This week Biosphere Explorers has been working with 2 schools in the Galloway Glens area (our funder for the project), passing on the packs created in the first project and teaching classes about the biosphere and climate change.
The project delivered these sessions to Crossmichael Primary’s P4/5/6s, Kirkcudbright Primary’s P5/6s, and tomorrow the project will be with the Castle Douglas P6s.
As each class has different topics, the workshops delivered were those that fit these topics best.
In Crossmichael, the class were learning about climate change and renewable energy. Project Officer Carys delivered the Biosphere Explorers workshop on climate change, explaining how the Earth’s atmosphere is vital to life, but is now seeing an increase in greenhouse gases that is changing the planet’s climate. The class enjoyed a group game of the Greenhouse Gas board game, which shows children how our actions can make a different. In each of the three rounds, the class understood how human activity influences climate change.
In the first round, the class added greenhouse gas tokens to the board with their activities, showing how humans have been living up until recently. In round two, the class both added and took away greenhouse gas tokens to represent ‘net zero’, which is what Scotland and other countries are working towards by 2050 or sooner. Finally, the third round saw the class only taking away tokens, showing what the next step is after net zero – that is, becoming carbon negative and removing the huge amounts of greenhouse gases that human activity has put into the atmosphere already.
Kirkcudbright primary was focusing on their local area, land use, and how life is different between where pupils live and where others may live (such as in cities). Carys delivered the first Biosphere Explorers workshop to pupils, where they learnt what a biosphere reserve is, and how the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire biosphere is different and similar to five other biospheres picked around the world – including Dublin Bay, Beaver Hills in USA, and the Mauritian biosphere Macchabee- Bel Ombre reserve. The class finished up their workshop by creating posters of the biospheres they had learnt about.
The Castle Douglas P6s will also be doing the first workshop, as well as part of the second. The second workshop is all about what makes the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere special – and Carys is looking forward to the results.
“Being back in schools has been fantastic,” Project Officer Carys said. “The classes have both been wonderfully engaged and their teachers have been totally on board. I’m really looking forward to the sessions with Castle Douglas primary tomorrow, and next week where we will be back in the schools to take some pupils outdoors. They’ll be learning a bit about COP26 and carbon footprints.”
The packs, created by Biosphere Explorers 1 project officer Shalla Grey, have been well received. They include all 5 workshops with presentations, teacher notes, class activities, and all the master copies of activity and quiz sheets. The Greenhouse gas boardgame and pieces are included, along with a second booklet all about local class trips and their curriculum links.
“Shalla did an amazing job with the packs,” Carys adds on. “It makes it easy for teachers who want to talk about our biosphere, climate change, and biodiversity without having to be experts on the topics.”
Next week’s blog will be an update on how the outdoor workshops went, and what is next for the project.