Guest Post – the CAT Experience

In March Oscar visited the Centre for Alternative Technology with his school. He wrote an article about his experiences at the Centre on his blog, and he has kindly given us permission to reproduce it here.

Guest blogger Oscar

From the 8th – 11th March 2013 I was lucky enough to join a group of my school friends on a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales. In brief; it was a truly inspiring trip and I was able to talk to some really interesting people who work at the centre. The centre is built on an old slate waste tip from a slate quarry that used to be in action close by.

Solar panels at CAT

According to our guide, the centre was founded in 1974 and it aims to experiment with different environmentally friendly ways to produce electrical energy. As soon as you pull up in the, less eco-friendly, car you notice the most obvious ways they are producing electricity. The photo above was taken from underneath a roof of solar panels. The amazing design allows light into the sheltered area, yet is covered in solar panel tiles.

One of CAT’s wind turbines

Another aspect of the centre is all the wind turbines – however retro some of them were (see picture on above). It was an insight to be able to stand next to one blade off a modern wind turbine. They a huge! Although, in my opinion, that is not a bad thing. I think the modern wind turbines look futuristic and do not ruin the landscape – they enhance it. Imagine if there were wind turbines in London! How different our opinions of them would be. There is the debate that they are a danger to bats. This is due to the blades spinning at a speed that the bat’s sensors do not pick up and they, sadly, will fly into the blades. I’m sure there must be a way to stop this.

Not only is the centre truly educational – it is a place of enjoyment. I will never forget being in the mole tunnel. The darkness allows you to find your way around without the need of sight – much like a mole. There are small lights which help you see due to health and safety, however, these lights are small and do not let you see that much in front of you. The tunnel leads you to a small room that has enlarged plastic bugs behind glass windows – it is as if you are looking through a huge magnifying glass at the bugs. The whole experience is made even more interactive by Megan the Mole talking to you as you stroll around. As you leave the tunnel you must take a moment to stroke Megan the Mole’s nose… it may only be a pretend mole, but it is incredibly soft.

Megan the Mole

The wind turbine workshop is one of those memories I will never forget. Our tour guide ran the workshop and the aim was to make the wind turbine (small scale model of course) that generated the most electricity when placed in front of a fan. Before the workshop we had been briefed on wind turbines and shown some full size ones (well from a distance away). I tried to make a very… well…erm… a different unique design out of a recycled plastic cup. Well that didn’t work, but our team did have one of the best designs in the end. Not that I am competitive 😉

Now the memory I definitely will not forget is the sensory walk. That was one of my favourite moments on the trip. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone who took a photo of me doing it, so you’ll just have to imagine it. We were in a  woodland and the trees were connected by a rope. Each participant was given a helmet and blindfold to put on and we were led to the rope. The aim was to complete a sort of obstacle course whilst feeling our way around – there were people dotted around the course to help us if we lost the guide rope. I had heard that at some point we had to crawl through a tunnel so as soon as the rope fell onto the floor I assumed we would have to crawl. If memory serves right – I believe I army crawled most of the course and halfway around there was a river. I had heard people step into it and get wet so I knew it was approaching. I used my hands to feel the ground and I noticed a change of texture – it was sand. I felt a bit further out and touched water so I stayed clear of it. In the end I did army crawl through part of the river fully with a few friends – because we felt like it. I won’t say much else about it, because if you do go to CAT on a school trip I do not want to ruin the sensory walk. I’ll just repeat – it was amazing and so much fun.

Towards the Eco-Cabins

And that was that. We left on the Sunday to everyone’s great sadness. My time at the Centre had been full of surprises, excitement and most of all, enjoyment. Thank you for all the experiences CAT. I hope to visit again and I recommend anyone checks it out – especially schools. This is the perfect school trip and the students will learn so much – I know, because I learnt so much.

 

 

ZCBlog: Educating for a zero carbon future

This week on ZCBlog Sarah Everitt, a long-term volunteer at CAT, describes her work linking between different parts of the CAT team: Education, and Zero Carbon Britain.

