Earth Week’s Workshop by M.I.T. En-ROADS Provides Glimpse Into Future With World Climate Simulation

On Sunday, Phillips Academy Sustainability Coalition (PASC) brought students and faculty together for a climate workshop featuring Dr. Tamara Ledley, a STEM education consultant, climate scientist, and adjunct assistant professor at Bentley University. 

The event, part of PASC’s Earth Week, aimed to use M.I.T.’s En-ROADS (Energy-Rapid Overview and Decision-Support) simulator to educate attendees on the effects of climate policies on Earth’s health. En-ROADS is a global climate simulator that models the projected long and short-term effects that the implementation of a variety of policies would have on Earth.

Attendees of the M.I.T. En-ROADS workshop also had the opportunity to participate in a Model UN-style debate, with groups of students acting as delegates from different sectors including Conventional Energy, World Governments, Land and Conservation, Climate Justice, and more. Cyrus Signan ’25 highlighted how the style of the workshop was a welcome variation from lectures, allowing students to discover the contrasting approaches in addressing climate change and how each unique method benefited a party’s desires.

“My expectation was that it was going to be informative, but usually with events like this it’s more lecture-based in format, so I didn’t expect it to be as engaging as it was. They had students actively participate in acting out climate change initiatives. I think it had a lot of merits in being an engaging form of teaching students about climate change and climate change activism. It really served to demonstrate how multi-faceted the problem was and that there are multiple ways of attacking the climate change problem, and it helped engage us by considering the parties involved,” said Signan.

Another benefit of the M.I.T. En-ROADS simulation was the accessibility and ease with which users can visualize and understand the complex ways in which so many factors work together. Tina Phan ’26 commented on how the graphs and statistics that Ledley presented in conjunction with the simulation made the effects of climate change seem much more immediate and tangible. For Phan, the workshop was an amazing way to bring the importance of climate action back into the forefront of her mind, and she hopes that future events can appeal to and affect more students.

“It was so engaging, even though the professor provided a lot of data and numbers, it was in a very digestible way. It wasn’t fear-mongering by any means but definitely gave us a sense of reality of what would happen to the communities around us if kids like us who have the privilege to attend these workshops don’t start making change now. I always thought about [the effects] in a really far-off sense, but [the workshop] put a lot of things into perspective, and that has motivated and pushed my drive to be involved in climate action on campus even more. The experience was amazing, it had a huge impact on everybody that attended, I think expanding these events and really just working on the marketing and outreach to make them more appealing to the larger student body is the best improvement that we could hope for, and the minute we get people hooked, there’s where the magic happens,” said Phan.

The M.I.T. En-ROADS workshop comes as only one of many other events that PASC is hosting in celebration of Earth Week, from climate cafes to cleanups and sustainability panels. Anthony Diaz ’25, one of the organizers of the workshop in collaboration with Magnus Julin ’25, elaborated on some of the planning that went into organizing events as well as the takeaways that he hopes students come out of Earth Week with. 

“Different branches of the PASC all came together for these couple of days and we worked in groups, ranging from major events like the Earth festival or the panels that we held last week to smaller ones like Garden Box or the M.I.T. En-ROADS workshop… A major impact I really want the Andover community to have after Earth Week is being more aware and climate-conscious. Even though we are hosting these events and it’s all over only a couple weeks, I want this to feel like it has a lasting impact on somebody who’s either really into climate justice and activism, or someone who has no idea what they’re going into but gets a piece of the major ideas of climate activism and becomes curious to join or participate in some way,” said Diaz.