Discussing climate change

SummaryDiscussing climate change with a class of primary school children and their teacher

Country/ies: UK, Sweden
INTERACT station(s): Cairngorm; Abisko

Theme(s)Climate change; Arctic research; monitoring
Target age range10-11 years
Keyword(s)Education; school; classroom; discussion; talk; hands-on
ContactJan Dick (jand@ceh.ac.uk)

In April 2012, INTERACT project members Jan Dick and Chris Andrews of the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology met with children of Aviemore primary school in Scotland to discuss climate change in the Cairngorms and further afield.

Jan and Chris encouraged the children to describe weather-related changes that they could remember. The children were about 10 years old, and had already learned about the difference between climate (long term) and weather (short term) with their teacher, Siobhan Pentland. It was agreed that it was weather rather than climate which they had observed.

Chris then talked about the work he had conducted at another INTERACT site, Abisko in Sweden. He showed photographs taken at the same place every week for many years to show that the climate at Abisko had changed, influencing the time that Lake Torneträsk was frozen and the date when the birch trees started to flush.

Jan next showed the children vegetation data from four mountain tops very close to Aviemore. When combined with observations from other countries, these data indicate that across Europe species were moving upwards in response to climate change.

After Jan and Chris's visit, the children worked in groups to write about what they had learned. Here is the Outrageous Orangutans'  worksheet:

[Click for a larger view]



Chris Andrew's slides (PDF file)


Jan Dick's slides (PDF file)

The class discussed weather and climate with their teacher
INTERACT's Jan Dick talking to Scottish school children
The children asked lots of questions!
Writing about what had been learned