Sustainable Scotland: City science centres reach out to bring climate change education to communities across Scotland

Science hubs in Scotland’s four biggest cities have joined forces in a bid to help youngsters and adults from across the country to learn about climate change and play a part in tackling the environmental crisis.

Glasgow Science Centre, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Aberdeen Science Centre and Dundee Science Centre have together formed the National Climate Campaign, which aims to bring the latest research and knowledge to Scots everywhere – especially those living in remote, rural or deprived communities who may be unable to visit in person or face barriers to accessing information and educational tools.

The campaign, which is supported by the Scottish Government, has already reached more than 13,000 people this year alone.

The establishments first united under the banner ‘Scottish Science Centres Together for Climate’ during the COP26 summit last November.

The new campaign has been set up to build on the legacy of the United Nations conference, which was held in Glasgow, by informing, inspiring and empowering a diverse audience to tackle the climate emergency and ensure the discussion on climate change remains open.

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As part of the initiative, the organisations have delivered nearly 100 events designed to make science more relatable and helped learners to develop their science skills to better understand the world.

The four science centres offered programmes tailored to different groups local to them, from both within the walls of their centres and outside in the wider community.

Science centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen have joined forces to help climate change education reach children and adults across Scotland. Picture: Andrew Cawley

Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “We set up the National Climate Campaign to ensure that there is a legacy of climate engagement left behind after COP26.

“We hope that by providing communities across Scotland with our knowledge and resources we can act as a magnet for climate engagement and help empower young people to make considered decisions and learn what climate change means for them.”

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children took part in visits as part of the campaign.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Having the opportunity to go to the Science Centre inclusive of travel and lunch was invaluable to the families, as travel and access to food are barriers that are often forgotten about when providing activities free of charge to the public.

The National Climate Campaign, a state-supported collaboration between Glasgow Science Centre, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Aberdeen Science Centre and Dundee Science Centre, has already reached more than 13,000 Scots. Picture: Majdanik Photography

“The visit to the centre allowed the children to broaden their horizons around science, a topic which has so many elements, but isn’t always understood.

“Some of the children linked their school eco projects to the work at the science centre and shared this with the community team.

“The families expressed how much they enjoyed the experience, pointing out that they wouldn’t be able to afford the trip on their income and that both children and adults alike, learned so much and had a great day out.”

Environment minister Mairi McAllan said: “Young people have been among the strongest voices calling for urgent global action to address climate change.

“This campaign will make sure that young people in communities across Scotland continue to play a key role in our journey to becoming a net-zero nation, delivering a lasting legacy for COP26 and making their voices heard loud and clear.”

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