

It is the responsibility of attending adults to support student learning and safety during large group instruction and small breakout sessions by following the expectations listed below. 

  • Support students in staying on task. 
  • Address discipline concerns, while allowing students to be engaged and answer questions on their own. 
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and model inclusive behavior.
  • Communicate with the group’s NatureBridge educator about the educational plan and offer constructive feedback when appropriate.

Schedule this Program

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