Climate Change Catastophe! 2021
Cultural Sector Partner: Cap-a-Pie Theatre
HE Partner: Newcastle University
‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’ will be released on YouTube as a series of six episodes on the 12th May 2021. All will be freely available.
Primary school children are working with Newcastle University climate scientists and engineers, singer-songwriter Katie Doherty and Cap-a-Pie theatre company on a new show about one of the biggest challenges of our time – climate change.
Climate Change Catastrophe! is about what children think about climate change – their hopes, fears and ideas for the future. The result is a journey into the mind of an eight-year-old that will really make you think.
Created in partnership with Newcastle University’s School of Engineering, the show offers inspiring perspectives on climate change from primary school children, with help from climate scientists and engineers, and will be performed by professional actors for an audience of all ages.
Cap-a-Pie worked closely with engineers from Newcastle University to understand the science behind climate change and how engineering was helping to solve the problem. The engineers helped Cap-a-Pie to plan activities for the school pupils which shared the engineers’ work.
Hayley Fowler, Professor of Climate Change Impacts at Newcastle University, said, “It’s important that we all understand more about the climate change emergency and what we can do about it. It is refreshing to see this through the eyes of children, and to hear about their inventive solutions. We all need to wake up to what our children already know – a climate catastrophe is coming. This show effortlessly blends the enthusiasm and unconstrained ideas of youth with the science and engineering needed to build them. Hopefully the next generation will inspire us to reach for Net Zero, to make changes to our lifestyles to benefit us all, and leave a better world for them to inherit.”
Cap-a-Pie has built a reputation for creative collaborations with universities and schools, working with academics and experts alongside their local communities. For Climate Change Catastrophe! the team has worked with hundreds of school children across the North of England – in classrooms before the pandemic, and remotely during lockdown, supporting teachers to deliver homeschooling and creative activities.
Alistair Ford of Newcastle University’s School of Engineering has worked on climate change research for over a decade, particularly looking at how our cities might change to reduce their carbon footprint and make themselves more resilient to extreme weather. Alistair said, “I’m really excited to be working with Cap-a-Pie on this project. It’s completely different to my day job and working with 8-year-olds will be a complete contrast to writing computer models for local and national governments. Thinking about making a complex subject like climate change accessible to school kids is a great experience, making me think differently about the work I do.”
Artistic Director Brad McCormick explains, “For some time now, we’ve wanted to do a project around climate change. It’s one of the biggest issues of our time and will affect us all, but it’s the younger generation who will bear the brunt so we felt it would be interesting and useful to get their perspectives and to broaden their understanding of climate science and engineering solutions from people with real expertise. Another reason we wanted to work with school children was to tap into their imagination and sense of logic – their input was invaluable and has really brought the show to life, as well as helping them to learn more about climate change and how they can make a difference.”Back to Case Studies