Population Education, September 2022

Written by Pamela Wasserman, Senior Vice President for Education | Published: September 19, 2022

New PopEd Trainers Inducted at Summer Leadership Institute

2022 PopEd Leadership Institute staff and participants

There’s nothing like getting out from behind Zoom and interacting with teachers in person. Having had to postpone our Summer Leadership Institute in 2020 and 2021, it was a welcome change to bring a group of educators together with our staff for a weekend of training, networking, and sharing experiences.

Group creates a “future wheel,” mapping out cause-and-effect connections of population growth

From July 15-17, PopEd hosted 26 educators (K-12, university, and informal) from across the U.S. and Canada at the Warren Conference Center and Inn in Ashland, Massachusetts. The lakefront site, 25 miles from Boston, has a retreat-like atmosphere, perfect for our collaborative weekend.

photo of two teachers looking at demographic data on sheets of paper
Denise Stewardson (UT) and Rebekah Baker (IN) examine demographic data before constructing population pyramids

This year’s participants traveled from 19 states and two provinces. Some had been involved with PopEd as workshop hosts or alumni of our graduate course for secondary teachers. Others were new to the program but intrigued by PopEd’s curriculum and teaching strategies. All were eager to learn how they could get more involved in representing the program in their local regions for veteran and future teachers.

Most of our time together was spent modeling over 20 of our most-used workshop activities for elementary and secondary grades. Activity sessions were grouped by three broad categories: understanding population concepts, people and the environment, and the global family—with interdisciplinary lessons for science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. Our sessions also featured an examination of the United Nations’ latest population projections and a demonstration of some of PopEd’s new interactive, digital tools to enhance both in-person and virtual workshops.

The weekend culminated with a practicum in developing agendas for PopEd teacher workshops that attendees hope to present during the upcoming school year. Our team looks forward to working with this enthusiastic group of new trainers.

It was really energizing to spend the two days in conversation with people who were all passionate about the issues we tackled. And what a wealth of experience in the group! We also laughed a lot of the time, even while grappling with some serious concerns.

–Peter Thomas, Middle School Teacher, Ohio

I really enjoyed attending the institute! I learned so much and am anxious to rethink and revise my courses for the coming semester. Looking forward to staying connected to all of the great people I met and supporting Population Education by sharing what I have learned.

–Rebekah Baker, Associate Professor of Education, Indiana

Announcing the Launch of Our World of 8 Billion Contest

World of 8 Billion logo

With a new global population milestone upon us, we have rebranded our popular student video contest from World of 7 Billion to … World of 8 Billion. Since the first contest was launched on the cusp of the 7 billion mark, during the 2010-2011 school year, over 34,000 students have submitted entries.

Visit our new site, Worldof8Billion.org, to see the details for the 2022-2023 contest including:

  • background readings on this year’s topics: climate change, solid waste, and gender equality
  • a new project organizer to help students plan their winning submissions
  • judging rubric, helpful tips, and more!

Submission deadline: February 22, 2023