Press Releases

Predicting the world's climate in 2050 – University of Reading

Release Date : 11 March 2004

Gifted school students involved with – a Government-funded project which aims to produce the most complete forecast of 21st century climate – will be presenting their high-tech predictions for weather patterns in 2050 at a special event at The University of Reading during National Science Week on March 17, 2004. BBC weather presenter, Carol Kirkwood, and Labour Reading East MP, Jane Griffiths, will be among a panel of judges looking at the work of Year 10 students from 4 schools in Berkshire and Oxfordshire who have been running the climate prediction programme on their school pc's. The best presentation at the event, which has been funded by Aimhigher Berkshire and Aimhigher MOB (Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire), will win a digital camera for the school and gallileo thermometers will be presented to all the students who took part., based at the University of Oxford, was launched in September 2003 and has already attracted over 40,000 participants worldwide. By giving people the means to make their own climate predictions on computers, the project organisers hope to increase public awareness and understanding of the climate change debate. Schools involved with this event (run jointly by the University of Reading's Widening Participation Office and were given a version of a state-of-the-art climate modelling programme to run on their computers. Meteorology students from Oxford and Reading were assigned to each school to provide support and help explain what their model was predicting. The schools were given all the necessary software and a 'fill in the gaps' Powerpoint presentation which they can customise with their own unique results and present to the judges on Wednesday 17 March. By participating in the experiment and using the climate modelling programme, students were able to participate in a sophisticated scientific experiment. Each school had access to an interactive and constantly evolving resource, which allowed participants to explore the climate in their modelled world as it develops, so that short time scale weather patterns and long term climate change could be explored. End For further information, please contact Mohammed Ansar, Widening Participation Office, University of Reading. Tel: 0118 378 6127 Email: Notes for editors The climate prediction event is just one of a series of activities for school students being organised by the Widening Participation Office at the University of Reading during National Science Week. Other highlights include: • University School Science Challenge: schools compete in a University Challenge style quiz for the chance to win a piece of scientific equipment up to the value of £250. • Mathsmagicians: Sir Mathsalot and Queen and Princess Countalot show off their fantastic magic maths number tricks. • sciborgs: students design and build their own remote-controlled robot buggies. • The Science of Slime: students get sticky and find out how to make multi-coloured slime and potty putty. • DNA Detectives: a crime is simulated and students have to work out 'whodunnit' by processing real DNA from the scene of the 'crime'. • Turbo Power/Little big things: using the universities electrom microscopes and turbine jet engine, students get the chance to experience and find out how some high tech scientific works. • Science Olympics: a series of mini scientific investigations/challenges allowing students to use their problem solving and team work skills to stand a chance of winning a gold, silver and bronze medal. • Chemistry masterclass: A-level students learn more about spectroscopy and use the hi-tec equipment at the university to support them in their school curriculum. • Microbiology masterclass: investigations into what part microbes play in our everyday lives, aimed at supporting biology students undertaking their sixth form studies at school.


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