UCL Earth Sciences


Bringing research to secondary schools.

27 May 2021

Dr Rosemary Willatt, a Research Fellow delivers Secondary School Science Advisors programme

Climate Science Advisors - Dr R Willatt

Rosemary Willatt, a Research Fellow in UCL Earth Science’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, has developed a new outreach idea based around a flipped learning approach and a reversed power dynamic between students and teachers. Working with the Geobus Leader, Amy Edgington, she presented information on her own work on remote sensing of sea ice, and gave secondary school students the chance to take an active role in the research through posing science questions for Rosie to research.

Martin Hains, a teacher at Leyton College, said:

“Collaborating with UCL has helped to develop our learner’s critical thinking skills. Students have gained first-hand experience of cutting-edge climate research and have been inspired to learn more about the polar regions and their impact on climate change.”

The students have come up with a series of fantastic questions for Rosie, many of which are active topics of research for her or other scientists, giving her the opportunity to develop her own thinking and to bring up-to-date climate science to the students. She hopes to work with other schools or colleges in future.

Rosie would like to run similar programmes with other secondary schools. If your school might be interested please contact Dr Willatt by email or find out more in the programme:

This is just one of many ways UCL Earth Scientists connect with schools. Our GeoBus London Project runs free virtual workshops for schools across the UK.

Rosie is working on analysis of data from a ground-based radar instrument, KuKa, deployed during the international Arctic expedition MOSAiC in 2019-2020. Her postdoctoral research relates to using the KuKa data to understand what satellite radars, operating at the same frequencies, detect when they survey sea ice, and whether the two frequencies can be used to determine the depth of the snow on sea ice.



Image Credit: Prof. Seymour Laxon and poster made by Dr Amy Edgington.