Population Education (PopEd) is the only national program with a strong emphasis on curriculum resources and professional development for K-12 educators that focuses on human population issues.
Since 1975, PopEd has developed age-appropriate curricula to complement students’ science and social science instruction about human population trends and their impacts on natural resources, environmental quality, and human well-being.
PopEd staff and volunteers provide hands-on training to 12,000+ teachers and student teachers annually in North America. Tens of thousands of teachers are introducing important population concepts to their students using these outstanding resources and millions of students are benefiting from them.
All Population Education curriculum materials are classroom-tested, rigorously evaluated, and frequently updated to be leaders in their content and approach. They are interdisciplinary, well-suited for a cooperative learning environment and classroom-ready. All of the materials are matched to current national and state academic standards and frameworks.
- PopEd moved all of their teacher-training workshops to a virtual setting, and the demand has been tremendous. As of April 2020, PopEd had presented 20 workshops/webinars this year that included climate change lessons, reaching hundreds of educators who will go on to reach thousands of students.
Lesson Plans and Readings
- Cap and Trade Game
- Carbon Crunch
- Catching Pollution
- Clearing the Air
- Degree of Impact cards
- Disappearing Islands: A Climate Change Wake-up Call
- Energizing Policies
- Generating Heat
- Getting Around
- Let’s Go
- Methane Matters
- Oceans of Problems for the Blue Planet
- Our Changing Climate
- People and Climate Change: The Data Is In
- Pollution: “Made in China”
- The Human Footprint: Air Pollution and Solid Waste
- To Our Health
- This PopEd microsite includes an interactive overlay on our world population map, where students can see the changes in carbon emissions around the world from 1750-2015.
- The microsite also contains the popular climate lesson plan, “Carbon Crunch.” “Carbon Crunch” gives students the chance to discuss environmental concerns throughout history and determine whether different countries are ready to deal with climate change.
- WorldPopulationHistory.org has hosted 500,000 visitors since January 1, 2019, including 154,000 users since January 1, 2020.
Student Video Contest
- One (of three) themes for our World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest this year (2019-2020) was Improving Climate Resiliency. About a third of our entries (over 800) focused on this topic. Winning videos were posted on May 5, 2020, and can be viewed on the World of 7 Billion microsite. This video contest generates quite a bit of local press as well as social media engagement, furthering our impact raising awareness with young people and their communities.
- PopEd sets the stage for future activism, building foundational knowledge that will foster environmental stewardship and action to address our population and climate challenges. To further empower students to take action, PopEd developed an Activism Toolkit for teens, which includes background information on climate issues and activism ideas.
- 3 Ways to Inspire Student Climate Action this Earth Day
- 5 Kid-Friendly Ideas for Teaching Climate Change in Elementary Grades
- 7 Promising Technologies That Could Revolutionize Our Climate
- Contest Reading List: 6 Books on Water Systems, Economic Opportunities, and Climate Resiliency
- Focus on Climate Change – This Month’s PopEd Theme
- How Are Students Advocating for Action on Climate Change?
- How Is Population Growth Connected to Improving Climate Resiliency?
- How Reforestation Can Help Combat the Effects of Climate Change?
- Real-World Solutions for Sustaining Water Systems, Ensuring Economic Opportunities, and Improving Climate Resiliency
- Suburban Sprawl and Climate Change Complicate Wildfire Risk Management in California
- Why Climate Change Is Really About Social Justice
- Why Climate Change Should Not Only Be Taught in Science Classes
- PopEd continues to engage the educational community through social media, promoting our lesson plans and activities dealing with climate change. In April 2020, staff hosted a successful “Twitter chat” to share ideas on teaching climate change in a social studies classroom with teacher groups and state geography alliances.