Within the first week or so of settling in to the Zero Carbon Britain team I was finding out all about the progress of the research, the schedule for the report and the communications strategy and aims. Having a parent who works in education support I expressed an interest in how we would enthuse young people about ZCB and spread the message through schools.  It then became apparent that a gap existed between the researchers who produce the ZCB report and the Education department who inform young visitors and schools about the work that CAT does.  Therefore, it was suggested that it would be useful to have someone who could provide a link between the two departments, and I was glad to be appointed the responsibility.

The benefits of creating such a link were obvious, in that Education could tell me what they want or need from ZCB to best convey what ZCB is all about – whether it be to better understand what the scenario portrays and advocates, the science behind it, possible resources and ways to communicate the scenario, or specific information needed to put together accurate and informative ZCB activities.

From the beginning of this project, it’s been clear to me that CAT’s Education team has a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity about ZCB and its importance to society.  Deirdre, Ann and Christine have all been working at CAT for over ten years and are lovely people to work with.  They already give presentations and a workshop on ZCB, and have a great deal of insight into the key details they would like to put across, their target audience and how their audience may question things.

In the workshop, several types of activities are based around a giant map of Britain.  The students can interact with the map and use it to present what they would do towards a ZCB and where.  Looking at these existing materials, we compiled a long list of requests for scientific notes, updated information, clearer graphs and diagrams and updated resources.  There were also a few questions about the ZCB scenario that they had received from audiences, which I could then enquire about with the appropriate ZCB researcher.

They were very happy to have someone to whom they can direct their questions, and who has more time to help tweak technical and visual details of presentations and resources.

So far I have enjoyed adding notes to their presentations and adding new slides, and as the report is finalised I will continue to update their ZCB presentations.  I have found it really interesting to see all the work and enthusiasm that goes into producing the Educational material.  Also, in the process I have learnt a lot more about climate science and policy, and the ins and outs of the ZCB scenario.

For example, I have learnt about how the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be explained as the carbon ‘bathtub’ effect.  It is like a tub filling with water, where more water flows from the faucet than the drain can take away. And, as the global temperature increases, the size of the drain decreases as current stores of carbon either cannot take in enough to match the rate of emissions or the stores themselves begin to degrade and release carbon.  This perpetuates the cycle and increases the rate of temperature change. The ‘bathtub’ effect essentially explains the runaway rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations – and with humans pumping vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, the current CO2 level is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years (NRC, 2010*).

I am looking forward to creating and updating some engaging resources and activity sheets to complement Education’s existing resources and presentations.  An example of a type of resource used is maps of wind speed and water depth off UK coasts, with a brief info sheet explaining offshore wind turbines. Using this, high school pupils are asked where they would place offshore wind turbines and how many.  This gives an idea of the research behind the scenario.  I will create a more accessible map key and put together a more up to date and visually appealing info sheet.

It is great that in the future there will be more opportunities to create educational resources alongside the updated report.  I hope that there can always be a person there from ZCB whom can give time to work together with education, and provide them with ZCB information and resource material.  An idea for a future resource could be a snazzy, child friendly, information and activity pack provided alongside a presentation or workshop.  Pupils could then take home the ZCB vision of the future and perhaps act on or ponder it, or perhaps even just leave in a drawer and rediscover it a few years later – a spark of curiosity reignited. Some will want to find out more about what is happening towards ZCB now, or maybe discuss ZCB with their parents and decide on some things they can do together as a family to help achieve a zero carbon Britain.

I would like to help develop a workshop package that could be sent out to schools, including a whole host of activity ideas and resources that the school could base a non-curriculum day around (perhaps even a ‘A ZCB Future’ day).  In this way ZCB could be communicated more widely across the UK, even to schools that haven’t yet heard of or visited CAT.  There is great potential for creating this from what education already work with.  I look forward to discussing it further with them, and hopefully to begin creating the package alongside CAT’s enthusiastic Education team.

