Hundreds of University of Bath students have been involved in the largest ‘Climate Fresk’ workshops ever to happen in a university outside of France, learning about the climate crisis and how to take action.
Around 400 students from the Faculty of Engineering and Design have completed the workshops, taking part in groups under the guidance of facilitators.
Participants learned about the fundamental science behind climate change and how they can take action to help tackle the pressing climate emergency through group activities and discussions.
The sessions form part of Bath’s whole-institution response to the climate emergency and follows on from Bath becoming the first UK university to make Carbon Literacy training available to all incoming students from 2021.
Mann Patel, who studies Aerospace Engineering, said: “I thought it was quite informative, I didn’t know exactly all the impacts of climate change, and it really brought it down to a detailed level.
“I didn’t really link climate change to refugees and warfare and stuff like that and that was quite surprising because we don’t usually see the link between warming up the earth and how it effects people, especially in poorer countries.
“I think career-wise I might go into developing more sustainable aircraft or manufacturing more sustainable cars rather than going into a route of normal manufacturing to help the future.”
Catherine, a first year Mechanical Engineering student, added: “I enjoyed it, I consider myself quite interested in trying to educate myself about the climate and climate change but I think this is a really useful activity to show direct links between everything I’ve heard before and it was really helpful to draw those links properly.
“I get lifts to quite a lot of places – so I’m going to try and keep to public transport and walking. It was also interesting to learn about diet and how small changes can make a big impact, so I think that was really useful information.”
The sessions were organised by Professor Steve Cayzer, a Professor of Climate Education in the Faculty of Engineering and Design. Globally over 1.3 million people have taken part in Climate Fresk workshops since beginning in France, and over 17,000 have done so in the UK to this point.
Prof Cayzer said: “Bringing the Climate Fresk workshop to our first-year students was an inspiring way to equip them with the skills to drive real change. The energy in the room was palpable. The knowledge, skills and confidence they gained will stay with them throughout their studies and careers. I’m proud we are empowering the next generation of engineering leaders to create positive impact. My heartfelt appreciation to the facilitators and Climate Fresk team for making this pivotal event happen.”
Victoria Howat, Uk Development Lead for Climate Fresk, said: “We were thrilled to collaborate with Steve and the University of Bath to co-deliver our dedicated higher education programme. It was a huge team effort, where both in-house and external facilitators pulled together to run engaging and transformative workshops. Most importantly, it was encouraging to see so many students coming away from the experience with a real sense of agency around how they can contribute today as individuals, as well as in their future engineering careers.”
The University of Bath has declared a Climate Emergency and has committed to a whole-institution response to climate action through its Climate Action Framework principles.