Supporting Community Engagement and Effective Science Communication
Over the years, NCSE has developed and field-tested many climate change and evolution activities, from The Evolution of the Flu to Rising Tides. They’ve been used effectively across the country, engaging thousands of participants to help them overcome misconceptions and misinformation they may have about evolution and climate change. Detailed descriptions of each activity are available online, including how-to videos and resource lists. (Note: You are responsible for purchasing any necessary materials beyond what is downloadable. We strive to make the materials as affordable and accessible as possible.)
Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, oh my! Explore the evolution of flight with a phylogenetic tree of prehistoric and living creatures. Use character-trait observations and DNA sequences as evidence to re-create the tree and solve the mystery.
Misconceptions about evolution are addressed in Geology Park as participants must travel a scaled model of deep time. In addition to exploring the radiations of important phylogenetic groups, participants can also collect data useful in reconstructing the past.
Mammals exhibit remarkable variety in their sense of hearing; from elephants communicating with infrasonic sounds to bats navigating their environment through echolocation calls at ultrasonic frequencies, many non-human mammals hear outside the typical human hearing range.
This project uses Climatograms to determine change in precipitation over the last 100 years, using Pittsburgh, PA as a reference point. Participants pick a time point and build the precipitation for that year using counting cubes.
The activity, Climate Change on File: Trees as Environmental Secretaries, describes many environmental conditions that trees rely on and face and how they become recorded in their wood. The activity focuses on the relationship between precipitation and growth-ring size in trees.
"Star Grazing" is about understanding the impacts of rising temperatures on the nutrient cycle of marine life. In this activity, participants discover that sea star populations are decreasing while mussel populations rise, which causes biodiversity to decrease overall.
Engage in a climate-health discussion focused on the spread of West Nile virus, transmitted by mosquitoes which flourish during the warmer, wetter conditions brought about by climate change. At the conclusion of the activity, participants create a climate-health emoji.
Mosquito populations are predicted to extend their ranges to new areas as a result of climate change. This brings about concerns for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, Zika, and West Nile.
Many cities act as urban heat islands, significantly warmer than their surrounding areas due to human activities. Our warming climate will only make these cities hotter, leading to intense heat waves and lowered quality of life.
Warming oceans and melting landlocked ice caused by global climate change may result in rising sea levels. This rise in sea level combined with increased intensity and frequency of storms will produce storm surges that flood subways, highways and homes.
Become a DIYSci Affiliate
DIYSci Affiliates (formerly Science Booster Clubs) lead science activities in communities that may not have strong connections to science learning opportunities. Run by local volunteers, DIYSci Affiliates hold activities in publicly accessible places, such as libraries, farmers’ markets, and community centers. DIYSci Affiliates can make use of fully stocked activity kits sent quarterly by NCSE, as well as any of the materials available for download on this page. Love science and communicating science with kids? Then consider organizing a DIYSci Affiliate.