National News Crew Visits Boise to Cover Science Standards

National News Media Visits Boise to Cover Science Standards
Posted on 01/31/2018
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Science Standards and Climate Change Issue Bring

National News Media to Idaho & Boise School District

A national news crew from Education Week and the PBS NewsHour recently paid a visit to the Boise School District as part of their coverage of Idaho’s Science Standards and the discussion in the Idaho Legislature about whether to include climate change in the standards. Correspondent Lisa Stark and Producer Dan Morris visited Roosevelt Elementary School and Fairmont Junior High School on Wednesday, January 31st.

“This story will take a look at the issue from a national perspective, but we want to come to Idaho to give our viewers a sense of what is going on in the classroom and in the state with regards to new science standards,” said Stark.

Stark and her crew videotaped and interviewed Dr. Jen Pierce, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, as Dr. Pierce led Roosevelt Elementary School students in a lesson about what causes climate change. The students are in Jennifer Stewart’s 2nd grade class. Dr. Pierce shared the Basics of Climate Change, a presentation that describes what is the greenhouse effect and how greenhouse gases can warm the Earth and its atmosphere.

Students then went outside to play a game of greenhouse gas tag (see photo), which teaches students how greenhouse gases build overtime. Students were split into two groups - one group representing energy, the other group representing greenhouse gases.

The news crew then visited Nate Dean’s Earth Science classroom at Fairmont Junior High School. As part of a science lesson, Dean gave his students beans to show how resources on Earth are limited and how the use of those resources can impact future generations (see photo).

Stark interviewed students at both Fairmont and Roosevelt and asked them about climate change and why or why not climate change is an important topic to learn in school. The students interviewed all agreed climate change is an important subject to learn in school.

Stark also interviewed Chris Taylor, Science Supervisor, Boise School District (see photo). Taylor served on a committee with educators tasked with drafting Idaho’s Science Standards that went before lawmakers last year.  During last year’s session, lawmakers approved temporary new science standards after first removing five references to climate change and human impact on the environment. Those standards are set to expire, which is why legislators are considering science standards again this year.


On Thursday, February 1st, the temporary science standards went before the House Education Committee. Taylor and a number of educators were prepared to testify in support of adding climate change to the science standards. Taylor says it’s important that climate change be added to the standards.

“The Idaho Science Standards serve as a baseline for classroom instruction, “ said Taylor. “We certainly will meet that baseline here in the Boise School District. However, because we are a local control school district, we have the option to go above those standards and we certainly will in this case. Our current science curriculum does address climate change because it has been scientifically proven and it is widely accepted by the science community.  Therefore, it’s to the benefit of our students and their futures that they be exposed to this widely accepted knowledge.” 


The PBS NewsHour segment aired on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 and is posted online entitled Some states are trying to downplay teaching of climate change. Teachers see ‘educational malpractice’

Photo of news crew covering science standards issue.

A news crew from Education Week & NPR NewsHour videotape Roosevelt Elementary students playing Greenhouse Gas Tag led by BSU Professor Dr. Jen Pierce.

Photo of Fairmont Science Teacher Nate Dean and PBS Correspondent Lisa Stark.


Education Week & PBS NewsHour Correspondent Lisa Stark visits with Fairmont Junior High School Earth Science Teacher Nate Dean.

Photo of Fairmont Jr. High Earth Science Teacher Nate Dean and his students.


Fairmont Earth Science Teacher Nate Dean leads students in a lesson regarding understanding Earth’s limited resources and how the use of those limited resources impacts future generations.

Photo of PBS Correspondent Lisa Stark interviewing Chris Taylor, District Science Supervisor.

Correspondent Lisa Stark interviews Boise School District Science Supervisor Chris Taylor about Idaho’s Science Standards and the District’s climate change curriculum. Also pictured are Videograper Tom Hadzor (foreground) and Producer Dan Morris.