The Climate Action Through Education project aims to develop interdisciplinary, standards-aligned climate change curriculum for U.S. high school teachers in the following core disciplines: History/Social Science, English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Computer Science. Broadly, we envision a curriculum tailored to each U.S. state’s education standards, beginning with Massachusetts. The lessons within the curriculum will inform students about the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change, while equipping them with the knowledge and sense of agency to contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation.

The curriculum will incorporate:

The CATE Project has formed a Curriculum Review Committee to evaluate the materials and to provide feedback. The Committee is comprised of the following MIT faculty members:

Antje Danielson
MIT Energy Initiative

Kerry Emanuel
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Christopher Knittel
Sloan School of Management

David McGee
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Elsa Olivetti
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Desiree Plata
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Noelle Selin
MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

With a focus on Energy and Resource Use, Agriculture, Population Dynamics and Increase, and Environmental Justice, the team is currently drafting content for Massachusetts high school teachers. We plan to engage with students for feedback in Spring of 2022, engage with teachers for feedback during the Summer of 2022, and pilot the curriculum in Massachusetts high school classrooms in Fall of 2022.

Our work is also informed by our nationwide survey of over 100 high school teachers. This survey informs us that: 96% of teachers think it is important to extremely important that climate change be taught in high schools; 83% of teachers feel that curricula on climate change is relevant to their learning objectives for students; and the top reasons that climate change is not taught in class is that teachers do not have enough time to incorporate lessons and are unaware of sufficient resources.

From here, the team will use student and teacher input to improve the content for its formal launch. Then, using the Massachusetts curriculum as a foundation, we will shift the educational standards to align with the next U.S. state and repeat this process across the country.

Directed by Professor Christopher R. Knittel and driven by Aisling O’Grady, the team has grown to include four curriculum developers:

  • Amy Block, a full-time Math teacher at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA
  • Lisa Borgatti, a full-time Science teacher at the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA
  • Michael Kozuch, a full-time History teacher at Newton South High School in Newton, MA
  • Kathryn Teissier du Cros, a full-time Language Arts teacher at Newton North High School in Newton, MA


CATE is also supported by UROP student Heidi Li and high school student intern Ruby Robicheau.

If you are interested in the project, please contact Aisling O’Grady at

The project is sponsored by CEEPR, the MIT Energy Initiative, and the Vice President for Research.