Question by Mikkel Davis, Salt Lake City, Utah 

The climate crisis is a part of the public school science curriculum here. And Great Salt Lake is often used as a local example, especially as awareness rises about the lake’s shrinkage. 

Leeson Taylor, Executive Director School Leadership and Performance for Salt Lake City School District, explained that Utah state standards require that students are taught about the climate crisis in their science education courses for grades k-12. 

“It would be taught differently depending on the grade level,” Taylor said, “but you would see examples being utilized across the grade bands for that.” 

Students in the area are also showing concern for the lake. Taylor said some students in the district recently completed a project comparing the lake’s previous size and the lake’s size now. The Great Salt Lake Collaborative also reported on a Great Salt Lake-inspired art piece by an 8th grader.

And Westminster's Great Salt Lake Institute has created lesson plans and field trip guides for teachers. 

But education doesn’t have to stay exclusively in the classroom. 

The Friends of Great Salt Lake coordinates 4th-grade field trips out to the lake for free. Katie Newburn, the education and outreach director at Friends of Great Salt Lake, says any 4th-grade educators can apply for field trip spots

—Written and reported by McCaulee Blackburn