23 November 2022
They have been working alongside Kings College London on a project entitled “What are the effects of current climate mitigation policies on the local environment?”, as part of Tomorrow’s Climate Scientists, which is an extension to the Royal Society’s school funding scheme Partnership Grants.
The Royal Society is the UK’s national academy of science.
The students are concerned that decisions made by politicians intended to reduce the impact of climate change are not always effective. In order to find a link between climatic variations and government policy the team constructed a weather station from scratch. Currently, their station includes a wind speed and a wind direction monitor, a pyranometer (which measures sunlight, temperature and humidity), a rain gauge and a solar panel (which powers the weather station). These components have been connected to a circuit board which allows them to record the readings from their local environment and share it on a global network. This enables other scientists, from around the world, to view and use their data. They have been working on this for almost two years, and have fixed the sensor array to a wooden frame in the school grounds. The long term aim of the project is to observe whether mitigation policies implemented by the government are effective in the local area. They predict that their data will show the impact of these policies and assist in shaping future policy decisions
The young scientists visited the Royal Society’s central London headquarters before heading to Parliament along with pupils from four other UK schools. Heidi, Sophie, Prakriti and Ovee, all in Year 11 at LEH, were given the opportunity to question MPs about their work rather than as is usually the case in a Select Committee with MPs questioning the witnesses. It was a unique experience for them and they are very grateful to the Royal Society for providing them with this opportunity as well as the grant they have generously been given to fund their Weather Station Project at LEH. The students were later also interviewed on BBC Radio’s programme ‘Inside Science’ which was broadcast on Thursday, 17th November.
Policy makers that faced a grilling were Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson, Alex Norris, Labour (Co-op) MP for Nottingham North and Shadow Levelling-up Minister, and Phillip Dunne, Conservative MP for Ludlow and Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.