Welcome to KATS!

Welcome to the Kids Action Thru Science (KATS) blog! This is an education programme developed as part of the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. It is designed to engage children as citizen scientists with a focus on the UN SDGs.

Here we will post information and updates about Newcastle University’s KATS project. Please explore the various pages to learn about KATS, the different projects we have delivered (UK, Puffin Project, EFECTS, Barbados and India), our team, any updates or events and how to contact us. Stay tuned for updates….meanwhile, find out more about our recent projects!

KATS Lead Wins at Pride of Newcastle University Awards

Congratulations to Elle Young for winning Runner Up in the ‘Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability and the Environment’ category at the Pride of Newcastle University Awards 2023.

The Pride of Newcastle University Awards recognises students’ achievements and contribution to university life and the wider community through extra-curricular activities. They especially celebrate students who have shone through in the ‘Celebrating Success Awards‘ in which Elle won ‘Newcastle University Worker of the Year’ back in May 2023. roud of her achievements!

Take a look at Elle’s nomination below:

“Elle has demonstrated a clear passion for inspiring young people to become Climate Change makers as part of her role in KATS (Kids Action Thru Science) here at Newcastle University. She has been an integral part of the project from the outset and has helped it to develop each year through her dedication and hard work. She is driven, enthusiastic and has made a huge impact on the project, both locally and globally, which will leave a lasting impact beyond her own involvement. ”

North of Tyne Combined Authority Funds the next KATS project!

We are delighted to announce that our upcoming Kids Action Thru Science (KATS) project will be funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority. The NTCA is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, and Northumberland County Council and the North of Tyne Elected Mayor.

The funding will be used to expand the Kids Action Thru Science (KATS) project to 12 local primary schools in the North of Tyne region. The project will focus on encouraging young people to learn about Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land), and empower them to become citizen scientists…helping to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. For the upcoming round in June, the KATS team will be working with young people from Benton Park Primary, St Teresa’s Catholic Primary and Gosforth East Middle.

We are excited to see how KATS grows from strength to strength in 2023…so watch this space!

Triumph for the KATS Team!

It’s awards season at Newcastle University and members of the KATS team have been recognised for their achievements!

On the 27th April, our very own KATS curator, Professor Pauline Dixon, was awarded Supervisor of the Year at Newcastle University’s Education awards. Pauline was recognised for her outstanding efforts to supporting and guiding postgraduate research students. Pauline is passionate about sustainable development and has years of experience conducting groundbreaking research with children all around the world. She created the KATS project and has played an integral role in making it grow into a global success.

This week Elle Young, the KATS Lead, was shortlisted in the Early Career Researcher category at Newcastle University’s Engagement & Place awards for her role in delivering the KATS project to children in the UK, Barbados and India. Elle also won Worker of the Year at the university’s Celebrating Success awards for her going above and beyond in her role in delivering climate change education to young people all over the globe.

We are certainly very proud of the KATS team for their achievements, well done!

KATS: India video now LIVE

We are excited to share the latest video by Flooded Cellar that documents the recent KATS project that was delivered in Delhi back in February 2023.

Working with Newcastle University’s Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub and the Janya Collective, the team delivered exciting educational sessions to children from two communities (Nizamuddin Basti and Jagdamba Camp) and Shiv Nadar School. The sessions focussed around exploring the environmental issues impacting their communities and identifying how they can protect themselves and others from the harsh impacts of climate change.

We can’t wait to see the gradual international expansion of KATS and how the project continues to harness the creativity of young people to inspire positive global change. The team are continuing to work with the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub and their partners to expand the KATS project in Delhi and create lasting change.

What is KATS?

Wondering what the Kids Action Thru Science (KATS) project is all about?

Take a look at Flooded Cellar’s recent video that captures a snapshot of how KATS inspires generations of young learners to become climate changemakers.

KATS and Kids Making Sense

KATS has continued working with Kids Making Sense to encourage young people to explore the impacts of climate change and become citizen scientists!

Kids Making Sense has collaborated with KATS on previous projects, such as UK, The Puffin Project, EFECTS and Barbados (SIDS), where children have used air quality sensors and weather metres to collect data about their natural environments.

In February 2023, Dr. Olivia Ryder (Kids Making Sense Program Manager) joined Elle Young (KATS Lead) on a visit to New Delhi (the world’s most polluted city), India, to work with young people in three different communities and help them learn more about the air they breathe.

Find out more about how children became citizen scientists by visiting the Kids Making Sense blog!

KATS Talks Careers

Elle and Dr. Andrea Wilkinson had a fantastic afternoon at West Jesmond Primary School talking to Year 1’s about the Kids Action Thru Science (KATS) project and how they can become scientists and climate changemakers, as part of their Raising Aspirations and Careers Week.

We spoke all about how KATS aims to inspire young people to take climate action, and the children enjoyed spotting members of West Jesmond on the video of last year’s Puffin Project! The best part was having a go on the virtual reality headsets where children got to choose lots of different experiences in the natural….the favourite was obviously the shark encounter!

India Air Quality Data now Live

In February 2023, the latest KATS project (KATS: India) was delivered with children living in communities in Nizamuddin and Jagdamba Camp, as well as Shiv Nadar School in New Delhi, India. The children became citizen scientists by collecting air quality data (focussing on PM2.5) within their local communities using mobile sensors provided by Kids Making Sense. The children found that the highest polluted areas were near congested highways, welding shops and dusty enclosed spaces.

Screenshot taken from Kids Making Sense website

This data can support scientists in making important advances in scientific research on air pollution in New Delhi, India. Their data is now uploaded onto the ‘Air Quality Data Visualisation Map‘ on the Kids Making Sense website which can be accessed worldwide.

KATS will continue to use the sensors which enables young people to become citizen scientists by measuring and monitoring air quality, interpreting the data they collect, and take action to reduce their exposure to air pollution. We can’t wait to show young people around the world the data that children from KATS: India collected!

KATS in India

In February 2023, KATS went even more international…this time reaching to New Delhi, India – a megacity which is heavily impacted by the effects of climate change.

Working with Shevta Mathur and colleagues from the Janya Collective, the team delivered the KATS project three times with children in Nizamuddin and Jagdamba Camp settlements along the Yamuna Basin and the Shiv Nadar School in Noida.

The children regularly spoke of how pollution and changes in weather impact their local communities. With the support of Dr. Olivia Ryder from Kids Making Sense, the children became citizen scientists by using mobile sensors to collect data on pollution and temperature level within their own communities. After this activity, they became scientists and gave insightful suggestions of how they could protect themselves and others, from the harmful impacts of pollution.

The children then created their own climate superheroes, and thought of ways in which their superheroes could work together with others around the world to tackle climate change.

KATS: India was an integral step in delivering the KATS project internationally. It worked towards enhancing the connections between young people across the world, empowering them to learn from each other, spread awareness within their local communities, and to take climate action together.

Watch this space for a new video from Flooded Cellar Productions!

KATS goes International

The team flew to Barbados in November 2022, to deliver the first international version of KATS to three groups of young people – Providence Elementary School, Haynesville Community and Eco Kids Barbados.

Young people became news reporters, by reporting about climate change in SIDS on the KATS Global Network, and citizen scientists by collecting important data about weather patterns within their local environments. They also zoomed with a KATS alumni school – West Jesmond Primary, where they got the chance to exchange knowledge about climate change, and think of ways they could work together!

KATS: Barbados (SIDS) was the first integral step in expanding the project globally, where we aim to connect and champion young climate superheroes from around the world to take #ClimateAction together!

Find out more about our KATS: Barbados by checking out the brand new film created by Flooded Cellar Productions.