The NC Climate Education Network One Year Later: Science, Education, Art, and Community

One year ago we launched the NC Climate Education Network (NCCEN) which aims to connect professionals in the state interested in tackling climate education. From the beginning, NCCEN has sought to be a welcoming space for anyone who is participating in climate education — be they K-12 teachers, environmental educators, or climate scientists performing the occasional outreach event — to learn, ask questions, and share ideas and best practices.

Co-led by the NC State Climate Office and NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources and Division of Air Quality, NCCEN has spent the past 12 months pursuing its goal through a series of regular Virtual Open Houses, email communications, and climate art contests for students

Each Open House seeks to create dialogue across and between attendees and invited panelists, who are content experts about the current month’s topic, through facilitated discussions. To date, NCCEN has explored research based best practices for climate change communication, the state of climate change in North Carolina, how IPCC assessment reports are made, and the role of hurricanes on coastal and inland water ecosystems.

By inviting both educators and experts to join these conversations, NCCEN aims to reduce barriers to obtaining climate science and climate education information while also building relationships among participants. Following each Open House, the recording as well as relevant materials and resources are distributed to attendees and posted to the NCCEN website

Regular evaluations and check-ins with members have helped guide the direction of the Network and we’re excited to continue this work in 2022! We already have a series of Open Houses lined up with topics ranging from coffee to beer to clothing and how these intersect with climate.

View the full list of upcoming 2022 events here

Climate and Art Contest

In fall 2021, the NC Climate Education Network issued a statewide contest inviting K-12 students to create visual art using climate data. Elementary, middle, and high school students from across North Carolina submitted their art, with the contest receiving over 60 art submissions overall. A panel of judges from NC Sea Grant, the NC State Climate Office, and NC Division of Air Quality selected winning entries for each school level, a truly difficult task! 

Winning 2021 NCCEN Climate Data Art Contest entries.
Winning elementary, middle, and high school 2021 NC Climate Education Art Contest entries.

Due to extensive interest, the NCCEN will continue to accept new art submissions throughout 2022 and welcomes educators to share this opportunity with their students. Though no new art submissions will be judged, all art submissions (past and future) will be visible on the statewide art map (note this works best in browsers other than Chrome). Future climate-art contests are planned for late 2022/2023, so stay tuned!

Come join us and the rest of the community over a cup of (virtual) coffee to learn, explore, discuss and enhance your knowledge at our next event with Counter Culture coffee on February 8th!