Wrapping up KATS: EFECTS

On December 9th, we wrapped up the KATS: EFECTS (Empowering Future Environmental Changemakers through Science) project at the Great North Museum: Hancock, where students from 3 Primary Schools across Newcastle, joined together for a day full of fun activities around marine biodiversity and climate change.

Over a month, we worked with Chillingham Road Primary, Benton Park Primary and West Jesmond Primary to learn all about SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 14 (Life below Water). Students experienced how climate change was affecting people all over the world, became climate news reporters on the KATS Global Network, became weather experts by collecting citizen science data in their school grounds and finally, and participated in fun STEM experiments all about pollution.

Students also became climate debaters and storytellers by visiting Seven Stories and participating in some fun activities all about COP26. All the schools then joined together to reflect on what they had learnt and participating in some fun STEM activities, like building their own boats from recycled plastics with FlipFlopi, created bracelets from discarded rope on our local beaches with North Sea Rejects and finally went on a scavenger hunt around the GNM!

Stay tuned for Tyneside Cinema’s film documenting all the adventures we had in KATS: EFECTS. We can’t wait to continue to deliver KATS to more schools across the north east!

KATS Schools Report Live

NEWS JUST IN….Climate change is harming biodiversity, people and our planet. We must do something about it!

As part of the KATS: EFECTS sessions, students in three participating schools became news reporters – telling kids all around the world about the impact of climate change on their school marine mascot (polar bear, sea turtle or penguin). They had great fun becoming news anchors, directors, scientists and the marine mascot themselves.

This activity was critical in building connections between climate superheroes and changemakers all over the world, so stay tuned for updates.

Climate Storytelling at Seven Stories

This week young people from the three schools participating in KATS: EFECTS visited Seven Stories to experience the ‘Dare, Dream, Believe’ workshop that centres around Cop26. The workshop takes inspiration from author Sita Brahmachari’s beautiful book The River Runs Gold, which highlights the urgent need to tackle environmental destruction.

Students got the chance to engage in the ‘Environmentalist vs Industrialist’ climate change debate and in groups, confidently presented their arguments to the class. They then got the chance to put what they have learnt about climate storytelling into practice by designing and creating their very own ‘story’ banner that expressed what is important to them, with regard to tackling climate change, through illustration and creative writing.

West Jesmond Primary even got the chance to protest around Seven Stories with their story banners – chanting ‘THERE’S NO PLANT B! THERE’S NO PLANET B!’

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!

Celebrating our Puffineers!

June 2022 saw the culmination of the KATS: Puffin Project, with children from three schools and their teachers visiting Newcastle University. The KATS team devised and led the programme, whereby students from Felton C of E Primary, West Jesmond became citizen scientists adding their voices and data to research that looks at how climate change affects biodiversity…with a focus on Puffins.

Find out more by taking a look at Flooded Cellar’s new video and visiting our website page.

Becoming ‘Puffarazzi’s’ around the Farne Islands

Yes, you read that right – as part of the KATS: Puffin Project, our students became the ‘Puffarazi’! Over the previous few weeks, students had become citizen scientists by investigating biodiversity, with a focus on the North East coastline and islands. They learned about the diets and habitats of Puffins, and practiced their citizen science experiments before their big project…

Students got to put what they had learned into practice by using digital cameras, voice recorders and air pollution sensors to become the Puffarazzi when they visited the Farne Islands on a Puffin Cruise. They made scientific observations, used the air quality sensors, took photos and made notes about the Puffins’ habitat. They also became news reporters by reporting on the KATS Global Network. The data that the students collected on their trips will go straight to RSPB Puffin Experts who require citizen science data to analyse Puffin migration and diet patterns. What a fun day!