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Shiva Rajbhandari is a high school senior in Boise, Idaho. And in September, he was elected to the Boise Board of Education.

“Students are the primary stakeholders in our education,” Rajbhandari says.

So he says young people’s perspectives on their education matter. And one of the topics he and other students want to learn more about is climate change.

He says he was introduced to climate change in his seventh-grade science class. That’s more than students get in many other schools, but he says it’s not enough.

Rajbhandari wants to see the topic taught at all grade levels — starting in kindergarten, where teachers can establish basic concepts about caring for the Earth.

And he says it should appear across the curriculum.

“Climate change doesn’t just apply to science, so why are we only teaching it in science, right?” he says. “Climate change has connections with English, with social studies, with history, with humanities.”

Social studies classes could study policies to reduce carbon pollution, and math students could learn about probabilities using data on climate impacts.

“If schools are supposed to prepare us to be the leaders of the future, we need to know about the problems of today,” he says.

So he ran for office to make sure that when leaders make decisions about teaching climate change and other important issues, a student voice is at the table.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media