(Definitely we should be teaching climate change—in science classes. Maybe even history classes. But in >50% of all subjects? eh...)
One of the weaknesses of my mathematics education was not enough real world applications, so I never cared about what I was learning. In Calc II I was so bored by Taylor series because when am I ever going to use this? Fast forward two years to meteorology classes and it's Taylor series and numerical methods everywhere.
In the middle of secondary school, if you are lucky you can try fitting the function line a polinomial plus a trigonometric function with Excel. You have to pick an initial value of the parameters that is close to the function, otherwise solver will never get a good fit.
I'm not sure how many math teacher are prepared for this. I have more faith in physics teachers that have a better training in dealing with noisy real word functions that have to be fitted to a model.
> see if the second derivative means we're all gonna die,
I think that even the worst model don't predict the humanity extinction, perhaps a huge amount of displacement and the following wars, problem for crops and food production and the following hunger, change of rain pattern, sea level increase, and other very nasty stuff, but not extinction. Also, the timeframe of most of the catastrophes is more than a century, so there is plenty of time to dance on the Titanic.
In theory, you should be able to decompose the signal into waves, and many will have a period of about one year. But I'm too lazy to actually try, er, I mean, an exercise left to the reader.
The movie "Happy Feet". It scared the kids into thinking the planet will melt.
What we really need is more cartons about climate change. That's what will get kids concerned and their parents.
How is this a good thing? I don't get it.
Not to mention it will backfire.
Here in New Zealand there isn’t any standardised content/curriculum specifically focused on climate change as far as I know, but it is very much talked about in the classrooms of most schools.