SECOSTA (Citizen Science for climate research)

SECOSTA (Citizen Science for climate research)

Empowering the youth for action against climate change impacts

Balearic Islands, but easily extrapolable everywhere | 1 September 2018 – ongoing

Climate change is a fact and any action to fight it would need the support of the citizenship. The involvement of the young people is of paramount importance, as they will be those in charge of acting and supporting the required policies in the next decades. However, the society and, in particular, the young people are exposed to lots of information in many ways, especially through digital media. Therefore, reaching them in the traditional way (e.g. trough talks or videos) has proven to be of medium efficiency.

The SECOSTA initiative provides an innovative way to involve the society in the research on climate change. The main idea behind SECOSTA is that we have developed different devices based on low-cost technology that can provide good-quality environmental data (e.g. sea level, bathymetry, water temperature, atmospheric parameters), that can be related to climate variability or climate impacts. Then, we work with secondary school teachers to train them to build those devices with the students and to develop educational projects on climate change that involve several subjects at different grades (from maths to language or physical education). Through this process the students receive the inputs from top-level scientists and become aware of the most recent findings on climate change. Finally, the students build the devices and use them to take observations that will be used by our team to conduct research studies. Additionally, a final conference will be performed where the students of different schools will feel as researchers presenting their findings, methods and experiences in front of their peers.

The success of SECOSTA relies on the fact that the students become an active part of the scientific research which motivates them to learn more about climate and environmental problems in other subjects. And the most important point is that they become aware of the climate change problem not by listening, but by doing, which is much more effective.

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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.