Climate Change? Let the Awareness Begin in the Classroom!

University of Malaya researchers organized a climate change awareness program for secondary school children through fun science activities ‘ExploRace’. The awareness program is hoped to empower and engage active participation from school children to help tackle the climate change issues locally.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) dire warnings on the impact of human-induced climate change has provided an instantaneous wake-up call for swift actions to strengthen the global response towards major climate-related risks. This calls for an immediate action to inculcate fundamental knowledge on climate change to foster the contemporary society towards environmental stewardship and sustainability practices. Importantly, such moves should be started from the children as they are going to represent the future stakeholder society that will embark in various development activities to meet the future human needs without undermining the stability and integrity of the natural ecosystems.

In response to this, a ‘Climate Change and Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon Awareness Program’ was organized on 26th March 2018 for the secondary school children of SMK Seri Hartamas by Grand Challenge Research Group (GC002-15SUS) in collaboration with Sustainability Science Research Cluster and Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Malaya. YBhg. Datin Zarina Binti Abd Rahman, the headmaster of SMK Seri Hartamas, welcomed University of Malaya to engage the secondary school children in this programme and emphasised that the school has to be empowered on science activities. The aim of the event is to foster some fundamental awareness of climate change, UHI, and associated issues through interactive and fun-based activities for the lower-secondary school children. The concept of this event is similar to an ‘ExploRace’, where children in groups of ten have to patronize individual checkpoints to obtain clues to solve a crossword puzzle on Urban Heat Island phenomenon. A total of five checkpoints were set up and each checkpoint arranged some activities related to climate change issues. Meanwhile, short presentations on introduction to climate change, UHI and air pollution were inserted in between the main agenda to instill some basic knowledge of climate change issues. The winners received the token of appreciations for their efforts. Lastly, Prof. Dr. Wong Li Ping wrapped-up the event with a brief talk session on how the children can engage themselves in combating the climate change.

In a nutshell, this program serves as an initial move of Grand Challenge team, leads by Dr. Nasrin Aghamohammadi, to spread its wings out for the empowerment and activate participation of the children in tackling climate change issues at the local level. Proper and effective dissemination of knowledge is pivotal in the creation of new generation stakeholders and decision makers who can perform pragmatic evidence-based decisions to sustain climate-friendly living environments for the future.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Nasrin Agha Mohammadi,
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya,
50603 Kuala Lumpur,

E-mail: [email protected]



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Published: 30 May 2018


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