Population Education for K-12 Students

Population Education (PopEd) provides K-12 teachers with innovative, hands-on lesson plans and professional development to teach about human population growth and its effects on the environment and human well-being. As the only national program for teachers that focuses on human population issues, PopEd fills an important need within U.S. classrooms.

With an emphasis on interactive learning and balanced discussion of different viewpoints, our program has earned a reputation for educational excellence. All Population Education curriculum materials are classroom-tested, rigorously evaluated, and frequently updated to be leaders in their content and approach. They are interdisciplinary, well-suited for a cooperative learning environment, and classroom-ready. All of the materials are matched to current national and state academic standards and frameworks.

We provide hands-on training to 12,000+ teachers and future teachers annually in North America. Tens of thousands of educators are introducing important population concepts to their students using these outstanding resources and millions of students are benefiting from them. In fact, our bi-annual surveys of participating educators allow us to estimate that each year we reach about 3 million students with our curriculum resources!

Since 1975, Population Education materials have encouraged students of all grade levels to think critically, engage in real-world issues, and work to become the next generation of informed leaders, voters, and global citizens.

Measuring Our Impact

Year after year, PopEd has earned a reputation for educational excellence. To ensure we continually improve our materials and trainings, we ask educators who have participated in our workshops to provide feedback.

Our Reach

  • Over the past 10 years, we have trained over 100,000 educators through 5,000+ Population Education workshops and webinars.
  • Between 2010 and 2020, 3,866 of these were pre-service workshops on 500 college and university campuses around the United States and Canada.

The PopEd Workshop Experience

PopEd offers both in-person and online workshops. No matter the format, our top-notch facilitators lead memorable trainings, giving educators timely and innovative classroom materials for teaching global issues. Educators consistently rate PopEd workshops as superior to other PD events they’ve attended.

See our Evaluation of 2021-2022 Teacher Training Workshops below:


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Full Evaluation

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Classroom Resources

Lesson plans, readings, videos, infographics, and more—find just what you need to teach your elementary, middle, or high school students about population trends and dynamics. PopEd curricula is geared toward math, science, social studies, language arts, geography, economics, and environmental studies classes, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.

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stock photo of elementary aged children of different ethnicities

Teachers Workshops

Members of our staff and national Trainers’ Network facilitate 700-750 online and in-person workshops annually throughout the U.S. and Canada. We work with teachers and non-formal educators at conferences and in-service programs, as well as for future teachers in their education methods classes at campuses throughout North America.

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PopEd in Arkansas

Trainers Network

Members of our volunteer Trainers’ Network lead Population Education workshops for K-12 teachers, pre-service teachers, and non-formal educators in their communities and reach thousands of educators every year around the U.S. and abroad. Our trainers make an invaluable contribution to our program, leading two-thirds of our workshops!

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PopEd teacher trainer

World of 8 Billion Student Video Contest

Through the World of 8 Billion student video contest, young people are given the platform to think critically about global issues related to population growth, and offer up their ideas for overcoming these timely challenges. Any middle or high school student, from anywhere in the world, is free to enter the contest and win cash prizes. Winners of the 2022-2023 contest were announced in May—view the winning videos at the link below!

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