Climate science into classrooms

Rachel James was involved in the Cabot Institute led ‘Climate Science into Classrooms’ project. Rachel said “The project was such a great opportunity to connect science with classroom teaching. As a scientist, I am eager to help students learn about research and about climate change, but it’s tricky to know how to make our research relevant and approachable at school. This project offered an opportunity to overcome that barrier and to make our engagement with schools impactful.”

This project brought together climate scientists and expert educators to pilot transdisciplinary generation of
Climate Change Education (CCE) resources for schools. The team co-produced three sets of curriculum-
aligned, age-appropriate resources, each featuring the work of a University of Bristol climate scientist
undertaking the following types of activities:

  • A video interview/presentation from the scientist explaining research outcomes in non-specialist – you can see Rachel’s video on YouTube here.
  • terms, focused/informed by curriculum specialists
  • Ideas for incorporating within specific subjects
  • Supporting classroom resources, e.g. data
  • An online event featuring the scientist responding to student questions

The project sought to maximise and measure effectiveness of materials across school subjects and age
groups. Teachers were also invited to collaborate in assessing impact on student understanding, attitudes,
and behaviour. The project built on discussions hosted by GW4’s CCE Research Network (CCERN), identifying the
potential value of more direct and educationally informed pathways for climate scientists to achieve
measurable impact in schools. The project was unique in initiating a sustainable “university → school”
transfer process, informed by educational expertise, while simultaneously providing data collection for
evidencing impact and generating publishable educational research.