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Introduction to Earth's Climate

What’s the difference between weather and climate? Is the climate REALLY changing? Has the climate changed in the past? How do we know?

Perhaps you have questions like these.  Or perhaps you have heard similar questions from students, colleagues, administrators, or parents.  This course is designed to guide participants through the basics of climate science, weaving content, classroom activities, and community-building discussions to help middle and high school educators understand the answers to common questions about climate.  Through this online course you will have the opportunity to explore the science of Earth’s climate and connect with resources to help you include climate in your science classroom.  This course serves as the introduction to the Climate Discovery series.


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This course is the first part of Climate Discovery, a series of six-week courses for middle and high school educators. The course offerings include:

What is an NCAR Online Education course?

The online courses, instructed by science education specialists incorporate information about state-of-the-art research and modeling efforts of nationally renowned climate scientists with classroom tested science inquiry activities. The online course experience features a high level of interactivity, tools for assessment , and effective community-building interactive technologies. We encourage teachers to tailor design and immediately apply their learning to the task of enriching their standards-aligned science curriculum for the benefit of all levels of students.

Still have questions about NCAR Online Education courses?

View our Frequently Asked Questions page.