It is so important that the key causes of the global issue that is climate change is taught in Primary Schools, as these children are part of the generation who will be living with the consequences, and finding solutions to it! The assembly took the children through a journey from learning about the fundamentals of the ‘greenhouse effect’ and how greenhouse gases have affected Earth’s climate through geological time. We then played a great game of “natural vs. man-made”, in which we introduced where greenhouse gas emissions come from, and discussed concepts such as deforestation, how our diet affects global emissions, and made the key link between electricity use and emissions. It is also important to highlight that it is not all doom and gloom, and that by working together, we can help to combat climate change! There are many tiny things that everyone (even 4 year olds!) can do every day such as switching off lights, recycling as much as possible, and opting to walk, cycle, or use public transport as much as possible.
The National Oceanography Centre in Southampton runs a scheme called ‘Eco-Schools’ which is aimed at Junior (KS2) Schools in Hampshire. This consists of a day-long visit to NOC and includes an introduction to climate change, a visit to the NOCS aquarium and several carbon footprint activities. The Foster Lab has maintained a strong tradition for STEM outreach involvement, with Hannah and Rachael helping to organise these award-winning Eco-Schools events since 2013 (more info here)
Hannah and Rachael are also STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ambassadors. The STEM Network (https://www.stem.org.uk/) is another fantastic way for schools to access local scientists and engineers who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable role models to inspire young people into the world of STEM. We encourage scientists and schools alike to get involved!