Author:
Cheryl Lydon
Subject:
Environmental Science, Health, Medicine and Nursing, Information Science, Environmental Studies, Education, Biology, Ecology, Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Module
Level:
High School
Tags:
  • Climate Science
  • Real-world Data
  • SEP 4
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Using the Washington Tracking Network to Study Climate Impacts

    Using the Washington Tracking Network to Study Climate Impacts

    Overview

    These five modules introduce secondary science teachers to a powerful resource, from the Washington State Department of Health, entitled the “Washington Tracking Network” (WTN).  This is a tool for mapping (a) the distribution of numerous factors that influence public health, and (b) the inequitable distribution of health outcomes. This wonderful system naturally invites us to inquire about the intersections of biological, societal, and environmental issues. The overarching goal of these five  modules is to support teachers to design student activities that (1) inspire and connect students to real world health & environmental data, and each other, (2) promote clean air, land, and water, (3) promote the use of the Washington Tracking Network data mapping system, (4) support equitable, 3-dimensional learning, including the use of community wisdom to solve public health issues, and (5) use science for student action and leadership in response to current and historical misuses of science. 

    These modules were created in collaboration with epidemiologists and communications professionals from the Washington Department of Health.

    Module 1: Asthma & Wildfires: Human Story + Scientific Story

    Storyline for this module:

    1. Set the tone with Rachel Carson’s words from Silent Spring.

    2. Human Story → Mother cares for 5-year-old child with asthma.

      1. Read the story in NYT.

      2. Understand the story in terms of intersecting factors: vulnerability, social conditions, environmental stressors, climate change

    3. Pose Key Questions for this Module

    4. WTN Data Maps → make sense of the map & explore it yourself.

      1. WTN Climate & Health Map: Wildfires

      2. WTN Health Map: Asthma Hospitalizations

    5. Read more about how wildfire impacts people:

      1. Article at Inside Climate News

      2. Information pages at WTN

      3. WTN Health Map: Air Quality → Particulate Matter 2.5 micrometers

    6. Explore the WTN information and data pages related to Wildfire, Asthma, and Particulate Matter.

    7. Revisit the Key Questions for this Module

    8. Conclude the module with Gina McCarthy’s words (essay in the book, All We Can Save.)

    9. Foreshadow Module 2: Using WTN to explore climate change and pregnancy

    This introductory module uses a real life story from the New York Times to show how Washington Tracking Network (WTN) can be used to investigate and learn about a public health issue. In Portland, Oregon, Rachel Murphy cares for her daughter Cora’s childhood asthma while steering clear of dangerous wildfire smoke that is blanketing the Pacific Northwest. The module shows several examples of Washington State map data and invites the user to open, explore, and look for patterns across time and location within each and between the data maps including Wildfire Distribtuion, Asthma Hospitalizations, and Particulate Matter (2.5μm). While leading the user through the exploration, the module highlights the narrative information in WTN about each type of data.

    Module 2: Climate Change & Pregnancy

    Storyline for this module:

     

    1. Emotional impacts of climate change

      1. Survey of childless adults

      2. NonnaPaura & the Bureau of Linguistical Reality

    2. Focus on Women

      1. Quotes: Climate change & public health

      2. Sexism in Science: What does it look like? How do you want to show up for this investigation? 

    3. Human Story → (Vogue) Black maternal health care crisis; multiple research stories on climate change and pregnancy impacts

    4. Pose Key Questions for this Module

    5. WTN Data Maps → make sense of the map & explore it yourself.

      1. WTN map: Extreme Heat since 2000

      2. WTN map: Perinatal Mortality

      3. WTN map: Low Birth Weight

    6. Reading: more factors and impacts (Mepage today & Doctor’s bulletin)

      1. Factors: air pollution, PM2.5, drought…

      2. Impacts: preterm birth, mother’s health

      3. Explore the WTN information and data pages related to Wildfire, Asthma, and Particulate Matter.

    7. Revisit the Key Questions for this Module

    8. Conclude the module with Alice Walker’s poem, “Calling All Grand Mothers”

    9. Foreshadow Module 3: Using Information by Location maps

    This second module investigates the problem of climate change impacts on pregnant women and their babies.

    This investigation is framed with (1) growing public concern for future generations, (2) patterns of sexism in science, and (3) medical articles.  The module shows several examples of Washington State map data and invites the user to open, explore, and look for patterns across time and location within each and between the data maps: Extreme Heat, Perinatal Mortality, and Low Birth Weight.

    Module 3: IBL (Information by Location) Mapping and Community Engagement

    Storyline for this module:

    1. Health factors & disparities

      • Elicit initial ideas about health factors → check with CDC’s health determinants

      • Why does Zip Code impact your health?

        • Introduce some social factors that influence health

    2. What’s Going on Here? → Why people live where they do

      • Tacoma 1929 redlining map - explore the map

      • Read some Area Descriptors

      • Read “Redlining in NYC” → How does redlining 90 years ago influence public health today?

      • More on Redlining (The Color of Law, Rothstein)

      • Excerpt from Cameron Russell: “fence-line” communities

    3. Pose Key Questions for this Module

    4. Climate change & public health (King Co. poster) → describe climate impacts affecting your community.

    5. So far, we used WTN in a few “data stories”...

    • Wildfire & asthma

    • Climate change & pregnancy

    • Next, we can use WTN’s “Information by Location” maps to identify and investigate community climate change issues

    1. Use Information by Location to explore climate impacts in your community

      • Use community wisdom to gain knowledge and take action.

