Hickman teacher chosen for national climate change workshop

10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago Sunday, February 24 2019 Feb 24, 2019 Sunday, February 24, 2019 7:48:00 AM CST February 24, 2019 in News
By: Annabel Thorpe, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA – A local high school teacher is one of 10 teachers chosen from across the nation to attend a climate change workshop in Washington, D.C.

Hickman High School's Karen Hibdon leaves this week for the two-day Turning Misinformation Into Educational Opportunities workshop. In its second year, TMEO brings together qualified teachers to develop a teaching curriculum about climate change.

Hibdon and other attendees will work to confront climate change misconceptions from around the country. At TMEO, they will develop five lessons to be used by teachers in classrooms nationwide.

Hibdon will bring back every lesson she learns and designs at the workshop to mid-Missouri.

A workshop liaison and Hibdon will host workshops for teachers in the area. The purpose is to educate teachers and show what resources are out there.

“I get to help focus that (climate change lessons) for us here in mid-Missouri to see what are the likely impacts that climate change is going to have here,” Hibdon said.

Every lesson plan will be vetted and tweaked by Hibdon in her classroom first, so they will be fully ready for immediate use once released.

“She’s going to be able to bring this back not only to Hickman, but to the entire state,” Hickman science teacher Jessie Platto said. “So she’ll be able to share a lot of information with a lot of people.”

Hibdon hopes students learn how to dig into and understand climate change data with these new lessons. She said her goal is to help them realize what the science is actually saying about climate change.

Even “in a nutshell” policy reports are still too complicated, Hibdon said, so she wants to break down information into understandable, useable bites.

The TMEO workshop was born from a similar idea of simplifying data and dispelling misconceptions.

National Center for Science Education and the Pennsylvania State University did a national survey of middle and high school teachers in 2015. They discovered a majority said they had little training or experience in climate science.

According to NCSE, only 40 percent of teachers knew most climate scientists agree human activities are the main cause of climate change. The workshop is a way of combating these misconceptions and teaching pitfalls.

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