Local climate change school programme – Heat-Cool – to expand nationwide
The University of Surrey's programme to educate primary and secondary school children about climate change is to be expanded into a nationwide school initiative thanks to funding from the Ove Arup Foundation.
The highly successful Heat-Cool project aims to educate pupils and infuse curiosity about climate change in their local school environment. Heat-Cool will touch upon subjects such as common heat sources in the built environment, how to cool the environment using trees and other green infrastructure, and learning about mitigating impacts of air pollution and climate change.
Prashant Kumar, Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey, who designed the Heat-Cool programme with his GCARE's Guildford Living Lab team, said:
"It's important that young people are aware of climate change as early as possible. Children are the future generations who will go on to be the next great minds, and it is our responsibility to ensure they learn in a fun and interactive way. If you are a school and want to be a Heat-Cool school, please get in touch with us."
The funding from Ove Arup Foundation will allow the programme to reach more children nationwide. GCARE will be creating an e-version of the Heat-Cool programme via an interactive website where schools can inquire about the project and learn more about the aims and objectives. This website will also allow teachers to access all the resources (Slides, Quizzes, Sheets). Schools can also request to loan the Heat-Cool thermography equipment to run the programme with several classes or year groups.
John Ward, Secretary of the Ove Arup Foundation, said:
"The mission of the Ove Arup Foundation is for a sustainable, resilient uplifting and inclusive built environment for everyone – whether living in cities, towns or villages – shaped by diverse perspectives and skills across multiple branches of knowledge. Providing early knowledge of climate change and air pollution can only be good for the future of the planet."
Mrs Waters, Head of Geography at Royal Grammar School (RGS) Guildford, said:
"Our sincerest thanks to GCARE at the University of Surrey. Climate change and air pollution are issues of the utmost importance in our society; several practical sessions using thermal cameras brought the theory into the classroom with some very visual and practical demonstrations. The sessions were fun and interesting and provided excellent learning experiences for the children."
The University of Surrey is a leading research institution that focuses on sustainability for the benefit of society to deal with the many challenges of climate change. It is also committed to improving its own resource efficiency on its own estate in Guildford and being a sector leader. It has set a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. In April, it was ranked 55th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings which assesses more than 1,400 universities' performance against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Heat-Cool project was initially conceptualised with support from RSA Insurance Group. It successfully completed its first phase with five schools signed up to the program and sparked wider interest nationally, leading to its expansion.
Prof. Prashant Kumar is available for interview upon request
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