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Schoolchildren Explore Flooding and Climate Change

05/06/2010 11:56:08

Pupils from Morecambe High School with Dr Walker at the workshop
Pupils from Morecambe High School with Dr Walker at the workshop

Imagine your home is being flooded and you have to pack a suitcase in ten minutes – what would you take?

That was the question asked of pupils at Morecambe High School who took part in a Lancaster University project to explore the effects of flooding and climate change.

The schoolchildren learned about the experience of leaving home at short notice through workshops based on the experiences of many youngsters across Cumbria and Yorkshire who were affected by the floods of 2007 and 2008.

The workshops were made as lifelike as possible, with the sound of dripping rain, photographs and interviews based on conversations with children who had lost their homes in the Hull flooding.

Morecambe High School’s Head of Science, Dr Phil Jumeau said: “The activities had elements of the citizenship, English, science, geography and ICT curricula all packaged into one stimulating workshop. This clearly got the students thinking on a very personal level about the forces of nature and the impact that they may be having in terms of global warming and climate change.”

The workshop was led by Dr Marion Walker and Dr Beccy Whittle from the Lancaster Environment Centre, who also held the workshops at Central Lancaster High School and Dallam School in Cumbria.

They have been conducting research into how children were affected by the Hull floods of 2007, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Environment Agency and Hull City Council.

Dr Walker said: “Some of the children were shocked at what it takes to recover from having your home flooded and how severe the aftermath can be. This workshop made it seem real.”

The suitcase used in the workshop was designed and created by local artist Shane Johnstone as a container for the teaching resources. It belongs to ‘Lucy and Peter’, a fictional brother and sister who had to leave their home the morning after the floods. The inside of the case reveals an image of the damaged things they left behind - their personal belongings which they forgot to pack and which are now irreplaceable.