3 July 2022

“How do we know the climate is changing?”- workshops at Polish schools

During school year following ERC event, between February and June 2022 we organized a cycle of workshops and lectures for high and primary school students in Ruda Śląska, Jasło, Opole, Wrocław, Sieczychy and Kielce.

Each workshop included planned in “How do we know the climate is changing?” project topics, partially modified and thematically extended to school conditions and the age of participants:

  • Seeing invisible light / Herschel’s experiment. The purpose of this experiment was to show that our eyes can only see a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, we can build devices that allow us to detect and use ultraviolet and infrared.
  • What we cannot see / thermal camera. The aim of this experiment was to explain more precisely what infrared is and how we can use it to take measurements from a distance. Students had to complete a set of tasks using a thermal camera to compare how the information obtained from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum differs from each other.
  • Climate change as seen from space / Satellite data analysis (METEOSAT, Aqua, NOAA, ENVISAT, LANDSAT 8) using the Google Earth Engine. The purpose of this exercise was to show students how to get to infrared satellite data to see how the temperature and vegetation have changed over the last few decades. Students learnt what programming is useful for the analysis of spatial data.
  • Practical application of satellite data and geoinformation systems in everyday life. Satellite and spatial data can be extremely useful in everyday life. One of the portals containing accurate data from Poland is geoportal.gov. Using it, students could see detailed information on plots, landslide hazards and detailed landform features. As part of the exercise, students in teams of two persons had to analyze the information and then make a decision to buy a plot for investment. This exercise enabled them not only to become familiar with the structure of spatial data, but also showed what they can be used in practice.

Each school taking part in workshops was given a set of educational posters explaining the most important issues connected to usage of satellite data in detecting and monitoring climate change and its consequences, including QR codes sending for more info to NASA or NOAA web pages.

Ruda Śląska – 11 February and 25 March 2022

Due to pandemic restriction still being in force and the ordinance of the Ministry of Education and Science about distance learning at Polish schools from 20 December 2021 to 21 February 2022, we decided to start our educational cycle from online lectures.

On 11 February 2022 we conducted the “Let’s talk about Space” online webinar consisting of two lectures. The first one presented the opportunities that the space sector gives us, its developments used in everyday life and how to become a part of it. The second lecture introduced to the students what planetary geologists do and how to find an internship, for example in NASA.


The in-person workshops were conducted, as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, on March 25, 2022 at the Library Station (Stacja Biblioteka) in Ruda Śląska. Students from 6 local high and primary schools took part in it. Host school IV Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. H.C. Hoovera invited for that event also students from II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. G. Morcinka, III Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Jana Pawła II, Szkoła Podstawowa nr 4, Szkoła Podstawowa nr 8 and Szkoła Podstawowa nr 41.

The workshops began with a lecture on “How do we know that climate is changing?” including information how we collect data on a planetary scale by which we can determine it. During the workshop part, the participants were divided into smaller groups – 15-20 people each. Due to the large number of participants, the introductory lecture and workshops were repeated twice: in the morning and in the afternoon.

The workshops were accompanied by official opening of the exhibition “From the Moon to Mars” prepared by the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow. The exhibition was available to all city residents for a few weeks.

Jasło – 22 April 2022 

Next workshops were organized on 22 April 2022 (the International Earth Day) at the high school I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Króla Stanisława Leszczyńskiego in Jasło.

The official opening was made by the director of school, representatives of local County Office and the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, and then followed by two lectures: about opportunities that the space sector gives us and an introduction to workshops on how do we know that climate is changing. During the workshop part, the participants were divided into smaller groups and were changing class rooms for successive exercises.

Wrocław – 7/8 May 2022

Space Night Wrocław

Between 7/8 May 2022 we had an opportunity to introduce our workshops to the audience of the Space Night Wrocław (popular science conference) taking place at the Wrocław Technology Park. Children and teenagers with their parents took part in that event and visited dedicated for us class room.

Sieczychy – 20 May 2022

On May 20, 2022 we visited a very small primary school in the village Sieczychy near Wyszków (Szkoła Podstawowa im. hm. ppor. AK “Zośki” T. Zawadzkiego). In our classes participated all students of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade – that is about 25 people plus a couple of teachers.

Its students listened to the lecture about how climate data on a planetary scale is collected, and how we can use them to check if climate changes can be measured. Later all of them took part in three workshops: 1) seeing invisible light / Herschel’s experiment, 2) exercises with thermal camera and 3) practical application of satellite data and geoinformation systems in everyday life. Finally, students had the opportunity to see and touch meteorites.

Opole – 27 May 2022

The next cycle of our workshops and lectures took part on May 27, 2022 in Opole in High School nr III (Publiczne LO nr III w Opolu).

Host school invited for that event students from High schools number II, V and VIII (Publiczne Liceum Ogólnokształcące nr II,  Publiczne Liceum Ogólnokształcące nr V and VIII Liceum im. A. Kamińskiego) and the Electrical School (Zespołu Szkół Elektrycznych).

Organization of that workshops was supported also by representatives of the Public Library in Opole (Biblioteka Publiczna w Opolu) and the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow. Each student went through a cycle of three workshops: 1) exercises with thermal camera (cloudy weather did not allow to perform Hershel’s experiment), 2) analysis of multispectral satellite data available through ESA portal, 3) usage of geospatial and remote sensing data to solve practical issues.

Kielce – 11 June 2022

Our few months workshops and lectures cycle “How do we know that climate changing?” came to the end in Kielce. On June 11, 2022, we took part in last meeting of Children’s University of Technology students (6 to 15 y.o.) followed by ceremonial ending of the school year 2021/22 with the participation of the rector of the University of Technology in Kielce and presentation of diplomas.


The project was supported by the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, Poland – Projekt realizowany przy wsparciu Konsulatu Generalnego USA w Krakowie.

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