Lancing welcomes climate change experts at online conference

The Climate+ conference for Lower Sixth students was held at the College in September. The aim of the event was to show that climate change is a cross-disciplinary issue and that everyone can and should contribute knowledge and partial solutions.

Dr Arnold Jan Reesink, Geography Teacher and conference organisers, said:

‘Climate change is not only a hot topic, it has become a bucket-term that invokes strong feelings based on biased experience and knowledge of individuals. Such a barrier in communication is a pervasive problem to which education is a solution. Therefore, we aim to break down barriers in communication by encouraging the exchange of ideas and discussions.

Beside the lower costs, decreased travel time, and lower carbon footprint, online conferencing starts the discussion about why we travel and go places. I am passionate about travelling – but let’s not travel to sit in a room. Let’s truly explore the world when we travel.’

Dr Simon Norris, Chemistry Teacher and conference organiser, also commented:

'The conference was an opportunity for students to consider the biggest challenge facing humanity using a multi-disciplinary approach. Lessons in science, geography and languages focused on specific aspects of the issues and the expert talks had a wide range of perspectives. At the end of the day the College Catering Team demonstrated that a climate friendly, sustainably sourced meal can be tasty and celebratory. There was a true sense of the College community really coming together to look for solutions and widen perspectives.'

Pupils Jacob C and William P wrote:

'The two-hour conference gave us insightful talks from an array of experts, from water resources in the Middle East to climate change in the Arctic. Students were able to ask questions during the talks and interact with the speakers, which made the overall experience engaging and rewarding. My favourite speaker was Bianca Perren, whose talk focused on the shifts and fluctuations in the Arctic environment as a result of climate change. This was particularly beneficial to me as some of the topics she discussed coincided with the syllabus of my A Level Geography course. The conference itself was followed by the Climate+ dinner which provided the perfect opportunity for students to discuss with teachers and peers about the issues addressed at the conference.'

'As a member of the Lancing College Green Group it was really great to attend the Climate+ conference and hear from experts about this topic. The variety of speakers and subjects discussed addressed several aspects of causes of climate change. It was a great idea to host the conference online to avoid carbon emissions from the speakers travelling to the school. My favourite speaker was Gail Atkinson who spoke about ''Forests and Climate Change'', exploring the history of forests in the UK and the effect on climate change. It is very rare to be able to get in such close contact with this amazing range of experts, and our school is very lucky to have been given this opportunity. Furthermore, the enthusiasm shown by the pupils was really good, and hopefully it will allow more progress for the College towards being a more environmentally friendly school.'