Our air quality is impacted every day by consumer products in our homes that release chemical fumes, rapidly emerging environmental health concerns like e-cigarettes, extreme heat due to changes in our climate that can worsen air pollution, and a host of other influences. We collaborate with UNC researchers to translate the research on impacts of air quality, sharing it with public health professionals, K-12 classrooms, community organizations and the public.
Since 2007, the Center for Public Engagement with Science has been working to promote climate literacy among todays’ K-12 students and teachers. Increasingly, we are using the lens of climate resilience to promote climate literacy in an effort to position youth to develop solutions and advocate for actions that prepare communities to adapt to climate change, mitigate emissions and ultimately protect human health and well-being.
We work to promote an energy literate society by providing teacher professional development and summer science enrichment activities for high school students that give participants access to current scientific information and relevant resources to help make informed decisions in an interdisciplinary, hands-on and minds-on format.
We conduct research translation and community engagement activities on a variety of topics such as asthma, breast cancer, and hazardous waste to enable North Carolina’s public health and housing professionals, teachers and local communities to make informed decisions about their exposure to environmental influences upon disease and reduce risk.
Outdoor Science Learning
We prepare teachers to take their students out into local environments for authentic and relevant learning experiences using direct hands-on experiences in school grounds and local natural areas such as state parks. Participants in these programs typically experience gains in their confidence and sense of efficacy in teaching science generally, as well as teaching science outdoors, after completing the program.
Water quantity and quality are crucial to ecological and community health. We work with researchers and communities to develop programs and materials that help North Carolinians protect and improve their water resources. We conduct a variety of water-related outreach and education activities for communities, local organizations, and government agencies throughout the state.