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The Wild Center


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts

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Google Docs, PDF

Youth Climate Summit Toolkit

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  • This toolkit provides teachers and students with all the guidance they need to have their own Youth Climate Summit.
  • The toolkit includes guidelines and examples of how to organize teams, acquire sponsorships, select speakers, develop a climate action plan, amplify youth voices, or host an online summit.
Teaching Tips


  • Organizing a youth climate summit is a great way to empower students to engage with their communities and take climate action.
  • Students learn how to use their passions and skills to work together and lead.
  • All supplemental materials, including sample budgets and agendas, are provided.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The supplemental materials can be accessed via the landing page or by clicking the appropriate buttons in the toolkit PDF.
  • The time to begin planning an in-person youth climate summit is at least five months before.
  • A virtual toolkit is also available for planning an online youth climate summit, which could be easier to do.
  • The toolkit is available both online and as a downloadable PDF.


  • Extra care may be needed to ensure the planning process is accessible to all students, including those who may have difficulty attending meetings outside of school hours.
  • Having students collaborate across grade levels may help younger students find guidance in their older peers and allow younger students to participate.
  • Consider a non-hierarchical approach to organizing the summit, through which all organizers can contribute ideas equally and make decisions as a group.
  • A general understanding of climate science, climate justice, and solutions will allow students to make more informed decisions when selecting speakers and organizing events.
  • Students should be encouraged to join whichever working group aligns most with their passions, skills, and interests.
  • Although not mentioned in the toolkit, ensuring that the summit is as accessible as possible for attendees is critical to engaging them in climate action. For example, when deciding on the food that will be provided, consider dietary restrictions and food allergies, and when choosing a venue, consider whether or not it is wheelchair accessible or accessible by public transportation.
Scientist Notes
This toolkit serves as a manual for setting up a youth climate summit. It is appropriate and advised for young people to explore this tool-set.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr2.3.Ia Collaboratively develop a proposal for an installation, artwork, or space design that transforms the perception and experience of a particular place.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 6 - Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
      • VA:Pr6.1.IIIa Curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artwork to impact the viewer’s understanding of social, cultural, and/or political experiences.
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