      • A simple framework for Community Engagement

    2. Seek community input: What kinds of questions to ask? → e.g. Questions

    1. It’s common for people to hear about (e.g.) low birth weight and mortality, and then to “blame the victim” → e.g. remarks from people who do not live in fenceline communities:

      • These data patterns probably reflect low education...they didn’t work hard enough in school.

      • They should move someplace where there is better medical care.

    2. What do we want people who say these things to know? → (e.g.) Build a respectful counternarrative that’s based on evidence.

      • What factors are people ignoring / not aware of?

      • What other information do you need to collect in order to prepare a “counternarrative” to these kinds of remarks?

    3. Excerpts from Bob Marley: “Get Up, Stand Up”

    4. Recap the Key Questions for this Module

    5. Foreshadow Module 4: SEP #4 - What it’s about, and what it’s not about

    This third module uses two key resources to investigate the impacts of climate change in local communities (1) WTN’s Information by Location (IBL) mapping tool, and (2) community wisdom held by people living there. A simple routine supports learners to take action in a way that respects the wisdom and needs of the community. This module begins by introducing two kinds of foundational knowledge: first, public health is the product of biological and social factors (determinants), and second, 20th century laws and policies now known as “redlining” created conditions that restricted housing access for people of color. The impacts of redlining are still operating today: polluted environments, deficient home ownership, distance from employment, and education disparities.

    Module 4: Analyze and Interpret Data (NGSS SEP 4) with the Washington Tracking Network (WTN)

    Storyline for this module:

    1. Opening remarks--teaching at the intersection of...

      • 3-dimensional science learning

      • Equitable engagement of students

      • Phenomenon-driven science learning

      • Analyzing-interpreting mapping data in the Washington Tracking Network (public health data)

    2. What SEP.4 is NOT...and what it is

      • Low-level data tasks vs. “very particular things” that scientists do with data

      • Key features of SEP.4

      • Equity Principles related to classroom and local community

    3. Classroom Equity & Environmental Justice in the Community

      • Long histories of sexism and racism in science

      • What does this look like in STEM professions? In the classroom?

      • Use Science for Justice

    4. “Teaching in a World of Messy Data”

      • Limited Uses of data vs. More Authentic Uses of data

    5. Three “flashbacks” Looking for SEP.4 + Equity + Enviro-Justice in WTN modules 1, 2 & 3:

      • Module 1: Wildfires, Asthma, Air Quality

      • Module 2: Climate Change, Pregnancy, Birth Outcomes

      • Module 3: Environmental Health Disparities → Seeking Community Wisdom

    6. Encouragements to engage in action

      • Action-Oriented Organizations: find one that resonates with you

      • Inspiring voices from NAACP and scientific poetry

    7. Foreshadow Module 5: “Grow Your Own Student Activities with WTN”

    This module dives deeply into the NGSS Science & Engineering Practice #4 (SEP.4): Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Like all Science & Engineering Practices, Analyzing and Interpreting Data 

    depends on equitable collaboration in the context of our inherently inequitable American society. This module supports teachers who want to operate at the intersection of:

    • 3-dimensional science learning

      • Analyzing & Interpreting Data, integrated with science reasoning (Crosscutting Concepts) and Core Ideas of science

    • Equitable engagement in 3-dimensional science learning

      • Learning to identify and disrupt inequitable conditions in classrooms and local communities

    • Phenomenon-driven science learning, especially with identifying and solving environmental health disparity problems

      • Learning to use the WA Dept of Health’s public health data/mapping system: Washington Tracking Network

    Module 5: Grow Your Own Student Activities with the Washington Tracking Network (WTN)

    Storyline for this module:

    1. Principles and Inspirations

    2. Shape tasks / activities framed for Science & Engineering Practice #4, “Analyzing & Interpreting Data.” (see Mod 4) 

    3. Use public health / climate change issues to pose human problems. (see Mod 1-3) 

    4. Use WTN (Washington Tracking Network) / IBL maps (Information by Location) as tools for…(see Mod 1-4) 

      • Pose problems

      • Analyze problems

      • Design and communicate solutions

    5. Support student capacity to pursue a range of justice-centered actions to promote solutions to community problems. (see Mod 4)

    6. Teacher resource banks for designing student tasks / activities

     


    Goals-Purposes for Module 5

    We want student activities that:

    1. Support human connections and student inspiration.

    2. Promote clean air, land and water as a pathway to…

      1. Drawdown CO2 from Earth’s atmosphere.

      2. Environmental Justice.

      3. Social Justice.

    3. Promote the use of Washington Tracking Network for data literacy.

    4. Support equitable, 3-dimensional engagement while using community wisdom to understand and design solutions to public health issues. 

    5. Use science for action & leadership that responds to current/historical misuses of science. 

     

    This module gives sharp attention to framing student activities that (1) inspire and connect students, (2) promote clean air, land, and water, (3) promote the use of the Washington Tracking Network data mapping system, (4) support equitable, 3-dimensional learning, including the use of community wisdom to solve public health issues, and (5) use science for student action and leadership in response to current and historical misuses of science. To further assist teachers who want to design such activities, this module contains organized excerpts and an image bank from all WTN Modules.