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Environment - Creativity in climatology

What it's all about

As a communications designer, I had often wondered whether creative learning could play a role in environmental awareness, writes Leonora Oppenheim.

I created a series of collaborative projects under the banner Creative Data, which linked designers, scientists, universities, enterprises and schools, and began with The Butterfly Effect, which looks at current and future land use in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

Ten primaries have taken up the baton. Children look at maps of their area and ask questions including "Where are the Broads?", "What do people do there?" and "How are they changed over time?"

They are then asked to imagine what this landscape might look like in the future and what role climate change might play, and to express this through drawing, collage, photography and creative writing activities.

We have a pack to give teachers introductory training. Activities revolve around a large map. Each school has a section of it, which children decorate with stickers representing local land use - a boat, a tractor, a butterfly - and speech bubble stickers on which they can write ideas about how to look after the Broads. At the end of the project, the map will be reassembled.

Each school is also engaged in a weekly water challenge that raises awareness of how we use this precious resource.

We are now broadening our work to offer similar schemes to schools across the UK.

Get involved

Explore the environment with your pupils this Climate Week (12-18 March)

Help pupils to make a link between the things they do and the consequences of climate change with KEA 100's loop game.

Or try Science Museum Learning's activities and games for some creative climate change challenges.

www.creativedataprojects.com.

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