BY Rachel Collins | Enrichment Project Officer AT STEM LEARNING
In November, the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the first of its kind in the UK, and the aim of the summit is to bring together world leaders to commit to urgent global climate action. In the run-up to the summit, COP26 will be working closely with businesses, civil society groups, schools and members of the public across the UK as part of the conversation on tackling climate change.
With this in mind, a new Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) is bringing together partners from education, research and the wider STEM sector to support climate change-related lessons and activities in formal and informal education settings.
The Partnership aims to increase teachers’ subject knowledge and understanding, so that lessons are based on scientific evidence and increase pupils’ understanding of the science and implications of climate change. The Partnership will particularly seek to support activities which focus on inspiring and engaging audiences who are underrepresented within the STEM sector and will provide educators with training, resources and lesson ideas, trained volunteers and support for enrichment activities and challenges.
The Partnership currently consists of representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, UK Research and Innovation, the Met Office, the Environment Agency, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society.
Through this new programme, young people’s knowledge of the science and impact of climate change, as well as their appreciation for research and innovation’s impact on society, will be increased. We’re also aiming to increase young people’s resilience and the number of young people from underrepresented backgrounds who study and engage with STEM subjects in the future.
Change the conversation
Many people have already made changes to their lives to help the environment, such as choosing electric cars and buying products with less plastic packaging. In industry, engineers have developed offshore wind farms to power our homes, and businesses have increased investment in energy-saving measures and solar power.
Schools are already taking measures to ensure they’re as energy-efficient as possible. When thinking about the energy- saving and environmentally-friendly measures in your school, why not ask your pupils questions about the environment around them, getting them to think about how these things might be applied in their daily lives and how they might talk about these issues with their families?
- are there signs around school to remind everyone to turn off lights and taps?
- discuss food waste and what happens to leftover food at lunchtime
- is there a way to compost food waste at your school?
- discuss how your school is heated and how to make it more efficient
- is there a way to use cars less?
- are there alternative options to reduce plastic usage in supermarkets?
- could we recycle more at home?
- what are our clothes made from?
Climate Change resources
Using the context of climate change in your teaching can demonstrate to young people how they can make a positive contribution to climate change.
In this collection of activities, pupils will make models to help them understand how weather and extreme events occur, and what their impact can be. They’ll apply what they observe to real-world situations, designing structures that protect humans and respond to the elements.
Explore how movement is used to generate electricity by making their own simple generator.
Grasshopper burger, anyone?
Carry out a survey to see what people think about some of the possible things we might be eating in the future.
DOES MY OUTFIT LOOK RUBBISH?
Discover what materials our clothes are made from, and how they could be recycled.
BROKEN FOOD CHAIN
Use computer modelling to simulate a broken food chain.
Find out more
This year is being hailed as the year of climate action and our new schools programme will support climate change-related lessons and activities in formal and informal education settings. Let us know what specific support you would like in your school via email@example.com