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S6 pupils publish climate action paper

 S6 Pupils publish climate action paper

Emma Guthrie (pictured left) and Anna Thomson (right) (both S6), along with their peers have published a paper on climate action.

The paper,  'The Youth Climate Action Network - reflections on a year of youth leadership on action for the climate' has been published in issue 338 of School Science Review, a themed journal for science teachers.

The girls, both En Roads Climate Ambassadors, attended the Conference of Youth (COY) event in November prior to COP26. 

Anna said: "During the first lockdown Emma and I were introduced to the En Roads Climate Simulator and took the 8-week training course to become ambassadors and be trained in how to use the simulator to teach audiences about the factors that go into climate change.

In doing this we met ambassadors from other schools and together, we decided to meet weekly to discuss our progress and climate change as a whole.

As a result of our meetings, we set up Y-CAN, our team of students and teachers as an official climate action body.

Y-CAN stands for Youth Climate Action Network and we are currently in the process of designing an award system similar to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, but for exclusively climate-focused projects."

Emma said: "We created Y-CAN because we all share a genuine desire to better the planet's future in terms of tackling climate change. Anna, Georgia (pictured centre) and I were able to collaborate with people of our own age who were like-minded on issues like deforestation, plastic pollution, carbon consumption and global warming. Y-CAN was created by us, secondary school students, with the intent to educate other students and inspire innovation.

The thing I love about Y-CAN, and what I assume attracts the likes of the ASE (Association for Science Education), is that it was founded and is run primarily by people under the age of 20. A few months ago, we were involved in a Zoom call with the other members of Y-CAN, which is a weekly occurrence, but this time we were joined by Dr Lizzie Rushton who asked us for our opinions on the current climate issues. This was wonderful because we were able to share our knowledge of the topics we had discussed as a group over several months. Dr Rushton's interview was conducted in such a conversational manner that we were unaware she was recording what we said!

I am extremely grateful to Lizzie for taking the time to speak to us with a genuine interest in our opinions. I also thank her for collating this article that depicts the aims and actions of Y-CAN so holistically."

There are four secondary schools involved; three in England with Watson’s being the only Scottish one. Y-CAN also have strong connections to a primary school in England and two international students who are independent of a school team and are still in contact with the people in Y-CAN who graduated secondary school last year.

Each school has their own individual projects with the George Watson’s College team in the process of designing an interactive website for primary classrooms with more up to date information and actions for climate change.

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  • Senior School