Addressing the challenge of climate change requires an informed citizenry that can reason with data, examine new climate science information, and recognize the ways in which global climate change contributes to local climate change. Connected learning ecosystems (CLEs) can help address this challenge by building partnerships among science teachers, informal educators, and librarians. Yet as CLEs emerge across the United States, it’s important to understand if and how they connect educators and enable new climate- and data-focused experiences for youth.

EDC is evaluating the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s NASA-funded Real World, Real Science (RWRS) 2.0/Learning Ecosystems Northeast (LENE) project. Building on EDC’s work to develop and evaluate field trip and classroom experiences that blend climate science and data science to support students in learning about the environment, LENE is bringing together key partners to build new learning experiences for youth that include climate science data sets and cultural and historical knowledge.

Key Activities

EDC is carrying out the following activities:

  • Advancing understanding of the work of a Science and Technology Center community of practice (CoP) focused on developing new CLEs across the Northeast United States
  • Documenting and describing the development of and variation in regional CLEs across Maine and the Northeast as they expand programming focused on data science and climate science for youth
  • Developing case studies to explore the development of CLEs and how educators support youth learning about data and local climate change
  • Documenting and describing the outcomes related to educator connectedness and the development of new youth experiences across Maine and New England, especially within tribal, immigrant, and rural communities


  • Provide insight into the development of CLEs, including variations in partners and their roles and the ways in which local, historical, and Western scientific knowledge shape CLE activities
  • Advance knowledge of the influence of CLEs on educators’ confidence in engaging youth with climate trend and climate change data and the opportunities that emerge for youth to engage with data-rich climate stories  

Learn More


Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Bodies of Work