Understanding climate change

Following the Summer School of Majorca in Spain and meetings of coordinators, the subject chosen for the year 2008-2009 is climate change. Several classes of Quebec, Catalonia and Hong Kong have joined the KBIP.

A first meeting for all participants was held earlier in the year. At that time, the classes presented the theme they wanted to work on during the year. Sharing themes through classes enabled them to identify a number of issues related to climate change. The themes were:

• Renewable energy
• The atmosphere and pollution
• The hydrosphere and water consumption
• The effects of pollution on the territories
• The means to decrease the negative effects

Among these, Quebec classes discussed renewable energy, atmosphere and pollution as well as hydrography and water consumption. The results of their knowledge building process and investigation on the water consumption are detailed here.

The students of this school have used the scientific method (questioning, systematic observation, trial and error, the experimental verification, the study of the needs and constraints, design patterns, prototyping) to find answers to their questions. They performed this investigation on the KF which also facilitated the application of this approach.

The teams working on the atmosphere and pollution lingered to understand how acid rain are part of the natural phenomenon of the water cycle. However, it is influenced by human pollution. Students also understood that greenhouse gases are essential to human survival. However, the negative effects are accentuated again by human pollution.

With this understanding, other teams were able to dwell on the effect of human pollution on ecosystems of the earth. First, they discussed the effects on animals. They also analyzed how human actions could be harmful (endangered animals). Subsequently, they discussed the concept of deforestation. They were able to establish a link between deforestation and greenhouse gases. By eliminating the trees, there is less oxygen that is released into the atmosphere.

It was during the international conference of the KBIP on May 19-20-21 2009 that classes were able to present the results of their research.

Escola Proa's students presented interesting information on ways to recycle computer equipement. This led them to focus on the consumption principles and overconsumption of current society.