Educational Partnership on Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society

Areas of Interest:

Environment, Education, Ethics, Understanding Engineering

Project Type:

Non-FACA Study

Latest Update: March 21, 2013
This award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the US National Academy of Engineering establishes a Phase I Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) in collaboration with Arizona State University, Museum of Science-Boston, University of Virginia, Colorado School of Mines, and the Phoenix Union High School District. The award focuses thematically on the impacts of climate change for engineered systems. The goal is to catalyze and transform engineering education in K-12, science museums, and undergraduate engineering departments to prepare current and future engineers, policymakers, and the public to meet these challenges. For more information see Climate Resources on the OEC. The NAE OEC provides the primary site where materials associated with the project are housed.
Primary Contact: Rachelle Hollander
202.334.3068

This award to the US National Academy of Engineering establishes a Phase I Climate Change Educational Partnership (CCEP) in collaboration with Arizona State University, Museum of Science-Boston, University of Virginia, Colorado School of Mines, and the Phoenix Union High School District. The overall goal of CCEP Phase I is to establish a coordinated national network of regionally- or thematically-based partnerships devoted to increasing the adoption of effective, high quality educational programs and resources related to the science of climate change and its impacts. This award focuses thematically on the impacts of climate change for engineered systems. The goal is to catalyze and transform engineering education in K-12, science museums, and undergraduate engineering departments to prepare current and future engineers, policymakers, and the public to meet these challenges.

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. Technically, educational platforms must focus on the multiple, complex interactions between engineered systems and the Earth’s climate system. At the same time, transformation raises societal challenges, including trade-offs among benefits, costs, and risks, and opportunities for building public trust, confidence, and engagement. New education must integrate technical and normative learning, knowledge, and skills, in formal and informal educational venues.

This partnership will develop a comprehensive vision focused on three themes: (1) climate impacts on engineered systems and their adaptation; (2) changes in engineered systems required to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; and (3) the creation of novel technological systems to engineer the Earth’s climate system. Cutting across these themes, it will examine normative challenges of: (1) governance; (2) justice; (3) sustainability; and (4) public engagement and trust. It will reach out to engineering professional societies, engineering educators and deans, K-12 educators, informal science institutions, industry, non-governmental organizations, media, and policymakers. Working with the Phoenix Union High School District, whose 25,000 students are 78% Hispanic, 10% African American, and 3.2% Native American, allows the Partnership to devise appealing programs for students of diverse backgrounds.

Phase I involves an experienced interdisciplinary team with a broad institutional base, an independent evaluator, a group of senior advisors, and an external advisory board. Working groups, organized by theme and target audience, focus on undergraduate engineering education, K-12 education, informal technology education, and professional engineering education for industry. One or more content working groups focus on developing an inventory of climate education materials integrating technical and normative education. By the end of Phase I, the Partnership will have marshaled a broad network of stakeholders from the target audiences and submitted a proposal to NSF for Phase II. It will have published and disseminated material from the three thematic meetings, as well as results from the project working groups, so content and approaches needed to initiate new formal and informal educational efforts are widely available.      

More on This
  • [Event]

    January 28, 2013 – January 30, 2013

    Arizona State University,

    Tempe, AZ

    Climate Change and America's Infrastructure: Engineering, Social, and Policy Challenges

    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the vulnerability of US infrastructure and communities to climate change is increasingly visible to policymakers, publics, engineers, and educators. We are convening national leaders in climate adaptation, city management, engineering systems, public ... Read More

  • [Event]

    October 18, 2011 – October 19, 2011

    House of Sweden,

    Washington, D.C.

    CCEP Workshop 2: Networking Educational Priorities for Climate, Engineered Systems, and Society

    The second workshop on October 18-19, 2011, at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC focuses on education about the interactions among climate and social and technological systems. This workshop provided an opportunity to learn about and develop new content standards for education surrounding engineering and climate change and network with other visionaries in this field. Read More

  • [Event]

    June 7, 2011 – June 8, 2011

    Huntington Room at the Beckman Center of the National Academies,

    Irvine, CA

    CCEP Workshop 1: Climate, Society, and Technology

    The National Academy of Engineering--in collaboration with Arizona State University, the Boston Museum of Science, the University of Virginia, and the Colorado School of Mines--held the first of two planned workshops on June 7th and 8th at the Beckman Center at the University of California, ... Read More

  • [Blog]

    Leadership Team Collaboration

    For CCEP leadership team use only. This page and its subpages help to organize communication and material shared between group members. Read More

    Latest Update: 2 years and 11 months ago

  • [Press Release]

    September 15, 2010

    NAE Wins NSF Award to Examine Impacts of Climate Change on Engineered Systems

    The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announces an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project to improve the nation’s abilities to deal with the impacts of climate change on engineering infrastructure such as bridges, levees, and energy production plants. Arizona ... Read More

Project Status
In Progress
Project Sponsor

National Science Foundation