Integrating Climate Justice with Modelling Absolute Value, Piecewise, and Absolute Value Functions in North Carolina Math 3

Dalton Cooper, Math, West Charlotte High

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st Century; however, its inclusion in the North Carolina high school curriculum is limited to science content knowledge and does not address the cultural, economic, and social costs of climate change. While the consequences of climate change are global, the effects have already been seen in the Southeast United States with the increasing intensity and regularity of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes. Furthermore, the adverse effects of such extreme weather are disproportionately felt by marginal populations, such as the working-class and poor, elderly, and minority communities. This was realized in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when suffering was concentrating in working-class black communities; furthermore, these same communities were gentrified in the aftermath of the storm as a result of preexisting inequality and well-intentioned recovery efforts. Viewed through the lens of environmental justice, the pressing question becomes: “how can the powers that be ensure climate change mitigation and solution strategies avoid exacerbating existing inequality along the lines of socioeconomic status?” This curriculum unit will present students with this aspect of climate change in order to expand understanding of the issue, as well as make relevant and concrete the content and skills of North Carolina Math 3.