A useful resource for educators and partner groups working to find sustainable solutions to water and energy needs in a changing climate. 

International Rivers used the grant from APE to create a ‘Climate Change and Rivers Toolkit’ for educators and activists based on our Google Earth Video on dams, rivers and climate change.

Production of Climate Change and Rivers Toolkit

Specifically, we have produced the main lesson plan and associated materials in the toolkit, which can be viewed and downloaded here. The toolkit contains the lesson plan, extension ideas, teacher slides and photos, infographic, and factsheet.

Review and Distribution of Toolkit

The lesson plan was reviewed by three teachers: a geography teacher at a middle school, an environmental science teacher, and a university-level environmental educator. It was also piloted with two middle school geography classes in Berkeley, California.                                                     

We decided on a two-phased approach to the toolkit’s distribution: 

Phase I, regional partner networks: The toolkit has been sent out via email, our website, and our social networking sites. We are actively working with our regional staff to promote this in our regional NGO and community networks.

Phase II, teacher networks: in order to have more languages ready to share with teachers in our key regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, Amazon, Himalayas), and in order to attract teachers who will be starting to create lesson plans for the next school year. We will email our educator’s list towards the end of June, and conduct outreach to over 20 online curriculum websites/databases and organizations, including Encyclopedia of Earth, National Geographic, iTunes U, and Google Earth Education.

Translations of Toolkit

The factsheet of the toolkit is currently available in five languages. The remaining components are currently in English only.

We plan on translating the toolkit into Spanish, French, Chinese, Hindi, and Turkish. We also have commitments for translations into Portuguese, Tagalog, German, Russian, and Greek. Specifically:

  • A German university is interested in using the toolkit as part of a school contest on the “Big Jump Challenge,” a European NGO initiative to draw attention to the importance of healthy rivers.
  • A college physics professor plans to translate the toolkit into Tagalog and a local language for dissemination on the island province of Catanduanes, Philippines.
  • The Russian NGO, Taiga Research and Protection Agency, plans to translate and distribute it as part of its education and outreach activities around protecting the Tom River (a tributary of the Ob).
  • A new environmental education NGO on the island of Crete, Greece, will translate the toolkit and use it as part of their workshops on water for adults and secondary school students.
  • A long-time partner of ours in Uganda, the National Association of Professional Environmentalists, plans to translate the toolkit into local languages and use within their community capacity-building activities. 

Additional activities

  • We plan to explore creating an online forum for educators to share feedback on their implementation of the toolkit, including new ideas, how they adapted the toolkit to fit the local context, and how climate change would affect their local community.
  • We plan to distribute an evaluation form along with the Phase II launch, and track the implementation of the toolkit throughout the year. The toolkit may be updated, and new regional versions created, as a result of our collaboration with partner groups and educators. These will be made available on our website as they become finalized.

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