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Pilot Project: Marine Issues with Climate Change

This pilot project investigated the provision for climate change topics within formal teaching, examined the links between informal and formal science teaching and improved provision for educators to address the difficulties experienced in engaging young people with science.

The project counted on different activities:

  • Research into the educational curriculum, trough the collection of news, articles and studies,
  • Contacts with academics and universities,
  • Activities with schools: pupils aged from 13 to 16 years old (KS4) were invited to visit the Aquarium and will be in exhibits and websites evaluation.

The project culminated in the creation of “Climate Lab”, a one-stop shop for teachers, pupils and science centres dealing with the topic of climate change.

Target age group
Students aged 9-15 years old



  • Research into curriculum provision
  • Production of interactive Learning Objects
  • Teacher support and recommendations

The focus was on presenting science - climate change in particular - as dynamic, contemporary and controversial. Facts were replaced by opinions and evidence.  The students were in control of the learning experience – choosing their own route through the topics presented to reach their own conclusions.

Evaluation strategy

  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups

For further information see the PENCIL deliverables:

D10 Assessment of Pilot Projects: Case studies illustrating the work of each of the Pencil pilot projects (pdf, in English).

D24 Pilot Project Outcomes: The objectives, the learning activities used, the methodology employed and the results of the pilot projects (pdf, in English).

Pilot coordinator

The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, UK

The National Marine Aquarium was the first aquarium in the United Kingdom to be set up solely for the purpose of education, conservation and research. It remains Britain's foremost aquarium and in the six years it has been open it has attracted over two million visitors through its doors and thousands of enquiries by letter, telephone, fax and email.

Contact details
The National Marine Aquarium
Rope Walk,
Plymouth UK

Project coordinator
Paul Cox, Learning Manager


Scientific partners
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK
Marine Biological Association of the UK
University of Plymouth, Faculty of Science, UK
Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia, UK
The Association for Science Education, UK
Environment Agency, UK

Educational partners
Primary Schools
Shiphay Primary School, Torquay, Devon, UK
Kenn Church of England Primary School, Kennford, Exeter, Devon, UK
Tedburn St. Mary Primary School, Devon, UK
St Budeaux Foundation Church of England School, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Swiss Cottage School, Swiss Cottage, London, UK
Castle Hill Infant School, Basingstoke, Berkshire, UK
Secondary Schools
Eggbuckland Community College, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Kingsbridge Community College, Kingsbridge, Devon, UK
Stoke Damerel Community College, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Coombe Dean  School, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Altrincham Girls Grammar School, Manchester, UK
The Aveland High School, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK

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