A new survey by Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication shows that American teens have a weak understanding of climate change.

The survey reveals that only 25 percent of teens received a passing grade (A, B, or C) on a 75 question climate-related knowledge test. Adults did not fare much better, with only 30 percent of adults achieving a passing grade.

Other findings from the survey:

  • 54 percent of teens say that global warming is happening, compared to 63 percent of adults;
  • 35 percent  of teens understand that most scientists think global warming is happening, compared to 39 percent of adults;

One of the explanations offered for teen’s poor performance:

“…although some schools have started teaching about climate change, few teens have ever taken a formal course on the topic, so it is perhaps unsurprising that they lack detailed knowledge about the issue.”

The good news is that help is on the way.

Recognizing the problem,  National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program has developed a Climate Change Connections (CCC)  Curriculum. Created in partnership with NASA, the program aims to:

  1. Improve teacher competency for global climate education
  2. Utilize NASA Earth system data, models and resources to strengthen teaching and learning about global climate change
  3. Help educators understand the connection to STEM standards and application

If you are an educator and want to get involved, NWF is currently seeking educators from Alaska, Atlanta, and Tribal Schools throughout the United States to participate in the 2011 Climate Change Connections Professional Development Institute.

Click here for more information on this all-expenses-paid professional development opportunity in Washington, D.C.