Teaching Extreme Weather

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Teaching Extreme Weather

This Teaching Extreme Weather course provides K-12 science teachers with an opportunity to explore the driving forces behind extreme weather events, specifically those occurring where they live. Teachers wanting to take the course for PD hours or CEUs can enroll for FREE.

During this Teaching Extreme Weather course, teachers will create a lesson or series of lessons focused on extreme weather that align to the Next Generation Science Standards as well as to State Standards for their grade level. The course prepares science teachers to help their students understand the causes behind disruptive extreme weather events as well as what can be done to mitigate them. While not all extreme weather events are correlated to climate change, climate change is playing an increasingly primary role.

This course is for science teachers, including elementary school teachers who teach science, who want to go beyond just downloading resources or lesson plans when doing their preparation for teaching weather.  It is for teachers who want to more thoroughly explore how to integrate the topic of extreme weather and its relationship to climate change into their classroom curricula. The course also touches on new attribution science research.

The course provides a new perspective on teaching weather and climate, allowing participants to take a deep dive into teaching extreme weather and how to make it relevant to their own location. It is also an opportunity for teachers to collaborate with peers and benefit from the support of an expert instructional facilitator.

climate education course option focused on extreme weather depicted by lightening in night sky

Date and Fees

Start Dates:

Start Dates: April 3 | May 22


PD hours/CEU Course: $0*
Graduate Credit Course: $128

*Thanks to generous funding there is no cost to enroll for teachers taking this course for PD hours or CEU units. 

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

    • Explain the fundamentals of extreme weather; 
    • Analyze how climate change and extreme weather events are related; 
    • Explore regional extreme weather events in the US;
    • Design a lesson or series of lessons that include extreme weather events;

These course outcomes are realized through a course scaffolded syllabus that includes four weekly learning modules. Learn more.

Participation in the Teaching Extreme Weather course gives K-12 teachers the competencies and confidence to teach about extreme weather events within their own local context, and as an integral part of their subject area.

Note: Course participants also have the option to join the live webinars taking place as part of our Teaching Climate Change Essentials course during the month they are taking the course. Dates and topics will be shared during week one of the course.

Teachers taking this course can earn recognition through teacher professional development hours, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Graduate Credit.

Course Overview

  • Duration4 weeks
  • Modules4
  • Time3-4 hrs/week
  • FormatOnline
  • Class SizeMax 100

PD hours | CEUs | Graduate Credit

Course participants have the option to receive Professional Development (PD) hours, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Graduate Credits. Participants who complete the course can claim 15 PD hours, 1.5 CEUs or 1 Graduate Credits.

Note: participants will need to confirm acceptance of the professional development hours or CEUs by your district or state agency. Download this pre-made email template and instructions for use to get PD hours or CEUs approved through your district.

What teachers are saying

It covered a broad range of types of extreme weather in multiple contexts. It had us use 21st century technology and skills for discussion posts or to help create assignments.

This course shared so many great resources that I am excited to share with my students.

The content was current and engaging.

Meet the Facilitator

Photo of facilitator Jenny Combs

Jenny Combs

Jenny was raised in rural Montana, and has always enjoyed outdoor recreational activities with her family. She has been working professionally in education for over 25 years teaching grades 7-12 math and English. Jenny earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University. She was also a finalist for the Montana Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics. Jenny transitioned to the non-profit sector to support teachers and school leaders through mentoring, instructional coaching, online facilitation, and standards-based classroom professional development. Jenny is currently the executive director of a consortium of 37 schools in Montana focused on high quality professional development and curriculum support in all content areas.


As an educator I want to support climate literacy, but I’m not a science teacher! Is the Teaching Extreme Weather course relevant for me?

Our Teaching Extreme Weather course has been designed to engage, support, and equip science, teachers with the tools they need to develop lesson plans aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and State Standards. Teachers of all subjects wanting support to advance climate literacy in their classroom, should check out our Teaching Climate Change Essentials course for all K-12 educators.

What background knowledge is necessary to take the course?

None! We designed the course so that we can meet you wherever you are in terms of your knowledge and understanding of extreme weather events and ability to develop lessons and curricula on the topic aligned to NGSS and State Standards in your subject area.

What is the time commitment for the program? Can I complete coursework on weekends?

The course is administered completely online and takes 3 to 4 hours per week. We’ve designed it to fit into teachers’ busy schedules. Related coursework can be completed during any window within each week-long module.