European award for Climate Change GIS! (and other teachable goodies)

It’s been 15 months since my role as Education Officer at WEMC finished, and I completed the task as Project Manager and Education Lead for developing the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate & Energy Educational Demonstrator (C3S Edu Demo).

A screenshot of the desktop and mobile version of the C3S Edu Demo. If you like the look of the screenshots above and are keen to see what it’s all about – hold fire for a little as there is better to come!

Out of the blue a couple of months ago, I got word that the C3S Edu Demo was shortisted for an award for the 2021 Copernicus Climate Change Service Gala and Use Case Exhibition, in the category of Creating impactful visualization and communication material and promoting C3S to user communities.

We were up against three over teams in the category, each producing something I really think teachers should check out. I’ll come back to those later.

The idea of the C3S Edu Demo was to make use of the incredible quantity and quality of climate and energy data from the C3S Climate Data Store, and use it to feed a visualisation that was intuative and practical for high school students and general audiences. While I was the Project Manager for it’s development, there was a great team involved in the development, coding, design and functionaility. My primary role in that respect was ensuring the educational value – that it was relevant and accessible for schools. I worked with many colleagues and connections in the geography teacher community to ensure it did what it set out to do.

A representative from each of the shortlisted teams had to record a short interview about their project. Here’s me talking about the C3S Edu Demo.

The other nominees… worth checking out!

Without a shadow of a doubt, you should definitely check out the other shortlisted projects. They are definitely great to use in the classroom! Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

isardSAT / Lobelia – Thermal Stress in the Climate Crisis: A Story Hub (https://utci.lobelia.earth/)

Building on historical climate data and future climate projections, the Thermal Stress Story Hub carries users on an interactive journey to understand how thermal stress will evolve in the future and impact lives around the world. The Story Hub consists of interactive maps and dynamic stories to support users to understand how thermal stress will impact their lives. The stories provide data from 1979 to the present day and offer projections up to the year 2100, under the RCP 8.5 global warming scenario.

My thoughts from teaching and learning perspective: I absoultely love this! And honestly, how this one didn’t win our category (mild-spoiler there!) I don’t know! The website is built as a story map, making it easily accessible and navigable. It contains a quiz which you can take about your tolerances to certain weather conditions and landscapes, and it will plot locations in the world would suit you today and based on climate projections into the future. I can definitely see this being used in the classroom!

Meteotest AG – Climate-analogues, finding tomorrow’s climate today (https://climate-analogues.climate.copernicus.eu/)

“The C3S ‘Climate Analogues’ application aims to inform, raise awareness and provide data about climate change. Climate Analogues is a web application that displays three locations and their respective climates, each of which has a similar climate today as a location defined by the user could have in the future. Users can choose between three different emissions scenarios (RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5) and time periods between 1990 and 2090.”

My thoughts from teaching and learning perspective: I love the simple visualisations and ease of use. I think for it to be more immersive and tangible, it would be great to include climate graphs for comparison. I hope they develop this further to include more locations. You can also check out this great story map from the Crowther Lab.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Press Data Portal (https://climate.copernicus.eu/press-data-portal)

“The C3S Press Data Portal aims to provide journalists and inexperienced users of climate data with a platform to easily access and use the data and products available in the C3S Climate Data Store (CDS). The portal will allow journalists to extract tailored and compelling visualisations to create robust, evidence-based and impactful stories related to climate change.”

Building up the Press Data Portal

My thoughts from teaching and learning perspective: Science communication is so important. While the C3S Climate Data Store repository is vast, open-access and incredibly powerful, it is not, in a sense, ‘accessible’ as you need skill and knowledge to be able to make use of it. So tools which can make use of this wealth of data and turn it into something accessible to a wider audience. Disappointingly I couldn’t find a link to the tool itself. Some demos are for internal presentation only, so hopefully this will become not just publically available but also free to use in a way educators can work with.

And the winner is…

If you want to watch back the whole coverage of the category the CS3 Edu Demo was shortlisted for, then check out the video below. It’s just 15 minutes long and also contains short clips about each of the projects above. However if you want to skip straight to the announcement, then fast forward to 5:50.

Just wow! To be recognised by a major authority and influencer in climate science is a huge honour and a pleasant and amazing surprise! I really enjoyed working on this project and so proud of what the team achieved. Well done to everyone at WEMC, NthWork and those who supported us. I’d like to express massive gratitude to members of the geography teacher community who supported this, particularly Brendan Conway and the rest of teh GA ICT SIG team, Fran Moss and her students at Attleborough Academy, Denise Freeman and the East London Geography Hub and Laura Bytheway who contributed an amazing resource demonstrating the potential educational application of the C3S Edu Demo. One final thanks to the wonderful Sebastian Sterl, who gave up time to give his thoughts and expertise from a climate sci comm point of view.

version 2: global & Timely

But wait! Before you rush off to use the C3S Edu Demo. That was just a demo case, as the name suggests. There is now a new version which covers the whole globe with a greater resolution both in time and space. Check out WEMC’s Teal Tool.

They have also been working with ENEL to map socio-economic factors, that is definitely worth checking out here: https://ef.tealtool.earth/

If you make any lesson resources based on the Teal Tool, do let me know and I can pass on your wonderful work to my ex-colleages at WEMC.

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