Climate Detectives Overview



Climate Detectives is a school project for students between the ages of 8 and 15 run by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the national European Space Education Resource Offices (ESEROs).

The Climate Detectives project features three phases:

Phase 1– Identify a climate problem

In this phase, students will be asked to identify a climate problem that they would like to investigate as ‘Climate Detectives’.  Students should define the problem based on questions that arise from their school studies and from observations in their local environment.  Students will have to plan their investigation of the problem, including their research question and what Earth observation data they need to collect and what field/laboratory studies they require to answer the question.

Scientists in the field of Earth observation and climate will then review the investigation plans and give their feedback to all teams participating in the project.

Phase 2 – Investigate the climate problem

In this phase, students will collect, analyse and compare data to draw a conclusion about the problem they are investigating. The use of data is mandatory to enter the project. Such data can either be satellite or ground-based data retrieved from professional sources, or data obtained from measurements by the students, or a combination of them.

During Phase 2, ESA or, where applicable, the ESERO National Coordinator will organize online events in which teams can “ask a scientist” and receive background information and tips.

Phase 3 – Share results and make a difference 

We can all make a difference! Based on the results of their investigations, students should decide on the actions they want to take – as individuals and as citizens – to help monitor or mitigate the problem. Actions do not need to be limited to school time; for example, students could take home ideas and involve their families to put them into practice in their everyday lives, or give a presentation or host a campaign at their school or local community to raise awareness. Teams should record and provide evidence of their actions, and will have to share them with the ESA Climate Detectives community.

All teams who share their project will receive a certificate of participation by email. The best projects will be highlighted on the sharing platform and the team members will receive Climate Detectives goodies. Teams of young climate scientists (from age 8 to 10 years old) that submit the best projects will also have their work highlighted in the ESA Kids website