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University science lead tackles climate change with primary school pupils in Scotland during COP26


Senior Professional Practice Fellow at Leeds Trinity University, Dr Leigh Hoath, visited five Scottish primary schools to talk about climate change and environmental sustainability as part of her work during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Children in classroom sat at desks holding science books with adult female and adult male stood at back.

Dr Hoath, Science Lead at Leeds Trinity University, joined colleagues from global chemical company BASF UK and the University of Strathclyde to visit pupils at Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr, as well as four other primary schools in and around Glasgow including Busby Primary School; St Anne’s Primary School; Kirkhill Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School.

Pupils from each school showcased their work on climate change, sustainability, and their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlighting their pledges, actions, and the importance of taking steps to address the current global situation.

Dr Hoath and Dr Geoff Mackey, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director at BASF UK, also led a workshop for the students which focused on challenging the stereotypes of scientists and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Dr Hoath said: “We had a fantastic week hearing from different primary pupils who are already trying to do their bit to combat climate change and contribute to environmental sustainability.

“All the pupils were really engaged in our sessions about important topics, and it was great to be able to link all of this with the COP26 summit happening in Glasgow.

“I am confident that as we continue to educate our children, the bigger impact we can have on the environment.”

Thomas Birk, Vice-President of BASF UK and Ireland, said: “It has never been more important to support the next generation with their science literacy and crucial thinking, especially linked with COP26.

“Organising to visit these inspiring schools was such a great opportunity. It brought together the outreach work that we already do with BASF, allowed the chance to attend one of the potentially most influential events to be held in relation to combating climate change, and most importantly it was a chance to work with the next generation of scientists and support their education of these key matters.”

Dr Hoath has worked with BASF for the last four years, developing their outreach provision in local primary schools.

All schools were donated a set of science dictionaries and membership to the Association for Science Education.

Read more about Dr Hoath’s work with BASF on the Leeds Trinity University website.