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European network of regional projects for school partnerships on climate change research

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Changing minds for a changing climate

Climate change is one of the biggest scientific challenges of the 21st century and there is a growing need to inspire today’s youth to find solutions. They are, after all, the generation that will be most affected by climate change.

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The EU-funded 'European network of regional projects for school partnerships on climate change research' (CARBOSCHOOLS+) project linked researchers from several leading carbon science laboratories with secondary schools. In these partnerships, young Europeans conducted experiments on the impact of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and learned about climate research and the reduction of emissions. Primary project goals were to re-ignite the students' interest in science and scientific studies, and to equip them with a basic understanding of this major scientific challenge. Nine research institutes in seven countries generated partnerships involving as many as 90 scientists, 140 teachers and more than 3 000 students. These partnerships featured different activities, such as real-time experiments in the laboratory, field site visits, topical lectures and debates. 'Final' regional events allowed participants to present their results to a wider community of educators, scientists, and research and educational institutions interested in climate change science education. To involve and stimulate the broader scientific community, CARBOSCHOOLS+ sessions were organised, a website launched and various publications produced. Based on subsequent in-depth educational research, it appears the students were very positive about the CARBOSCHOOLS+ initiatives. And, significantly, CARBOSCHOOLS+ achieved two of its most important aims: the students were more interested in science careers, and they became more aware of the importance of climate change research for society.

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