Polar bears are closer than you think! Our new mini-course helps teachers explore the relationship between polar bears and the sea ice they depend on.

© Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures

7/11/2013 6:42:24 PM

PBI Partners with the HP Catalyst Academy

Polar bears and climate change will find a place in classrooms this fall thanks to our new partnership with the HP Catalyst Academy. We've developed a free, online mini-course, Polar Bears in a Changing Climate, that's now in the beta stage on the HP Catalyst Academy website. Thirty educators from around the world are helping us test it out.

The self-paced course follows Next Generation Standards and provides teachers with training and resources related to STEMx content (education focused on science, technology, engineering, math, computer science, and other high tech, 21st-century skills).

"The mini-course offers activities and lessons that communicate the science on climate change and its impact on polar bears," says Leah Knickerbocker, one of the two educators who developed the course. "It's designed for busy teachers looking for an innovative approach to STEMx educational content."

Participants will be able to earn and display badges that reflect their accomplishments and what they have learned. They'll also be able to interact directly with polar bear scientists and climate change experts.

We're lucky to have Julene Reed and Leah Knickerbocker guiding the course. Julene has served on PBI's Advisory Council since 2008. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, the director of our Tundra Connections program, and a member of Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Advisory Council.  She is also the director of academic technology at St. George's Independent School in Tennessee. 

Leah Knickerbocker is the assistant director of education at PBI. She has been working & volunteering for PBI since 2011. She guides all of our educational programs and curriculum. Her experience as a science educator is bolstered by a master's degree in science education and a strong background with both formal and informal science education.

The mini-course will include a live Google Hangout with PBI's chief scientist, Dr. Steven C. Amstrup. Additionally, PBI has partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity on the content. The Center works to protect endangered species and wild places.  

The HP Catalyst Academy is a partnership between HP, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the New Media Consortium (NMC).

To learn more about the course, including future dates, visit the HP Catalyst Academy website.

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