How is climate change taught in high school? It depends on where you live

The sea is everything in Gloucester, Massachusetts: the source of lobsters, livelihoods and tourist dollars. At the same time, rising water as oceans warm is probably the biggest existential threat to the community’s future. Students can see rising water levels quite literally lapping at the doorstep of the city’s public high school.

That’s one reason many of Amanda Pastel’s students in her environmental science class have come eager to learn. On a recent morning, they examined samples of dirt from the schoolyard on the Annisquam River under a microscope to better understand what the soil under their feet is made from – and what is being lost to erosion along the city’s 62 miles of shoreline.

“We are really in danger here on, like, the coast and we have so much water there’s so many communities that would be underwater if the predictions are true,” said Cammi Cooper, 18, a senior. “I think that there isn’t enough urgency. I think we’re just talking about getting bike lanes and and rental bikes all around town and more access to public transportation, and those are good, but not enough.”

Read more from WGBH.

Most Popular