Climate Change Institute

Will Steger Foundation
Summer Institute for Climate Change Education: Climate Change and the Mississippi River
August 11-12, 2011
Grades 6-8

What: a teacher training institute on climate change in Minnesota and its connection with the Mississippi River and watershed, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. (This is a Mississippi River cohort group within a larger statewide institute coordinated by the Will Steger Foundation.)

Presented by: the National Park Service, Will Steger Foundation, and the Mississippi River Fund

For: teachers of grades 6-8

Where: School of Environmental Studies, 12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley, MN 55122 (adjacent to Minnesota Zoo)

Cost: FREE

To apply: go to

Teachers will:
-Become familiar with Minnesota's Changing Climate curricula, online components and resources to support learning about climate change (activities connected to Minnesota Academic Standards)
-Understand current climate change science in Minnesota
-Learn about local Mississippi River resources for the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area and climate change impacts
-Get training on service learning and implementing climate action projects with students; have access to $500 mini-grants to support projects.

Teacher Requirements:
-Must teach in the Twin Cities metro area (7 county metro, plus Wright or Sherburne)
-Must teach in grades 6, 7, or 8
-Must be able to attend the two day institute, including Mississippi River cohort sessions
-Agree to teach five provided lessons in the classroom
-Agree to conduct a class service project ($500 mini-grants available)

Institute includes:
-Keynote speakers - Will Steger, Don Shelby, others TBA
-Sessions on Minnesota's changing climate, impacts and mitigation and grade-level activities
-Orientation to Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and National Park resources
-Sessions on on-line classroom resources, and use of digital photography
-Planning for service learning action projects
-Mississippi River cruise for Mississippi River cohort group *
-Certificate of attendance

* Note: this institute on climate change and the Mississippi River is a part of a larger concurrent workshop on climate change for Minnesota teachers, grades 3-12.

Minnesota Academic Standards
Science, selected:

-Engineers create… systems that impact society. (Nature of Science & Engineering, Grade 6)
-Designed and natural systems… interact with other systems. (Nature of Science & Engineering, Grade 6)
-Science is a way of knowing about the natural world and is characterized by empirical criteria, logical argument and skeptical review. (Nature of Science & Engineering, the Practice of Science, Grades 7 and 8)
-Human activity can change living organisms and ecosystems (Life Science, Grade 7)
-Current and emerging technologies have enabled humans to develop and use models to understand and communicate how natural and designed systems interact. (Nature of Science & Engineering, Interactions Among Science, Technology… and Society, Grade 8)
-Patterns of atmospheric movement influence global climate and local weather. (Earth and Space Science, Interdependence Within the Earth System, Grade 8)

Literacy in Science, selected:

-Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. Support claims with logical reasoning and credible evidence. (Grades 6-8)

-This project was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of UPS Foundation, GE Foundation, Inner Spark Foundation, and The Fernandez Pave the Way Foundation.
-Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).
FFI Contact: Lyndon Torstenson at 651.290. 3030, x232, or e-mail us

Here is a PDF/Printable version of the brochure.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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