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Introducing Innovate for Climate Change
I’m delighted to announce the launch of our new Climate Action and Wellbeing programme, 'Innovate for Climate Change', which we are piloting with schools in the UK and Portugal.
Why are we doing this?
As a charity, we feel a deep responsibility to prepare young people for the future, and there’s no bigger issue that will impact young people than climate change. The UK government aims to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, so children entering school from this year will need technology and “green skills” for future jobs. At the same time, as climate change drives a surge in deadly disasters - and harsh scientific warnings of worse to come - young people are struggling with growing eco-anxiety about the future of the planet and their own lives.
Through their Mock COP26 Declaration, young people from across the globe have demanded that all school-age children be provided with comprehensive and up-to-date teaching regarding the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Nine out of 10 teachers in the UK agree climate change education should be compulsory in schools, yet seven out of 10 feel ill-equipped to teach it.
A green transition needs to include everyone and we want young people of all backgrounds to have their voices heard. We’ve built on our expertise in creating real world learning experiences that get young people thinking about the world around them and solving problems they find using technology, creating a positive, solutions-focussed approach that supports young people and the planet to thrive.
About the new programme
In the 12-session course, students work as a team to create a technology product that addresses a climate issue impacting their local community. Students are not only taught climate science, but also about systems thinking and how climate change connects to issues of fairness, equity and justice - and they are supported to apply this learning when developing their own products. The course has been designed for curriculum or extra-curricular delivery and mapped to the computing curriculum, but can be delivered in other subject areas.
Our aim is to give young people a strong sense of personal agency and build their confidence to play an active role in tackling climate change and shaping their own solutions, while also arming them with skills they need for a post-carbon future.
Our approach builds on our existing pedagogy and methodology and draws on the latest evidence for climate science education. We’ve developed the content in consultation with young people, teachers and industry experts. As always with Apps for Good’s courses, we’ve aimed to create the highest standard of classroom materials and curated the very best from outside sources, using resources, videos and activities from organisations such as Project Drawdown, Climate Interactive and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation
The programme has been developed with the support of a United Way Worldwide grant, on behalf of the generosity of BNY Mellon. Further funding for the pilot has been provided by Royal Sun Alliance.
During the course, students will get feedback on their ideas from industry mentors from companies including Google, Salesforce, LEGO and BNY Mellon. We are looking to add further partners in 2022 as more schools take up the programme.
Partnering with schools in the UK and Portugal
Apps for Good would not be possible without the hard work of our teachers, and we’re proud to be partnering with twelve secondary schools in England, Scotland and Portugal to pilot the new programme. Most of the teachers will deliver the course as part of their computing curriculum, while some will deliver in after-school clubs. The first pilot will run until January 2022.
We’ll be working closely with these schools to get their feedback and insights, and we’ll share these learnings on our blog over the next few months.
If you’re interested in delivering the course as part of our second pilot taking place early next year, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to support us to reach even more young people, email email@example.com.
Heather Picov, CEO, Apps for Good