 

Are you a student, teacher or someone else interested in learning more about CAT’s educational resources on Zero Carbon Britain – or in helping to develop new resources? Contact Sarah at sarah.everitt@cat.org.uk with your questions!

 

*National Research Council (USA) (2010), Advancing the Science of Climate Change. Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change.

Tales from the Stawbale

 

For three weeks CAT’s Strawbale Theatre was transformed into an inventor’s den when we ran Eco Easter Activities. Kids of all ages got involved in designing and building solar-powered machines, some of them amazingly complex. For the water-bound vehicles a nearby pond became the launching point for great voyages, powered by the sun and the wind. All of the machines were built using recycled materials, and the scope for invention was only limited by the imagination.

A young solar engineer shows off his creation

We have seen boats of all different shapes and sizes set sail – some more successful than others. Milk bottles were always a popular choice, providing a nice solid barge that was less likely to capsize. Alongside innovation was decoration, and boats were soon covered in glitter, feathers and stickers.

An exploration below the water revealed a new world of creatures to investigate. Pond-dipping discoveries included newts, frogspawn, phantom midge larvae, a dragonfly larva, lesser water boatmen and… water fleas.

Play dough, Easter card making and a scavenger hunt were just some of the other activities we enjoyed doing during the Easter holidays. Thanks to some creative craft sessions, the office now hosts Elaine the Owl and a rather fantastical feedback box.

Megan and Freya with Elaine the Owl

Thanks to all who called by over Easter. We will be running more activities for children and adults during the summer, so do come and visit. Updates will be posted on our website nearer the time.

Congratulations to Britain’s leading women in sustainable architecture

Trish Andrews HRH Prince Charles to some of CAT's student modern architecture

We are delighted to see that Blanche Cameron from RESET development and  former tutor at CAT, Trish Andrews tutor on the professional diploma course, Fran Bradshaw a visiting tutor, Anna Surgenor graduate of CAT’s Msc Advanced Environmental and Energy studies , Sue Roaf and Sarah Wigglesworth, course participant in straw bale building have been listed in the Architects  Journal, Women in Sustainable Architecture article.

The list recognises some of the UK’s leading women architects who are working to make sustainability an integral part of building design.  Fran Bradshaw, said: ‘We like people – that’s why and how we design. Together we can make buildings which are both a pleasure and practical to live in, and which use the earth’s resources carefully and imaginatively.’

With many of these women also teaching at universities and influencing our future architects, we could see a lot more good work to come.

Trish Andrews HRH Prince Charles to some of CAT's student modern architecture

Studying sustainability requires a global discourse

The Centre for Alternative Technology is located in a beautiful site in mid Wales. The masters courses run here are taught in a world leading environmental building – the Wales Institute for Sustainability Education (WISE). In many ways, the unique location is one of the things that make studying renewable energy or environmental building at the Centre for Alternative Technology so special. So why do we offer a distance learning option where students never have to actually attend CAT? The answer is that it enables us to create a course that gives sustainability a global perspective.

Doing a course by distance learning puts you into a classroom that spans the whole world. It means the range of perspectives that are brought into that classroom are more diverse than any other method of learning. For a course based on sustainability this is crucial. Sustainability shouldn’t be taught as an abstract theory amongst a group of people that all basically come from the same background, it should be taught as a discourse amongst people with diverse experiences of its practical application.

Of course, all university courses will have some international dimension to their intake. But the barriers of increasingly restrictive visa regulations and cost mean that in reality physically attending a course in the UK is increasingly difficult for many overseas students. Distance learning courses, on the other hand, are accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

We offer a distance learning option for our MSc Sustainable Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Systems course (we call it AEES). The course is open to people from all backgrounds and professions who are interested in getting the edge in sustainability, sustainable design and the built environment. There is ample opportunity for students to pursue their own interests in depth, choosing eight modules from a wide range of topics covering global energy issues, renewable energy system design and sustainability in the built environment.

