Miami Youth Tackle World Climate Project

by Karla Utting

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and its Upward Bound program, Dream in Green, and Breakthrough Miami have joined forces to implement the World Climate Project to benefit students from middle and high schools in Miami Dade County while building awareness of the greatest challenge facing humanity, climate change. The Project is an initiative launched by the White House on August 20 to provide resources to organizations to confidently lead people in thought-provoking, mock-UN events that simulate the United Nations climate talks to be held later this year in Paris.

“Climate change is an ongoing conversation amongst the museum’s Upward Bound program students and every opportunity to educate and engage the students on this topic is always welcome,” said Mickael Charles, Director of Upward Bound at Frost Science.

The Miami organizations, in partnership with local climate scientists, will implement the World Climate Exercise that is the cornerstone of this effort. The preliminary plan is to engage middle and high school children in a role-playing simulation around the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris that will run from November 30 through December 11, 2015. The students will experience what it is like to negotiate a climate deal, and the trade-offs associated with efforts to keep global temperatures from increasing 2°C. The initiative will involve 180 middle and high school students participating in Upward Bound and Breakthrough Miami’s programs in the negotiations component of the exercise. High school students and members of school Green Teams participating in the Dream in Green Academy will be selected to act as mentors and host a ‘genius’ table, providing guidance to the participating middle and high school students. Materials will be provided by the World Climate Project to guide the exercise.

As world leaders prepare to gather for these vitally important talks, Miami will do its part by engaging middle and high school students to think creatively for solutions to this global challenge.

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