Curriculum: Video

Climate Education in an Age of MediaClimate in the Age of Media Project (CAM), a NASA funded climate education initiative, developed and tested curriculum materials around several different media projects that you can incorporate into your curriculum. We have found the CAM approach of integrating media production into climate change education to be very effective at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate student levels.  The lessons below evolved out of this work.
Why use video production in your courses?


In this media project, students create a video that documents unrehearsed interviews with multiple persons-on-the-street about a specific question or issue in climate science. To produce a compelling product, students will need to both understand the underlying science themselves, and be able to conduct and document a series of interviews to elicit interviewees' understanding of the science as well.

For mash-ups, students research a climate change science topic in the primary literature, write a narration, and use existing visuals and media resources to create a 4-5 minute media piece that explains their topic. This assignment can be done with minimal use of in-class time. It does not include shooting film, so the only resources needed are computers and editing software, although a microphone and audio editing software can be helpful.

Producing a PSA is an ideal culminating project for an interdisciplinary course on climate change and related topics. The PSA assignment requires high-level synthesis of content and, through it, students learn first-hand about the challenges of communicating about climate change to a general audience in a compelling way. The assignment offers the opportunity for students to engage with the material, consider what they want society to understand or do, use creativity and twenty-first century technology and communication tools, and become empowered to enter societal discourse about climate change.

PSAs are short (typically one minute) pieces delivering a message to raise awareness, influence or change attitudes and behavior of a defined audience. This format is especially appropriate for a cross-disciplinary course in climate change, in which the relationship between climate change science and broader society is a recurring theme. These projects require significant time commitments in which team members work together, which may be a barrier to implementing them in a typical one-hour class period format unless students commit to doing some of the production work during out of school time.

Student working on papermation of climate system

Created using paper cut-outs, clay, or drawn on whiteboards, animation can provide an effective means to convey abstract scientific concepts and dynamic systems. Here, minimal class time and resources are necessary. The production and post-production component of the project can be completed within 3-4 hours and only a still camera and tripod are needed.