Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program

Supporting teachers with instructional materials that empower students to be environmentally literate, engaged community members prepared to act for the well-being of their family, broader community, and environment.

Filling a Gap in Students’ Education

“Things in our backyard were drying up. Summers have been super hot or unnaturally cold. I’m seeing the world around me change.” -California student

Students are noticing extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, and other effects of climate change in their communities. But teachers do not have access to instructional materials on these or related topics that are California-specific.

To meet this need, the California Legislature called for the creation of instructional materials for grades K–12 about climate change and environmental justice.

Ten Strands is proud to be the San Mateo County Office of Education’s partner in developing these groundbreaking instructional materials. They are scheduled for completion in spring 2025.

These lessons will empower students to be environmentally literate, engaged community members prepared to act for the well-being of their family, broader community, and environment.

Ten Strands is proud to be the San Mateo County Office of Education’s partner in developing these groundbreaking instructional materials. They are scheduled for completion in spring 2025.

These lessons will empower students to be environmentally literate, engaged community members prepared to act for the well-being of their family, broader community, and environment.

“In middle school, I heard about climate change and Greta Thunberg, but didn’t make the connection to how it would affect me and my community. I hope this helps more of us be educated about our community and be lifelong learners. Young people are inheriting the planet.” -California student

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About the Instructional Materials

Engages and empowers by sparking student curiosity

Students get the opportunity to investigate age-appropriate, California-specific environmental issues and solutions
Inquiry-based Storyline approach to learning helps students learn how to think, not what to think
Mindful of students’ personal experiences with environmental issues, like wildfire and flooding

Supports teachers in meeting state standards

Free supplemental resources that align to state standards, Environmental Principles & Concepts, and frameworks
One 15-hour unit of instruction at each grade level; integration with science, history-social science, mathematics, and English language arts
Culturally relevant and includes the experiences of youth and communities statewide

Program Partners and Advisors

Steering Committee

A diverse group of California education and youth leaders who guide the direction of the program,

Meet the Steering Committee

Community-Based Organizational Partners

Groups working with communities most impacted by climate change who have contributed to the topics and direction for each grade level unit

Curriculum-Development Experts

Organizations with deep experience developing open education resources focused on climate change and environmental justice and supporting professional learning

Ten Strands Program Leadership

Karen Cowe

Chief Executive Officer

Karen is an education-industry executive with over 30 years of experience in sales and fund development, marketing, program design, professional learning, business development, and operations. Prior to joining Ten Strands, she was president and chief executive officer of Key Curriculum Press, an innovative and award-winning K–12 STEM publisher.

Dr. Roni Jones

Director of Curriculum

Roni brings an extensive understanding of educational systems and a wide range of experiences at many levels including K-12 districts, institutions of higher education, and state and county educational agencies. Previously, Jones spent three years as the assistant director for the System of Support for the California Collaborative For Educational Excellence (CCEE).

Jeffrey Dowling

Instructional Designer

Jeffrey is a credentialed public school science educator who has worked in California as a classroom teacher, curriculum writer, professional learning facilitator, and instructional coach. He also has over 15 years of experience in the development, refinement, and implementation of various educational STEM programs.

Partners

San Mateo County Office of Education

The San Mateo County Office of Education is dedicated to serving San Mateo county's 23 school districts in a shared mission to deliver a top-rate educational experience for nearly 94,000 students. The San Mateo County…

California Department of Education

California is the largest state in the country, serving over 5.8 million public school students and 300,000 teachers, in over 1,000 school districts and 10,000 schools. The California Department of Education's mission is to…

California Global Education Project

The California Global Education Project, formerly the California International Studies Project (1985-2018), is one of nine California Subject Matter Projects administered by the University of California Office of the President. CGEP provides…

Green Guardians

Green Guardians is an Oakland-based start-up focused on environmental literacy and action. Ten Strands is providing consulting services for Green Guardians to develop standards-based lesson sequences that will support K–5 teachers to…

Inverness Research

Education improvement is a complex and demanding enterprise without simple answers. Inverness Research's goal is to help funders and project leaders improve their thinking, their investment strategies, their program designs, and their…