Monday, January 2, 2012

Students produce videos about climate change science

Global warming is one of the most hotly debated topics today, and it also can be one of the most confusing—scientists, politicians, pundits, and Facebook friends will often put forth their opinions, often conflicting with each other.

A group of Randolph College students sought to separate fact from fiction with a series of videos debunking climate myths. As an assignment for their Earth Interactions and Global Change class, they chose misconceptions about climate change and explored what scientific research has actually shown.

“The purpose of this course is to equip students with the knowledge to discern whether the science is good, or its pseudo science,” said Karin Warren, an environmental sciences professor. To test the students' mastery of the topics, she assigned them to make educational videos. 

“I wanted them to do something that would inform public understanding of climate change,” Warren said.

The project required students to not only understand the science, but also become interviewers, stop-motion animators, and storytellers who could explain the science behind climate change. They explored topics such as the temperature on Neptune, methane emitted in beef production, and the difference between predicting weather and predicting climate.

They created six videos, which are now available on the Warren posted them to the Randolph College Environmental Studies YouTube channel.

“They put in hours and hours of work on this project,” Warren said. “It’s not just something that’s going to sit on my desk and have nobody but me to see it.” Warren said that she hopes the videos will become a resource for school teachers who want to explain climate science to their students.