Apart from the actual research work, it is a matter of interest for bayklif to inform the public about the consequences of climate change through publications, a website, and public events and to include citizens through projects with a participative focus. Schools are a part of this: With exciting and interactive projects, bayklif aims to sustainably raise pupils’ awareness for topics regarding climate, climate change and the conservation of nature and encourage older pupils to engage in independent research projects. The cooperation with schools is offered within BAYSICS and BayTreeNet.
Pupils in Bavaria investigate climate change on their own door step – you too? BAYSICS offers all Bavarian academic high schools a concept for a W-seminar to actively participate in research. Over 30 high schools in Bavaria are already enrolled. With an interactive map you can see who is already active and which research topic is being investigated:
At 11 locations in Bavaria, 12 trees in total have been set up with sensors. These “talking trees” automatically send data which is visible on the BayTreeNet homepage. Partner schools at the different locations evaluate the tree data in correlation to weather data:
BayTreeNet for schools
At the center of BayTreeNet, there is the education-related work on correlations between macro weather situations (characteristic and constant air flow structures across several days) and forest ecosystems in Bavaria. We follow a combined research and development approach. Based on the research on correlations of macro weather situations and forest ecosystems in Bavaria, we develop and follow an educational concept for pupils in Bavaria with a design-based-research-approach.
The educational concept contains the regionally different impacts of macro weather situations (caused by climate change) on forest ecosystems in particular in Bavaria. This is especially important, since climate change is often still regarded as a “faraway topic” by pupils (see Schuler 2009, Höhnle 2014). Current measurement data from other subprojects are used and integrated in the educational context while taking into account the digitally shaped student life. This happens through a website on the project, in which the measurement data (weather data, tree-specific data such as juice flow etc.) are integrated. These in turn are the basis for twitter news redacted by the pupils themselves (see figure). For this, pupils at partner sites (locations of the interconnected “talking trees”) analyze tree and weather data and translate these into comprehensible every day speech in the form of tweets. In a way, they help the trees talk. The tree locations are spread across Bavaria so that the different regional consequences of the same macro weather situation can be analyzed. The currently participating pupils and in a next step also the pupils who work with the developed educational concept can therefore connect the climate change-related educational work with current measurement data in specific problem areas in the light of a digitally influenced environment. This connection to pupils‘ changed living circumstances or even the added-value integration is often still missing in current high school education (see ICILS 2018).
Example of a tweet of the talking tree in Erlangen-Tennenlohe which is “wired” with sensors.
Location-specific weather data can be found on the project website (https://baytreenet.de)
In the accompanying research, the impact of the educational concept is investigated with regards to changes in pupils’ knowledge and motivation or interest. With a focus on essential constructs in pedagogic psychology (interest construct, attitude construct), topic-specific models of scale are developed, empirically validated, and then used for the basic investigation of constructs with Bavarian pupils and for the evaluation of the educational concept (see Thieroff et al. 2021).