The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) is pleased to announce the release of a lesson plan for middle school and junior high school students. The Cool Surfaces Lesson Plan is a collection of resources for teaching middle school-level students about the urban heat island (UHI) effect and highly solar-reflective “cool” building surfaces. The complete lesson plan is publicly available for free at

The lesson plan covers topics including the causes and characteristics of the UHI effect, the basic principles of the surface radiative properties solar reflectance and thermal emittance, and the impacts that cool roofs and exterior walls can have on urban heat and energy use. The lesson plan resources include a comprehensive teacher guide, a series of three animated educational videos, instructions for completing an experiment, a worksheet, and opportunities for students to participate in a CRRC-run competition as well as opportunities for teachers to seek resource assistance from the CRRC.

The development of the Cool Surfaces Lesson Plan was overseen by the CRRC Education Committee, a group of CRRC Board-appointed volunteers that are responsible for providing guidance on the CRRC’s educational activities for the improvement of public awareness and comprehension of cool surfaces. A working group of committee members led by Dr. Frank Klink, the former Chair of the Education Committee and current CRRC Board Secretary, created the lesson plan resources with support from CRRC staff. Says Dr. Klink about the project: “This lesson plan offers a fun way to learn about the physics causing urban heat islands and how the use of cool surfaces can help reduce them, complete with animated videos and hands-on experiments.”

Heat is a growing concern in many communities, and it is important for younger generations to understand the science behind heat islands and the tools that are available to mitigate them. The lesson plan is designed to convey these topics in a way that is engaging, age-appropriate, and inspiring for this age group. The resources may also be adapted to use in other grade levels and in many types of learning environments. Elements such as the animated videos also provide an excellent standalone resource for members of the general public of all ages to learn about these topics.

The CRRC is pleased to offer opportunities for CRRC members, Licensees, and other interested parties to support teachers and students that complete the lesson plan through financial and in-kind donations and volunteer opportunities. The CRRC plans to broadly disseminate the lesson plan to teachers and organizations with an interest in educating the next generation about cool surfaces for UHI mitigation. Visit to explore the lesson plan resources or contact [email protected] for more information.

The CRRC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1998 to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the radiative properties of roofing products and to disseminate the information to all interested parties. The CRRC expanded to include the rating of exterior wall products in 2019. Please contact the CRRC at [email protected] or (866) 465-2523 for more information on its programs.

Contact: Audrey McGarrell at [email protected], (503) 606-8448 ext. 506