Each unit is taught through the online learning environment. Students attend seminars and discussions online, but can access the lectures at a time to suit them. They can access support online from academic tutors and student support officers as well as UEL library staff and UEL technical and student support staff.

Anna Pamphilon has recently graduated. She valued the course for its technical depth:

“I wanted to find a course with sufficient technical depth that would compliment the knowledge I had already acquired. The course at CAT was detailed and technical enough to do this, whilst also being offered in a long distance format that enabled me to choose when I studied, which was ideal for my situation.”

Flexibility is at the heart of the course. We are still accepting applications to start in September but there is also a March intake. Students can study where and when they please, and also pause the course for a period if other commitments arise. We find these things mean that the students that are attracted to AEES are often professionals already, with their own wealth of experience that they can bring to the course. The other students you interact with on the course become as much as a learning resource as the lecturers, books and exercises – they also form a great network for professional collaborations.

Click here to find out more and apply now

 

Raw experience: Richard West

I’ve never had a job that is any way worthwhile until now. I never had a job that I felt made the world any better – this gives me the potential to do that.”

Richard has been a Student on the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment course at CAT since September last year. He is doing the course part time over two years. Here he reflects on what he has got out of the course, and his motivation for taking it.

Richard West: "I've always been interested in it, probably since before it was called renewable energy"

 

I work in the construction industry on the technical side although most of my career was in IT. I never really aimed for IT, but I always just sort of gravitated towards it. I’ve always drifted in my career up until this point and then I made a conscious decision that this is what I wanted to do, that I wanted to be involved in renewable energy.

 

CAT seemed like the obvious route to do that. For me at least it has always held a sort of mystique as a world leading place where they push the boundaries. I’m not quite sure they do push the boundaries any more because most of the boundaries have been broken. But they certainly practice what they preach and they certainly have a long history of understanding the way these sorts of thing work because they use them and have been using them for a long time. All the people here who are involved in the course have practical experience of actually working with the technologies that they are teaching us about. They are not geeks from universities who have learned about these things and are teaching us from text books. The are actually engineers who live in the real world, who consult on commercial situations and who understand how things change because they work in this world. They also understand all the regulatory changes because they are affected by them every day and they pass it onto us.

 

The diversity of students is incredible. They are different ages – everything from recent graduates to retires. We’ve got people with an enormously broad spectrum of world experience and work experience and they all bring something to the table and you can learn something from all of them so just sitting round chatting to them is absolutely fascinating.

"We've got people with an enormously broad spectrum of world experience and work experience and they all bring something to the table"

 

I always look forward to it actually. Everybody is friendly, everybody is quite good fun. I can’t think of anybody here who I don’t like and the social aspect of it is good fun. It’s interesting. A lot of the time I have quite a lot of work to do so I can’t necessarily drink in the bar until midnight each night, which otherwise I would love to do. Yeah, it’s good, it’s very good.

 

I’ve always been interested in it, probably since before it was called renewable energy. As a child I was fascinated by the idea of generating electricity from water or from steam. I’ve always been interested in wood fired heating. Just from the very idea that I could plant a tree and it would grow and years later I could chop it down and derive heat for it – for about ten years my parents house was heated exclusively heated by wood and I was involved in that process. And I think I’ve grown up to value resources in a way that people don’t tend to these days. And so I naturally want to conserve them – it’s in my nature, that’s who I am, that’s what I like to do. I find it very unfulfilling to work in areas where there is a high degree of waste – and there is almost everywhere. I live in London so there’s waste all around me and I just don’t like it – though I contribute to it and I freely admit to that.

 

I see this as a way of doing something that is a bit more more worthwhile and putting something back. I’ve never had a job that is any way worthwhile until now. I never had a job that I felt made the world any better. And this gives me the potential to do that. So it’s I suppose it is my need to feel that I am doing something that’s valuable and worthwhile. And I’m hoping this will help me to indulge that need.

