"Michigan Resources on Climate and Land Change Education (MiRCLE): Linking Virtual Data with Outdoor Hands-on Experience" is a project of the Climate Change Education Solutions Network sponsored by Michigan Space Grant Consortium . Launched in spring 2020, the MIRCLE team has been working with a team of over 30 teachers across the state developing lesson plans and classroom projects integrating educational assets from NASA (e.g. NASA Earth Observatory, NASA Climate Change Vital Signs of the Planet, My NASA Data, NASA Wavelength, and the GLOBE Program) and other online resources (Google Earth, I-Trees, Michiganview, EnviroAtlas, webinars with climate experts, and video presentations . Designed as an online teaching and learning community, MIRCLE provides Michigan-specific place-based interdisciplinary resources teachers integrating online materials and hands-on activities with to Michigan Science Standards (MSS) and Social Studies Standards. This interdisciplinary program is relevant for science, social studies, and humanities teachers, interested to explore climate change and land-use changes through the lenses of environmental equity and justice in their communities. In 2022/23 we plan to integrate MiRCLE digital datasets and online tools with in-person and virtual outdoor experiential learning activities for 6-12-grade students. Examples include virtual outdoor activities, in-person fieldtrips enhanced with digital tools and data, and hands-on activities on GVSU campus, such as GIS Day and Climate Change Education Solutions Summit 2022.
MIRCLE 2022-23project includes series webinars, online data and course materials, virtual field-trips, videos, small-group discussions, and on-demand meetings with GVSU faculty and MIRCLE training team.
- Making state and local connections to educational resources from NASA and other national and international programs (e.g. National Climate Assessment, 2018; IPCC Sp. Rep. “Global Warming 1.5, 2018) through the creation of place-based lesson plans addressing climate change, LCLUC, human vulnerability and equity.
- Clear conceptual map linking these resources directly to Michigan Standards, populated with examples of relevant place-based case studies, classroom activities, and high-impact experiential learning practices.
- Free, open access, grade-appropriate, user-friendly online visualization tools and data to illustrate, monitor and model impacts of climate change on human health, economy and livelihoods.
- To engage minority students and teachers and empower communities in our state, who face environmental injustice due to historical disenfranchisement.
Climate Change Resources for Teachers are in Demand
Land-use and land-cover changes affect local, regional, and global climate processes. Choices about land-use and land-cover patterns have affected and will continue to affect our vulnerability to impacts and risks of climate change.
Land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases and plays a key role in the exchange of energy, water, and aerosols between the land surface and atmosphere. Sustainable land-use planning can contribute to carbon sequestration and reducing the negative impacts of climate change through adaptation strategies.
The integration of these topics is often challenging for middle- and high-school teachers due to their complexity and interdisciplinary nature.
Here's How we Plan to Help
Informed by teachers experience and feedback, GVSU team will integrate case studies on human vulnerability and environmental equity with the MiRCLE online navigation tool developed in 2020-21. These place-based case studies will be illustrated with rich media data, including satellite imagery, climate change scenarios, land use maps, environmental and socio-economic data, and teachers presentations filmed during our final workshop in March 2022. The MiRCLE materials will offer a valuable resource for Michigan teachers both as a set of ready-to-use classroom materials and as an inspiring model for developing future materials of their own.
GVSU Climate Change Education Solutions Network (CCESN) serves as an interdisciplinary platform for the project linking the MiRCLE to GVSU faculty expertise.
Elena Lioubimtseva | MiRCLE Principal Investigator
Sam Bonser | MiRCLE Science Education Specialist
To be redirected to an interactive version of the "MiRCLE Schoolyard Assessment For Climate Resilience" model, either click this icon or the image to the right