Communicating climate science on a global scale to a young and interactive audience
Where did all the carbon on earth really come from? How do you discuss climate change and mass extinctions without scaring children? and What positive examples do we have of mitigating human impact on the climate?
These are some of the questions we have had to deal with in the process of collaborating with Vattenhallen Science Centre, Lund University to design their new exhibition, focused on planet Earth and climate change. It is a fun challenge to think about science not just in the terms of data points, but also how they can be visualized and delivered to a diverse audience in a fun and interactive way. As a thought experiment, consider yourself – could your research be presented as an interactive game or puzzle? What data would you include? What would the design look like, and would it be durable enough for thousands of children to enjoy without it breaking into pieces? There are a lot of things to think about when you put together a science exhibition, and there are a lot of different people involved with the science, design and pedagogy behind it. We have had the pleasure to be part of this process, and it has been educative in so many ways; from googling snowball Earth theories, to deciding on how to best present historical carbon dioxide curves and running a water tank experiment with food colouring to visualize the principles behind how the gulf stream works. Now we are looking forward to seeing how the final results turn out in the exhibition hall, hopefully sometime this fall.
Kristin Aleklett & Johan Gren