Santosh Zachariah

Preparing students to teach climate change and the greenhouse effect to their communities

2016 Stem Scholar
Shoreline, WA The Evergreen School

Santosh’s Big Idea: An 8 to 10 week project-based learning unit that culminates in a day-long, 8th-grade-organized, campus-wide event to a) showcase their understanding of the factors that drive the earth’s temperature and b) educate the community. Each of the multiple events during the day represents a team’s choice of the format in which they wish to educate a section of the community. The choice of the format and audience of the final product allows all the students to choose things that are meaningful to them. Santosh prepares his students to be effective teachers of climate change to their local communities.

The curricular goal of the unit is to understand the mechanism and drivers of the greenhouse effect. Students will be assessed based on how well they teach what they have learned over the course of the unit.

Interesting facts:  “It has taken 5 years of teaching before I feel ready to try taking on Climate Change in my 8th grade science curriculum.”

In his own words: "When I was considering becoming a teacher (about 8 years ago), I was torn between teaching, and working for a nonprofit on Climate Change. A close friend cut the Gordian knot by asking why I could not do both."