New Climate Change STEM Curriculum Has Been Published By Alejandro Mundo and the Climate Change Research Initiative at NASA

In a timely manner and with great anticipation, a new STEM unit plan titled "Urban Surface Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effects" has been recently published by educator and scientist, Alejandro Mundo, as a publication from the Climate Change Research Initiative at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The new applied-research STEM curriculum unit plan has the purpose of igniting the interests of formal and informal educators, diverse institutions and high school students in climate change topics as well as engage everyone in investigating the Urban Heat Island phenomenon and its effects on major cities and other settings.

"After months of constructing and developing this unit plan, I'm so thrilled to present this published STEM unit plan with NASA. I am sure that this is a unique resource to any educator or institution, whether you want to start from the basics and have students dive into climate change evidence or involve students in research experiences on the Urban Heat Island effects locally. I am grateful for this opportunity and want to invite everyone to access it today," says author Alejandro Mundo.

This curriculum was not just published as another educational resource from a teacher's perspective, but from the scientific research experiences in which Mundo was involved in previous months of working with scientist experts in the field. His scientific research under Dr. Christian Braneon focuses on environmental sustainability and climate change. He's focused on understanding the climate processes that affect urban environments, like the Urban Heat Island phenomenon, using remote sensing like satellite imagery to study past and present distributions of land surface temperatures in several locations including Durban, Africa, Chicago, IL or New York City, NY.

Furthermore, this unit plan was reviewed and recommended for publication by NASA's Science Mission Directorate which involved a variety of educators and scientists who closely reviewed each piece of this work. This unit plan includes diverse topics in the following areas:

—Climate Change
—Remote Sensing
—Satellite Imagery
—Climate Variability
—Urban Heat Island
—Land Surface Temperatures
—Urban Heat Island Effects and Mitigation

Whether if it's videos, readings, presentations, simulations, articles, research opportunities, or assessments, this unit plan has them all. Educators will find many free and ready-to-use NASA resources that they can bring into their classrooms. It even includes detailed lesson instructions, worksheets, sample answer worksheets and its alignment to local (New York State) standards and the Next Generation of Science Standards.

Since it has been published at the beginning of this year, this unit plan of 4 lesson plans and a capstone project, has already been featured at the Space Exploration Educators Conference, American Geophysical Union, and to diverse NASA networks in the United States and abroad.

Access the recently-published unit plan at no cost by clicking on the image below.

In regards to the timing of this unit plan publication and the current pandemic, Mundo adds, "If we think that COVID-19 or the economic crisis is a major problem, just wait. The thing is that we can't just wait to do something about climate change. Climate change is the dress rehearsal of what will come within this climate emergency. We must involve everyone in climate change conversations and implementing this unit plan in schools and institutions is a good start."

Alejandro Mundo is an educator and associate researcher on the Earth Observation Applications for Resiliency research project from the Climate Change Research Initiative at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Inspiring and engaging, Alejandro positively impacts students, colleagues and the Kingsbridge International High School, a public school in the Bronx, New York.

Mundo knows his students can do anything—and he helps them believe it too. He is known for raising minority young scientists and encouraging them to pursue STEM careers. He has taken the lead on students’ involvement in community leadership; his focus on schoolwide diversity in science careers led to the creation of his science club, where students not only do science in fun ways inside the classroom, but go out to plant trees, clean parks, attend science community engagement events in order to demonstrate leadership and citizenship responsibility for a better world. Alejandro Mundo holds a master's from the American Museum of Natural History and has been featured as a NASA STEM STAR as well as in GLOBE's International Science Symposium.