 

WISE (Wales Institut is absolutely excellent, It’s absolutely excellent. I can’t believe that somewhere like CAT has a building like this I mean it’s just absolutely fantastic. I mean just look at it. It’s there’s plenty of space, there’s plenty of light, it’s well ventilated, it’s full of natural materials and it’s just a very calm and pleasing place to be. I wish I lived in a house that was built like this.

 

Raw Experience is a series or articles on the CAT blog where Students on the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment masters programme describe in their own terms what it is like to study at CAT. This is their raw testament: unedited, unbiased, real.

Ten years… it’s a long time in education

Politicians meeting for the World Summit in Rio this week are struggling to find many achievements since their last big environmental summit in Johannesburg ten years ago. But for the last ten years, teacher Colin Workman has been bringing students from Whitchurch High school in Cardiff to the Centre for Alternative Technology and he believes attitudes amongst his pupils are starting to change.

 

“In the years that we have been coming here it is clear that the groups now have a better understanding than perhaps those pupils 10 years ago did about sustainability issues, but nevertheless they always learn something new.” Said Colin Workman.

 

Since 2002 the School has consistently brought around 200 pupils each year to the centre, meaning over 2000 pupils have now benefited from the trips. The pupils get a tour of the centre with experts from CAT, where they get to see renewable technology and innovative building techniques first hand.

“The centre always seems to move on; there’s always something new for them to look at and to learn about. The last couple of years they’ve been able to look at the WISE building and the way in which that has been built to minimise impact on resources… I certainly think it gives them a better awareness of what’s going on and that that can only be a good thing.” Mr Workman continued.

 

Speaking about what the benefit of coming to the Centre for Alternative Technology is to their pupils he said:

 

“They see the technology working in situ. It makes it more real than classroom learning.

“It is part of a basket of activities which we base this trip around that are all to do with environment and sustainability, but this is the most focused part so this is a key part of the learning journey.

 

“They can have some fun but they do learn important lessons about environment and sustainability.”

 

Ann MacGarry, Education Officer at the Centre for Alternative Technology said: “We really enjoy doing tours for the Whitchurch pupils. They are so interested, lively and engaged. I’m really impressed by the teachers as it is such a challenge these days to organise a trip like this but so valuable for the pupils.”

 

Read more about organising school visits to CAT by clicking here

 

 

Where’s the impact of an Easter egg?

 

 

A new series for the blog looks into the impacts of our consumption habits.

Where does our stuff come from? Consumption habits today are remarkably anonymous. Buying from the globalised marketplace, we know little about the origins – or indeed the impacts – of the products we buy.

In this series, we’ll be looking into particular types of products to attempt to unpick the tangled web that contributes to their production. It’ll be a brief insight into some of the issues around commercial production – help us write the story by leaving a comment below to add to the picture. Also let us know about any suggestions of alternatives, and ideas for what we could investigate in the future.

This week we’ve started things off with an Easter egg by looking at the impact of a classic chocolate egg. We’ve narrowed our research down to three key areas: aluminium foil, cocoa and milk.

Let’s begin with the foil wrapper. Aluminium, bauxite in its purest form, is the third most abundant material on the planet. It’s mined all over the world – from Australia to Siberia, Brazil to Guinea. Extracting raw bauxite from the ground is ‘low impact’ as bauxite ore is usually found close to the surface in deep seams – but that’s ‘low impact’ in mining terms.

Bauxite mining is a truly international business. The biggest suppliers of raw bauxite in 2009 were Australia (topping the scales at 65, 231 metric tonnes), China, Brazil, India and Guinea. Bauxite is then processed in its country of origin – or shipped to a processing plant somewhere else in the world. The top three alumina producers are China (churning out 12, 900 thousand metric tonnes), Russia and Canada, suggesting that the majority of raw bauxite is shipped somewhere else to be processed. Transport of mineral ore clocks up a considerable carbon toll – the average freight ship emits between 5 and 22 grams of C02 per kilometre, and raw bauxite ore may travel 6000km just to be processed.

