St Andrews pupils shine light on climate change

Students at St Leonards are among the first to become involved in a new think-tank launched by the University of St Andrews.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 9:58 am
St Leonards IB Diploma students with Bennett Collins at one of the Third Generation Project workshops.
St Leonards IB Diploma students with Bennett Collins at one of the Third Generation Project workshops.

The Third Generation Project aims to bring collaborative story production into Scottish classrooms in order to help humanise the human costs of climate change.

Led by Professor Ali Watson OBE, an expert in international relations at the University, and executive director and St Andrews PhD student Bennett Collins, along with Ethiopian career human rights advocate Nyikaw Ochalla, documentarians Alice Rowsome and Sam Wolson, and journalist Yahye Xanas, from Somaliland, the initiative will see pupils from Scottish schools engage in a series of six workshops before creating their own digital stories to show how climate change affects everything from migration to food prices and disaster protection.

“We have been working with Ali, Bennett and the team to deliver a six-week series of workshops to our IBDP students, bringing together journalists, human rights activists, academics and pupils to talk about the human costs of climate changes,” explained Ben Seymour, IB diploma co-ordinator at St Leonards.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Each week, our students have welcomed guest speakers, heard from inspiring voices and investigated the ways in which this story can be told through digital media.”

Week one was a meeting with Nyikaw Ochalla, a member of the Anuak community from Gambella in Ethiopia. A Skype call with Yahye Xanas, founder of SOM-ACT, an organisation made up of journalists dedicated to reporting on human rights issues in Somaliland, followed.

Further sessions have covered documentary making and storytelling in digital media, including the ethics of telling a story in the media

The aim of the project is to give pupils the opportunity and resources to discuss climate change as a human rights issue, and not just an environmental one, and the result will be an accurate and respectful digital representation of those who have shared their stories for the Third Generation Project. The digital stories, once complete, will be showcased in St Andrews in spring 2020, for members of the public to see, and to learn from.