CCEP I: Partnership for Education on Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society

Areas of Interest:

Environment, Education, Ethics, Understanding Engineering

Project Type:

Non-FACA Study

Latest Update: August 29, 2014
Areas of Interest: Environment, Education, Ethics, Understanding Engineering
Project Type: Non-FACA Study
Latest Update: July 16, 2014
Primary Contact: Rachelle Hollander

In coming decades, climate change and society’s responses to it will require enormous transformation of the nation’s technological infrastructure. Current US education falls far short of preparing the country for this challenge. Education to meet this challenge must examine the multiple, complex interactions between engineered systems, the Earth’s climate system, and human societies. These sociotechnical systems raise societal challenges, including trade-offs among benefits, costs, and risks, and opportunities for building public trust, confidence, and engagement. New education must integrate the scientific, technical, and societal aspects into learning activities and programs to prepare scientists, engineers, policymakers, and the public to address the challenges.

Project Goals

This NSF funded Phase I Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) focuses on the impacts of climate change for engineered systems.[1] The goal of the partnership is to develop a national network to catalyze, transform, and enhance education on the issues of climate change and engineered systems, including issues of governance, sustainability, justice, trust, and public engagement, to prepare current and future engineers, policymakers, and the public to meet these challenges.

This national education effort is directed toward: 

  • undergraduate engineering education,
  • community colleges,
  • K-12 formal education (emphasizing middle and high school),
  • informal education in science centers, involving children and adults, and
  • professional development education.

Map of CCEP PartnersNational Partners

Arizona State University
Colorado School of Mines
Museum of Science, Boston
National Academy of Engineering
University of Virginia




Project Activities

  • Hold workshops to define and characterize the societal and pedagogical challenges posed by the interactions of climate change, engineered systems and society, and identify the educational efforts that a network could use to enable engineers, teachers, students, policymakers, and the public to meet the challenges:
    • The first workshop focused on the technical and normative dimensions of the issues
    • The second workshop concentrated on the educational dimensions
    • The third workshop incorporated the lessons from the first two workshops, focused on infrastructure systems, and engaged a broad audience.
  • Develop inventories of climate education materials that integrate technical and normative education.
  • Design test-beds for implementing and assessing these materials and approaches.
  • Literature review on climate change and engineered systems and educational strategies

Major Outcomes

  • Expanded network to include a diverse set of communities to improve awareness of climate change and engineered systems complexities and to engage the communities in addressing these challenges.
    • New communities in the partnership include the Alliance for Innovation, leaders in the Native American community, artists communicating science and environmental information, local town and city government officials, science museums across the country, Pennsylvania State University, and Community and Tribal Colleges.

[1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (Award #1043289)



Project Status
Final Report

The Climate Change Educational Partnership: Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society

RELEASE DATE: August 28, 2014


This report summarizes three workshops on the interactions of climate change with engineered systems in society and the educational efforts needed to address them. The report includes discussion on ...

Open Report

Project Sponsor

National Science Foundation