Turning bauxite into alumina is done by electrolysis which is incredibly energy hungry. The energy is often produced by huge-scale hydroelectric dams in Russia or China, which have their own associated environmental and social impacts.

Moving on, let’s look at the best bit of a chocolate egg – cocoa! If you’re anything like us, it’s hard to imagine  life without the Mayan delicacy, and we’re not alone. In 2009 the average amount of chocolate consumed in the EU per capita was a whopping 10.4 kgs. However, our appetite has a considerable effect on farming communities – it is estimated that between 50 and 70 million people depend on cocoa for their livelihood.

How about this for scary economics: cocoa fetches £1550 per tonne on the London International Financial Futures Exchange. Farmers, who produce 700kg and 2 tonnes of cocoa per year, receive at most 70% of the market price – often considerably less.  Their average income is somewhere between £1085 and £3100. However, 1 tonne of cocoa makes about 111 chocolate bars; sold for 60p each, consumers pay £6660 per tonne of chocolate – about six times what farmers receive.

Cocoa is one of those products that isn’t enjoyed by the people who make it. While the top producers are the Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia, the top consumers are the EU, who gobble up 41.7%, then the US at 32.7%, and Russia at 7.7%.

If you fiddled with a supermarket’s heating you’d probably end up with a chocolate river. However, for something so seemingly plentiful, it’s a long and complicated journey from seed to mouth. Usually grown in smallholdings, the cocoa pods are harvested with machetes, the beans removed by hand. They’re then fermented on the farm, dried in wind and sunlight, and then finally transported to a sea port for export. Transport – as with the aluminium wrapper – is a major part of the carbon footprint.

Zero Carbon Britain is a good place for more information on transport. Freight accounts for a considerable amount of our transport emissions and adds a considerable amount onto consumer products.

However, we don’t we take our chocolate like the Mayans (bitter – mixed with chillies!), and instead mix it with sugar and milk products. Milk’s one of the few components of a chocolate egg which may have local origins. However, somewhat nonsensically, the UK imports 126 million litres while exporting 270 million litres.

Milk, like other animal products, is very carbon intensive. Ruminants – animals, like cows, which chew cud – burp methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A cow will burp 120kgs of the stuff annually, which George Marshall in Carbon Detox equates to driving a car for 100,000 kms.

Its inefficiency largely comes down to the amount of resources and energy needed in order to produce a relatively small amount of milk – cows expend a lot of the energy that they get from feed walking around and keeping warm; it’d be more efficient if we simply ate the plants ourselves.

Because of this, strictly carbon-speaking, the ‘most efficient’ way to farm cows is intensively as they expend energy walking around, keeping warm, and generally being dairy cows. However, as organisations such as WSPA have well documented, intensive dairy farming is deeply unethical and environmentally dangerous. Cows farmed intensively are frequently fed soya feed, the production of which has led to rainforest degradation. Transport, processing and bottling also contribute to milk’s considerable carbon toll.

What else could we add to the story of an Easter egg? Leave us your comments below!

What would you like to see us tackle next week?


What are the impacts of the things we buy? Where is the energy used? What are the impacts on other people and the environment?

Where’s the Impact? is an innovative teaching resource exploring the ecological footprint of products. There are literally thousands of processes involved in the production of any given product – to raise awareness about the impacts of production, pupils use a set of cards to tell the story of a product from beginning to end.

A special offer on the game is available until the 31st of March. £21 for 1-4 copies, £19 for over 5, £17 for over 10 and £15 for over 20. Buy Where’s the Impact from the CAT Eco Store 01654 705 959 or email education@cat.org.uk.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pocket-sized potential as hundreds of mini green revolutionaries visit CAT for the Cooperative’s Green Schools Revolution

Last week over 400 primary school pupils and 65 teachers visited CAT to take part in the Green Schools Revolution, a project initiated by the Cooperative to support the uptake of environmental issues and sustainability in schools. Green Schools Revolution ‘challenges young people to become green pioneers’ by supporting UK sustainability education programmes with resources, activities and trips, and ‘encourages school children from the age of five to 16 to think differently and to get involved. With lots of ideas on how to live more sustainably, we can inspire them to change their world.’

