A local climate report for our region –
Students investigate the local implications of climate change
Subproject 8 offers upper stage secondary level students the opportunity to investigate the global climate change phenomenon and its relevance for their own living environment right in front of their doorsteps. Students learn to use various research methods, such as scientific tools to assess and measure climate change variables in the field, documenting and interpreting data from the observation of phenological and biological processes or socio-geographic data collection with questionnaires. They then apply these methods to their own region to gain an interesting insight into the implications of climate change in their very own living environment. For that purpose, starting from May 2018, the Chair of Geography Education at the University of Augsburg, in cooperation with several Bavarian secondary schools, has been creating a comprehensive didactic concept which follows the principles of inquiry-based learning. Instead of being passive recipients of knowledge transfer, the concept will allow learners to participate actively in research and scientific progress, in accordance with the Citizen Science approach. The students’ critical engagement with the topic of climate change in the seminars is to facilitate their individual development of differentiated evaluative and actional abilities in the face of climate change issues. As many measures of adaption and protection of the environment can only be realised if citizens see them as legitimate and useful, politics and science can also benefit from this project. With the help of citizen conferences on climate change and local climate reports co-authored by students, it is possible to bring the topic to the attention of the general public in Bavaria. Furthermore, the collected data of climate change seminars at schools contribute to the Citizen Science platform, and through that to the investigation of climate change in Bavaria.