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Recapping the 2024 Youth Climate Summit

The Museum of Life and Science welcomed over 100 teens from across North Carolina to participate in the annual North Carolina Youth Climate Summit on February 18-19, 2024. The Youth Climate Summit is a two-day event where high school students learn about the latest climate science and how they can work together to bring positive change to their communities. From the mountains to the coastal plains, students from high schools, environmental clubs, teen youth groups, and afterschool programs brought unique perspectives to discuss the effects of climate change.

Students participated in hands-on service-learning projects across the Museum’s campus on the first day of the summit. These projects allow summiteers to connect with each other and hit the ground running with climate action with our service project partners such as Bull City Boomerang Bag. Summiteers explored the Museum’s 86-acre campus and participated in climate focused programs including a Red Wolf conservation program and a community art/visioning program to imagine what Durham might look like in the year 2100.

The second day of the Youth Climate Summit students participated in hands-on workshops and sessions to learn about the effects of climate change, how it impacts our communities, and what teens can do to help combat climate change. This year’s workshops featured leaders from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and many more. These sessions support learning through hands-on activities such as radically repairing clothing and fabrics and how to lobby and connect with members of local government, NC General Assembly, and the U.S. Congress. This year’s Youth Climate Summit featured notable speakers such as City of Durham Mayor, Leonardo Williams, Secretary for the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources D. Reid Wilson, and NC State Associate Professor Dr. Kathryn Stevenson. The keynote sessions highlighted efforts the City of Durham and the State of North Carolina are taking to combat climate change and how young people can get involved through high school and undergraduate studies. The summit culminated with students working together to develop Climate Action Plans for their school, community, or group. Summiteers then shared their action plans with the entire summit.

Youth Climate Summits, like the one held at the Museum of Life and Science, are a part of The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summit Network, which works to convene and empower young people to take climate action.

Special thank you to the Youth Climate Summit sponsors, Cornell Douglas Foundation, North Carolina Science Museums Grant, Wegmans, and Jennifer and Sandy Williams.

We look forward to inviting more teens to the next Youth Climate Summit on November 10-11, 2024, at the Museum of Life and Science. To learn more about the Youth Climate Summit, visit