CAT played a part in this revolution by being host for a week of activities for local schools. We were happy to welcome over 400 pupils from 14 schools including Ysgol Hiraddug, Montgomery Church in Wales School, Bishops Castle Primary, Whitton Primary and Ysgol Morfa Rhianedd. Pupils took part in a day of activities with different sustainability themes – Food Footprints, Water Footprints, the Green House and an Eco Quest.

One of the activities The Green House (usually referred to as Dan’s House) explored the environmental impact of daily decisions in the home. The activity is based around an interactive bar chart which plots the emissions of various domestic activities such as transport, food, shopping and heating. Pupils are given a range of options, such as whether to catch a train for your annual holiday or fly, or buy locally produced food or imported Peruvian avocados (for example), and vote on which choices they will make and watch the bar chart adjust accordingly.

This activity empowers young learners to take responsibility for their decisions, inviting them to witness the consequences of their choices. It encourages them to make informed decisions about a real life situation, leaving plenty of scope for some interesting, authentic responses. Typically pupils observe how they can successfully reduce their greenhouse gas emissions quite significantly, whilst also concluding that their quality of life will not have been impacted negatively.

Here is some heart-warming feedback from a group of year 5 pupils from Bishops Castle Primary who seemed to enjoy the day:

I really enjoyed going on the water train that took us to the top of the hill. Also I found out a lot about being green.

I thought it was great, I’m going to try and be more greener. I especially liked the mole hole and sticking my head up through the hole.

I thought that the trip was really fun. I especially liked the workshops and games.

I experienced a lot, I think CAT is an enjoyable place. It made me more green. I really liked it!

All the technology was amazing and although I’ve been before it was better than ever. My favourite thing was the water train and the playground.

It was good, I liked the Food Footprint because now I know that what we recycle we can use again (referring to how reusing packaging is much better than recycling.)

I really liked it because I learnt a lot and had fun at the same time.

Cool! I loved it and I would like to go again, it was amazing!

Their teacher also left some positive feedback – Green Schools Revolution at CAT was

‘a great introduction to the ideas and really made the children think … it showed them that environmental issues are not ‘black and white.’

Dan’s House will soon be available free for download through our education website. If you are interested in receiving news about this resource and other educational activities from CAT then please sign up to our once per term Education Newsletter by emailing me.

Other related activities can be found on the Footprint Futures website – a whole project on sustainability developed by CAT for KS 2 – 3 pupils.

Teaching sustainable development and discovering solutions to global food problems

Ensuring the next generation are well equipped for the transition to a zero carbon future the Education department at CAT specialise in delivering Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at all levels. From October 24th – 30th CAT Education are running short courses in communicating sustainability taking in a breadth of topics such as energy, buildings and food.

Teaching Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship from the 24th – 27th October is designed for teachers of key stage 2 – 3 showing how ESD can be applied in a school environment. The course looks at all issues surrounding sustainability with a strong emphasis on finding solutions to global problems. Participants will learn how to deliver informative, dynamic sessions on sustainable development and global citizenship, adapted to suit their specific subject.

El buey

Food for Thought from the 28th – 30th October looks more in depth at food sustainability and the effect our food production and consumption has on our environment and individual health. Aimed at educators and communicators this course delves into issues far beyond food miles and farting cows. This course is recommended for anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of food sustainability, and play a part in finding local solutions to global problems.

For a broader understanding of what the Education department at CAT gets up to, take a look at our resources page where you can download our teaching resources for free and Footprint Futures, a free online teaching resource for sustainable development useful as a full project or for fun activities on sustainability.

To book on a course please call 01654 704 952 or email courses@cat.org.uk. You can also complete an online booking form on our  website.

There is also a 10% discount available to anyone booking with a friend or colleague, both will receive the discount, please mention ‘CAT blog’ when booking.

KE007S08 World Bank