For a long time, we have dubbed our younger generations as disengaged, criticizing them for low turnouts at general elections and for showing a lack of interest in politics overall. With some young people voting for the very first time in the EU referendum, it must have been a disappointing first experience for the 73% majority that voted to remain. Perhaps it could have gone either way – but the general election that followed saw a 16% rise in 18-24-year-old voters indicating that they are eager to get involved.
This recent political engagement has trickled down the age groups as of late with students as young as 10 years old campaigning in the fight against climate change. Just last Friday, we saw thousands of students take to our streets here in the UK, missing out on lessons to march their homemade placards as they called for climate action before it is too late.
First things first, they’re calling on the government to declare a climate emergency, worried that much-needed progress needs to be urgently addressed. Also asking for the voting age to be lowered to 16 so that they can have their opinions heard, this new ‘green generation’ is reshaping the stereotype by proving that they are anything but disengaged. In a world where our children feel that they need to miss out on education to tackle the environmental breakdown ahead of us, should we not be aiding them with the tools to win the fight? With an ever-closing window for reform, this is the generation that will face the brunt of climate change.
In recent years, we have already seen a few changes to exam specifications to include climate change topics such as the inclusion of fuel cells as a new GCSE chemistry topic. In partnership with Arval and BNP Paribas, the Hydrogen Hub, supported by the team at Ecuity is proud to have produced an education pack on fuel cells and the benefits they could bring in our fight against climate change. After a successful launch of the education pack yesterday, we are confident that climate change topics can be integrated within a school environment in a way that is not only relevant and educational but also engaging and fun.
The resource is available to view and download on the teacher resource website, TES, via the following link.
For more information please contact the author: Christina Thompson- Yates