ASK Florida Climate Education


ask-fl-cocorahsWhat is ASK Florida?

NASA funded Advancing Student Knowledge Through Teacher Education (known as “ASK Florida”) to increase middle school teachers’ content knowledge in climate change science and their ability to identify and use scientific and teaching tools to incorporate climate education in the classroom. ASK Florida was conducted during 2010-2013. Teachers participated in a four-day summer workshop and two two-day workshops during the school year. Workshop content was rich in science, data, and use of climate science resources; workshops were not “make-and-take.” Teachers developed and taught at least one climate lesson using the 5E model, worked individually with coaches, and interacted with other teachers, science educators, and scientists throughout the year. An optional two-day workshop was offered the following summer.

Content and methods were built on current standards and best practice, including K-12 climate literacy standards, national science standards, Florida’s state standards, national PD standards, and content-specific pedagogy, such as inquiry learning and targeting to specific assessment results. The content related local, Florida, and Southeastern U.S. topics to global topics. The major climate change topic areas are Climate Fundamentals, Energy Transfer and Climate, Weather and Climate, Causes of Climate Change, Humans and Climate Change, Hurricanes, Sea Level, and Sinkholes. Effective teaching methods were embedded throughout.


Teaching Materials

The following materials may be downloaded here as a zip file (238 MB) and used for replicating the ASK Florida program. The materials are prepared in Microsoft® applications (Word®, PowerPoint®, Excel®); videos and audios can be run using a variety of applications. They are organized in a series of folders. The high-level folders are:

• ASK Florida Preparation & Coordination

The information here is critical to successful implementation.

• Coaching in ASK Florida

This folder details important aspects of this essential component of ASK Florida.

• Content Resources

This folder contains a separate file for each of nine resources providing science content background, including: Glossary; Introduction; The Differences Between Weather and Climate; Energy Transfer and Climate; Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations; Causes of Climate Change; Humans and Climate Change; Sea Level; and Sinkholes. Facilitator agendas indicate the point at which each of these content resources should be distributed.


The master folder for each workshop contains facilitator agendas for the workshops, facilitator guides for delivery, and participant handouts and worksheets:

• Workshop 1 (Summer 1, Days 1-4)

Day 1: Introduction to Climate Change Education

Day 2: The Differences between Weather and Climate; Energy Transfer and Climate; Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations

Day 3: Causes of Climate Change

Day 4: Humans and Climate Change; Tools for the Classroom & Wrap-Up

• Workshop 2 (Fall, Days 5-6)

Day 5: Hurricanes

Day 6: Sea Level

• Workshop 3 (Spring, Days 7-8)

Day 7: Facts, Misconceptions, & Lesson Showcase; Sinkholes & Lesson Showcase

Day 8: Lesson Showcase; Ask the Scientists & Feedback on Lessons

• Workshop 4 (Summer 2, Days 9-10)

Day 9: Breaking the Ice; Climate Science Update; Environmental Minute; Participants Share Classroom Experiences; Climate Lingo Bingo; Elevator Speeches; Blogging about Climate Change; Environmental Minute

Day 10: Climate Change Education in a Standards-based Classroom; Create an Environmental Minute; Climate Fiction; NASA Quiz: Global Temperature

• XYZs of ASK Florida – Contributors, Background, History, Experiences, Suggestions

This folder contains complete information on the background, developers, contributors, and initial participating school districts.


 ASK Florida was a project of The University of South Florida Coalition for Science Literacy (CSL) & The Florida State University Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) and was developed with funds from NASA Innovations in Climate Education Grant NNX10AB61A, 2010-2013.

For more information, contact PI JoEllen Carlson (University of South Florida; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or co-PI Mark Bourassa (Florida State University; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or visit