Lowell’s 6th graders have been invited to collaborate with professionals from Climate Change Education.org, NOAA, NASA, and Howard University to present two stage shows and run an exhibit at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Family Science Days (#FamSciDays). To prepare for the event Feb. 16-17, climate educators and scientists visited Lowell this week to share their climate labs with students. Once introduced to the properties of short and long wave infrared light, invisible to human eyes, students used thermal infrared cameras and equipment designed to detect these light waves and measure an object’s radiated heat transfer.
Teaching others to make the connection between light and heat is critical to broadening the public’s understanding of climate change. Everything around us—objects, our bodies, the earth—collects and emits heat, and “wherever there is light, there is heat,” says Humanities Coordinator Natalie Stapert. Sixth grader Laila explains there are many gases in the atmosphere; however, too much carbon dioxide, a biproduct of burning fossil fuels, traps heat and light in our atmosphere. As more light reaches earth from the sun, it combines with the heat already trapped on earth by the carbon dioxide. “Hopefully we never get to the point of Venus, which is super hot,” says Laila.
During Family Science Days, K-12 youth and their families will be able to learn from interactive booths highlighting diverse areas of science. Live stage shows and opportunities to talk with scientists round out the event for an enriching learning experience. Excited to represent Lowell in the booth and stage show, Laila hopes to teach more people about climate change. She says it’s “a huge problem” and she wants more people “who can do something about it” to understand it.
AAAS Family Science Days are free and open to the public. Register here.