Climate education at school is essential, can benefit STEM subjects

Declining interest in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses could be reversed by integrating environmentalism into syllabuses. 

A new study from the University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research suggests that by introducing fun approaches to teaching young people about the climate crisis, there could also be a positive knock on effect results in traditional subjects. 

people sitting on chair

To prove their point, researchers developed the Heat-Cool technology learning programme. This encouraged participants to use infrared cameras to explore and learn about urban heat islands. 103 students from two cohorts (years 5-6, and 7-9) were involved, and saw their ‘climate literacy’ jump by 9.4% and 4.5% respectively. 

‘Arming our children with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand and eventually help fight climate change is critical to nursing our planet back to health. Our study suggests that a playful and interactive education programme such as Heat-Cool is not only fun for our children, but it generates an interest in climate change and, importantly, it also stimulates an interest in STEM subjects,’ said Prashant Kumar, lead author of the study, founding Director of GCARE, and Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainability at the University of Surrey. 

Earlier this month, Environment Journal announced it was involved in an expedition to the North Pole alongside its sister publication, Air Quality News. Find out more about the mission to take carbon samples from ice and snow, and how our partner, Evotech, is offering schools a chance to get involved via exclusive lesson resources which are available to download for free.

Image: Sam Balye


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top