US pupils get John Muir on timetable

PIONEERING Scots conservationist John Muir took the then US president Theodore Roosevelt camping in 1903 in Yosemite, so inspiring the national parks system.

Now a new "going green" course devised in Scotland may have a similar effect on a new generation.

Last year, experts from California visited Scotland on a fact-finding mission, after spotting a modern environment studies module, part of the Scottish Qualifications Authority's Skills for Work in Energy.

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At their request the "going green" course, as it is known in the US, was rewritten for use in California, focusing on wind energy, solar panels and carbon footprint issues.

Last year, 46 pupils in the Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose took the course. It became part of an Innovation in Education Bill which was given federal backing and now only needs Barack Obama's signature.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA chief executive, said: "The fact-finding mission from San Jose had heard about the good work which was being done in Scotland which was why they came to see us … they were so impressed that they said they wanted something similar."

Robin Harper, Green MSP, said he hoped the qualification was as popular here.

"Otherwise something Scottish will again be used better elsewhere, and California will be ahead of us in developing new technology."