All about the climate

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutors: IMMA BASTIDA/ PHYSICIENNE, THIERRY ELIAS/ CHERCHEUR-PHYSICIEN, JEAN-CLAUDE DUTAY/ CHERCHEUR-INGÉNIEUR, RÉMI LAXENAIRE DOCTORANT AU LABORATOIRE DE MÉTÉOROLOGIE DYNAMIQUE

Project manager: Anna Mezey

 

Objectives:
Meteorology is a science that investigates the atmosphere in which we live. It is the most fragile of the natural systems we depend on and constitutes an exception on the scale of the universe – a thin casing within which the complexity of life has developed.
This project is developed in close collaboration with the Atmospheric Research Observatory/SIRTA

Workshops:
The Atmosphere in all its Forms
The contributor launches the project with a series of questions (What is atmospheric pressure? Which gasses are present in the atmosphere? What do clouds do?) rapidly combined with several practical experiments on key notions: making clouds, measuring air and exploring the colours of the sky and sun. These initial discussions and experiments are then fine-tuned: theories and how the atmosphere functions, presentation of the different types of climates on Earth, the principle of seasons, climate change, etc.

Case Studies and Radiation Balance  
The class visits the SIRTA to learn about various radiometry instruments. The students are introduced to the LIDAR platform used to measure aerosols in the air, as well as other monitoring instruments such as the anemometer (wind gauge), hygrometer and thermometer. Each class is given a case study (dust and sandstorms, traffic pollution, pollution peaks, fog, etc.) and Lidar diagrams. The students have to interpret the data visually and scientifically and study energy exchanges and compare them for each season. This knowledge is then used to learn how to draw up a proper radiation balance.

Weather Patterns
At the end of the project, the students use their case studies to try and analyse weather patterns over a longer period. To do so, they incorporate the data and figures supplied by the SIRTA, break down the time sequences and compare digital models and statistics archives. Once they have done this, the group examines climate change and its consequences, and begins to prepare its final presentation.

Outcome:
On 9th June 2017, in one of the lecture theatres of the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, the classes gathered together to participate in a discussion about climate change. Each class had 20 minutes to present its case study and remarks. This was followed by discussions with scientists from the SIRTA: “What can we do to limit global warming?”, “What will future climates be like?”, “Where does air pollution really come from?” The debate was chaired by the physicist Imma Bastida. 

 

Participating schools: 
- class 5è 3, collège ANATOLE FRANCE, PAVILLONS-SOUS-BOIS
- class 3è, COLLÈGE JEAN JAURÈS, PANTIN
- class 5è 4 COLLÈGE JEAN JAURÈS, VILLEPINTE

 

Photo: PIERRE ANTOINE

All about the climate