Frequently Asked Questions
Both Susan and Christophe have professional experience in the classroom. Christophe was Director of Orchestras at the University of Puget Sound from 2000 to 2010 and completely revamped their curriculum. Susan was a teaching assistant and then an instructor at the University of Washington, where she taught applied statistics to students from the fisheries, forestry, oceanography and environmental sciences departments and was nominated for a Distinguished Teaching Award. They also have children ranging from 4 years old to 17 years old who are public school students, which gives them first hand knowledge of curriculum being used from elementary through high school.
The construction of Terra Nostra strongly parallels the topical progression in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) physical, earth, and life science standards. Early imagery shows the Big Bang, followed with images of the pristine Earth. Ancient human civilizations, historical images, and musical quotes trace the passage of time. As the Industrial Revolution is introduced, the music’s intensity and rhythmic pace increase. Photographs illustrate how human societies are currently affecting and affected by Earth’s changing climate. Droughts, hurricanes, and pollution are shown at regional and local levels, as are consequences on ecosystems and people, especially those from marginalized communities. Terra Nostra closes with imagery showing how individuals and communities prepare for further consequences of climate change, as well as how we can decrease the impact humans are having on the natural world.
We are working on interdisciplinary curriculum and designing the next version of the website to allow people of different ages and scientific expertise levels to learn more. The "Help Wanted" section of this campaign offers opportunities for schools and teachers to partner with us. We can add a new way of engaging with existing curricula from sources such as Facing the Future and Eco-Schools USA, among others. We welcome suggestions from teachers to find creative ways to do just that. (And some have already approached us via this Kickstarter campaign!)
The images in Terra Nostra were selected to inspire open ended inquiry, and each image sequence can be explored at increasing levels of complexity. In grade school, the image of a whale shark could inspire a student to learn about the planktonic food web. A middle school student can use that same image and incorporate how the planktonic food web is responding to ocean acidification and make predictions about how those populations may continue to change. By high school, students can use mathematical models to make quantitative statements about ecosystem carrying capacity and biodiversity.
Climate change does not affect all regions or demographics equally. Students studying human sustainability can also consider environmental justice and equity by learning where the consequences of climate change are felt most strongly and how historical and contemporary policies have either exacerbated or ameliorated those effects, including in their own communities. Terra Nostra can be a springboard for interdisciplinary explorations of climate change, tying language and visual arts, social studies, and science, and allow all students to give voice to what they experience in their worlds.
As part of a pilot study, we gave pre- and post-viewing questionnaires about the hazards of climate change (using a Pew survey) to 31 college students at the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington. The students were 15 men, aged 19-50 years, and 16 women, aged 20-41 years, representing a wide range of majors. The maximum concern level was a score of 12, and 12 students had that score when taking the pre-test. We saw a statistically significant increase in the perceived risk level for their lifetime after seeing Terra Nostra (one-sided Wilcoxon signed ranks test, p ~ 0.0264). We found that individuals who saw Terra Nostra thought about climate change more personally. They asked better questions, were ready to learn more about the issues, and wanted to know what they can do in practice. They wanted to be involved in changing the trajectory we’re on.Last updated:
Don't see the answer to your question? Ask the project creator directly.Ask a question